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Pandemic Prompts Spike in SMEs Relying on Trusted Advisors

Pandemic Prompts Spike in SMEs Relying on Trusted Advisors

(17 November 2021 – Australia) Business owners are most likely to turn to colleagues, suppliers or trading partners rather than specialist business advisors new research by ScotPac reveals.

Four years ago, four out of ten SMEs had no trusted advisors. Now this is now down to less than one in ten. SME owners are much more likely to turn to someone for business advice in 2021 than they were four years ago, according to a study by Australia and New Zealand's largest specialist SME non-bank lender ScotPac.

Business colleagues were named as the most trusted advisor by 38.6 percent of respondents. While overall business owners are still most likely to turn to colleagues, suppliers or trading partners for advice, the research identified that there’s been a 22 percent increase since 2015 in SMEs naming their accountant as their go-to

“ScotPac's latest SME Growth Index recorded a significant decline in the number of business owners who have to ‘go it alone’. Running a business can be lonely at any time let alone in challenging conditions, so it’s great to see many more SME owners having a trusted advisor to lean on” commented ScotPac Senior Executive Craig Michie.

“More than 90 percent of respondents now having a trusted someone they turn to for business advice is a promising trend. However, key small business consultants including accountants, bookkeepers and brokers still have a lot of work to do to in order to top the ‘trusted advisor’ list for SMEs” he said.

“It is reassuring that while starting from a low base, the historic trend in SME Growth Index research is that accountants are trending upwards as most trusted advisor. Accountants were listed as key trusted advisor by 9 per cent of SMEs in 2015, 9.3 per cent in 2017 and 11.2 per cent in 2021” he added.

“When asked how they deal with cashflow issues, almost one in five SMEs (18.6 per cent) said they got on the front foot thanks to applying their accountant’s pandemic recovery advice.”

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