Advisor support crucial to small businesses’ recovery

The COVID-19 crisis has had a particularly devastating impact on small businesses, and many have financial advisors to thank for helping keep their cash flowing and their heads above water.

A survey reveals that 23 per cent of small-business owners and 42 per cent for millennial business owners admit that they would have struggled coping with the challenges of COVID-19 had it not been for the support of their accountant or bookkeeper.

The QuickBooks COVID-19 Recovery Report, conducted by YouGov, surveyed more than 500 small-business owners with fewer than 10 employees from 15-29 June. It found that 74 per cent of small-business owners turned to an advisor for professional support during the pandemic, with 27 per cent of them also turning to their advisor for emotional support.

Millennial business owners relied very heavily on their advisors, with 94 per cent engaging their professional services and 48 per cent reaching out to them for emotional support.

“Advisors are the hidden heroes supporting the Australian small business community through this pandemic, often burning the midnight oil to help their clients access vital government stimulus and improve cashflow,” Natira Drayton, Vice President and Country Manager, Intuit QuickBooks Australia, said.

“Accountants and bookkeepers have been putting in long hours, often without payment, to help small-business owners not just survive, but in many cases, get on top of their cashflow, pivot and find new revenue streams. They’ve also gone above and beyond, providing a huge amount of emotional support, which is commendable and inspiring at this time of need.”

Small-business owner, Kemal of Atez Electrics in Melbourne, said that his relationship with his financial advisor had been critical to the very survival of his business.

“As soon as this happened, I was on the phone with my advisor immediately,” Kemal explained. “She’s like my counsellor. She put things into place so I didn’t have to hit the panic button. Lauretta changed the game for me.”

Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash also cited the important role accountants and small-business advisors have played in helping small businesses.

“Australia’s 3.5 million small businesses have been hit hard by COVID-19,” Senator Cash said. “I commend the efforts of the small-business advisor community for everything they have done and continue to do to ensure small businesses have access to the information and advice they need during this trying time. It’s important that we recognise their contribution, assisting Australian business owners navigate through this unprecedented global event.”

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