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Liquidity and cashflow key concerns for 1 in 3 businesses – survey

Almost half of those working in the accountancy profession have called for greater leniency on filing deadlines, interest and penalties as companies try to cope with the effects of Covid-19, a new survey shows.

The survey, conducted by Chartered Accountants Ireland among almost 2,000 members on the island of Ireland, also shows that liquidity and cashflow are key concerns for one third of businesses in a post-Covid economy.

33% of respondents reported a need to overhaul their business model post-pandemic.

One in four called for changes to company law to give businesses greater flexibility to navigate unprecedented circumstances like a pandemic.

Digital transformation is a priority for one in four businesses post-Covid, with calls for accompanying digitalisation of government services.

Longer term business supports post-Covid and the use of VAT rate decreases as short-term stimulus were also raised by 28% of members, rising to 39% of those in practice. 

Brian Keegan, Director of Public Policy at Chartered Accountants Ireland, said that SMEs are fighting to stay afloat and post-pandemic, many will reimagine how they function or will pivot into new activities.

He said that supports are currently based on the way that business has always been done, but with this changing, the group’s “The Next Financial Year” publication outlines a simplified, more flexible approach. 

“Now is not the time to rely on dogged and uncommercial approaches. Government policy must be focussed on providing maximum support and flexibility to businesses,” Mr Keegan added.

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