Recently published figures have highlighted the positive impact that accountants and bookkeepers have had on SME’s over the duration of the covid-19 pandemic.

The findings outlining that one in five SME owners believe that their business would not have survived the pandemic if not for accountants and bookkeepers support.

With another recently survey showing that 81 percent of SMEs believe their business will return to pre-pandemic levels within the next six months, bookkeepers and accountants have played a huge role in contributing towards these high levels of confidence. Furthermore, the figures showed that 70 percent of respondents say that their accountant or bookkeeper helped them through the pandemic.

Looking to the future, 84 percent of small businesses believe that the support of their accountant or bookkeeper will be crucial in getting back to pre-pandemic levels.

On top of offering insight on SME perceptions about confidence levels, vaccination mandates and adviser support, the research by Intuit Quickbooks also touched on digital adoption trends.

During the course of the covid-19 pandemic, over one in three small businesses pivoted their business to explore new revenue streams 37 percent, with most 85 percent saying these streams will continue to be an essential part of their business.

“Among those who have implemented new technologies or plan to do so, the most common focuses are financial processes (43 per cent), e-commerce/marketing (41 per cent), inventory management (21 per cent), contract management (17 per cent) and human resources (15 per cent),” sad the report.

“Female-led small businesses are more likely to have implemented or plan to implement new technology to improve business processes than male-led counterparts (49 per cent vs 39 per cent). They are also more likely to have completed training related to their business during the course of the pandemic, or plan to in the next six months (43 per cent vs 31 per cent),” continued the report.

Sales Rebound Recorded During October Led by Restriction Free States

States across the country that are free of restrictions have helped lead a bounce-back for Australian retail sales during the month of October 2021 as the country recorded a 4.2 percent increase year-on-year, while spending was up 10.1 per cent on pre-pandemic levels for the month of October 2019.

The data retrieved from MasterCard SpendingPulse shows Victoria saw the highest sales increase at 12.4 percent, however the state was in lockdown for most of the month of October in both 2020 and 2021.

In the lockdown-free states, Queensland’s retail sales increased by 5.3 percent, this was followed by Western Australia which rose by 5.2 percent, Tasmania up 4.7 percent and South Australia which experienced an increase of 3.5 percent.

However, in comparison sales have remained lower in NSW and the ACT, which experienced a large drop of 12.2 percent for the nation’s capital as a result of its recent lockdown and a slight drop of 1.1 percent in Australia’s most populous state.

Australian Retailers Association CEO Paul Zahra said with less than a month to go until Christmas and the worst of the covid-19 pandemic now behind us, retailers were ramping up their operations and looking forward to a positive festive trading period.

“Whilst it’s encouraging to see retail sales overall on the rebound in October, the results are mixed across the different categories and the states and territories. Department stores have recorded five consecutive months of negative sales growth, driven by the lockdown of the Australia’s two largest cities, however we are hopeful of a strong finish to the year,” says Australian Retailers Association CEO Paul Zahra.

“Retailers in Sydney reopened on October 11, on October 22 in Canberra and on October 29 in Melbourne –so we are yet to see a full month’s worth of insights where lockdowns haven’t been a feature,” says Paul Zahra.

Department stores across the country recorded a sharp downturn of 12.3 per cent in year-on-year sales this month.