As we are edging out of lockdown in different stages in different parts of the country with the Twittersphere and Blogosphere dominated by reports that vary from the ecstatic rejoicing of huge sales “Estate Agents”, who else you may say, lower than hoped for footfall, pubs and shops, one message has stayed constant namely “Support your local businesses”
The message has been that simple these small businesses evolved and changed to help their community in these troubled times or sadly were unable to and were locked down with no revenue and throughout at all other than state provided grants and loans.
The fear is that post Covid our usual shopping trends will return as we seek the lower costs that are prevalent amongst the biggest businesses and thus consign the small local businesses to try to pick up the pieces as it were.
This is a laudable and worthy cause and one that it is neigh on impossible to quarrel with and I for one won’t. However, whenever I see this I can’t help thinking about all the practices that I have been in contact with that have done so much to help small businesses throughout. Some may say, “Well that’s to be expected isn’t it” to which I would answer actually “no” because Accountants are like any other business and they have the same burden placed on them namely to make a profit and yet throughout this period so many have forsaken this as they worked for less than their usual rate and in very many times for nothing at all.
I believe every practice will have been confronted by this at some stage and every practice will have come to a resolution which they are content with. What concerns me is that going forward have those practices that worked at less than the normal rates or for nothing at all created a rod for their own backs? Will those clients that gratefully accepted lower fees or even no fees at all expect this to become the norm?
Let’s hope not because after all local accountancy practices deserve the same level of support.