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Businesses face increasing operational challenges as a result of the domino effect of Covid-19

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Businesses face increasing operational challenges as a result of the domino effect of Covid-19

Businesses face increasing operational challenges as a result of the domino effect of Covid-19
June 25
21:29 2020
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Findings for Ireland reveal organisations focusing on the medium to long term stability and opportunities as they look ahead post-pandemic


Irrespective of size, sector or country, the economic and social impact of the pandemic has expanded, and challenges are growing for business and the accountancy profession, reveals ACCA’s latest report analyzing the impact of the pandemic – Covid-19 global survey ‘The Road to Recovery.

Following March 2020’s original report, three months on the picture now crystalises many key issues that need to be addressed by policymakers and governments. ACCA is calling on governments worldwide to review economic rescue packages and enable a return to sustainable growth.

For Ireland, the overall picture is one of a slow return to normal. In total 156 responses were received from an expert panel of finance professionals, with respondents asked a number of questions specific to their role or organisation sector and the results show:

  • 59% of organisations are now primarily focusing their time on the medium term over the next 1 – 6 months
  • 31% are securing additional funding from banks, investors, governments
  • 59% say customers have stopped or reduced their purchases
  • 38% admit to cash flow problems

Caitriona Allis, head of ACCA Ireland says: ‘Our data for June reveals continued cash flow challenges, with more than a third in Ireland saying this is a problem. A similar number of businesses are moving now to secure additional funding.

‘Since the March research, the new data reveals greater concerns over financing and debt issues, and given the global economic climate, it means these will be difficult matters to resolve.

‘The key issue at the centre of these issues is a collapse in customer demand for many organisations, with 59% respondents citing purchases as completely stopped or reduced here in Ireland. It’s a domino effect, with both product launches and investment plans being deferred, further compounded by supply chain challenges and issues with customer order fulfillment.’

Other results for Ireland show:

  • A significant number of business leaders – 86% – have grasped the nettle to complete a financial reforecast, with 15% of those predicting negative revenue growth of 50% or more as the most likely scenario for the expected impact of Covid-19.
  • 86% have now adopted flexible working from home strategies, with 46% adopting staff rotas to accommodate social distancing requirements.
  • 51% of businesses say government support has been effective, 30% say support has been irrelevant, 5% not effective
  • 33% are evaluating their social responsibility to the wider communities affected by the outbreak.

The poll also asked respondents about the effectiveness of recent government schemes, with half of respondents rating the interventions undertaken by the government as effective.

Caitriona Allis concludes: ‘The pandemic has had a profound effect that will resonate well beyond 2020. But it is good to see respondents planning ahead, thinking of the longer term while managing the present, and also thinking of the bigger picture about their responsibilities to the wider community that’s also been impacted by Covid-19.’

Jamie Lyon, the report author and head of business management at ACCA, explains the ACCA’s roadmap to recovery advice detailed in the report: ‘Through our “roadmap to recovery”, we’re recommending that organisations follow the “three As” – Act and respond sustainably to the immediate crisis in the short term; Analyse the different information sources to start to build the path to recovery in the medium term and Anticipate how strategies need to evolve over the longer term.’

ACCA’s roadmap to recovery is available here. This June survey of over 4,500 ACCA members follows the publications of ACCA’s report COVID-19 Global Survey: Inside Business Impacts and Responses in April 2020, and continues to track ACCA sentiment around the world on the impact of COVID-19 and examines how organisations are responding.

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