There is a lot to be said for supporting Irish businesses at any time, but as companies up and down the country come to terms with the changes forced on them by coronavirus there are additional incentives for giving your custom to enterprises created, owned and managed right here in Ireland.
The SME Recovery initiative recognises the value of small businesses to our economy, noting that they represent 99.8% of active enterprises, support two-thirds of total employment and are responsible for more than 30% of all exports.
We are all familiar with the multiplier effect of spending money locally and how every euro spent generates many more euros across the economy. This is as true for accounting software as it is for any other industry and starts with identifying the right accounts software for the job.
No sensible enterprise would trust its books and records to an accounting software company that doesn’t understand its business or the industry it operates in. So it similarly makes sense to use an accounting system that was developed based on feedback from Irish companies, reflects the nuances of our taxation system and is supported locally by people who understand how this system works.
As we explained in a recent blog, our VAT system is not only complex – we also pay one of the highest levels of standard rate VAT in Europe, which means that even a small mistake on a return can prove costly.
We also have to accept that the way people work has changed. A recent Institute of Directors in Ireland survey found that fewer than one-in-eight business leaders believed all staff would be back in their office or workspace once COVID-19 lockdown was fully lifted.
This survey suggests some form of remote working will become the norm. Again, Irish Accounting software companies are best placed to understand what this means for local businesses and – equally importantly – their employees. As the chief executive of the Institute of Directors in Ireland points out, business leaders will need to be agile to allow for these changes.
New work patterns make access to local support more important than ever. When they have an issue, customers want to talk to someone who knows the market they are operating in and can provide practical solutions, not like the foreign software companies not based here.
This doesn’t just mean making knowledge and information accessible via how-to guides and FAQs, although these are important features. It means being on the other end of the line when customers need help, working with them to ensure their accounts run smoothly.
Accounts are not something you can afford to think about only for a few days each year and ignore the rest of the time. With so many small Irish businesses facing cash flow problems it is vital to know exactly where you stand, which is where a cloud-based accounting package like Big Red Cloud (that can be accessed from any location) comes into its own.