There is growing evidence that despite the setbacks of COVID and lockdown, an increasing number of businesses are turning to bookkeepers to help them with their accounts so that they can get on with running their business.

Figures just released for the year to the end of August show that ICB members in practice have signed up no fewer than 7,681 new clients.  If this growth continues for the rest of the year, 2020 is on target to beat last year’s record figure of 10,905 new clients.  This growth is across the board and not sector-specific.  It also appears to be countrywide, which is very encouraging.

Businesses turn to bookkeepers to take the burden of accounts of their shoulders.  In these challenging times, forward-thinking business owners and managers recognise that spending hours doing the books is a waste of their valuable time when they should be out winning new business before their competitors beat them to it.

Making Tax Digital and affordable, easy to use cloud software has seen many owners leaving behind their paper-based accounting systems and switching to software.  But increasing numbers are getting bored or frustrated with doing it themselves, particularly with furlough deadlines and increased record-keeping brought about by COVID.

Of course, it is not all good news and unfortunately, for a variety of reasons, 1,374 clients have been lost, many of which were for COVID-related reasons. Whilst some closures were undoubtedly brought about by loss of business, many were because business owners decided to bring forward their retirement but, talking to ICB members, it is hoped that many of these have not gone for good and will come back at some stage when business returns.