Three quarters (74%) of Australian small business owners have turned to an advisor – accountant or bookkeeper – for support during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the new QuickBooks COVID-19 Recovery Research conducted by YouGov with more than 500 small business owners.

Almost one in four (23%) small business owners admit they would have struggled to manage the impacts of COVID-19 had it not been for the support of their advisor with that number increasing to 42% for millennial business owners.

Intuit QuickBooks Australia vice president and country manager, Natira Drayton said, “Advisors are the hidden heroes supporting the Australian small business community through this pandemic, often burning the midnight oil to help their clients access vital government stimulus and improve cash flow.

“Accountants and bookkeepers have been putting in long hours, often without payment, to help small business owners not just survive, but in many cases, get on top of their cash flow, pivot and find new revenue streams. They have also gone above and beyond, providing a huge amount of emotional support, which is commendable and inspiring at this time of need.”

Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business, Michaelia Cash added her support to the role accountants and small business advisors have played in helping to keep Australian small businesses afloat.

“Australia’s 3.5 million small businesses have been hit hard by COVID-19. I commend the efforts of the small business advisor community for everything they have done and continue to do to ensure small businesses have access to the information and advice they need during this trying time. It’s important that we recognise their contribution, assisting Australian business owners navigate through this unprecedented global event,” Minister Cash said.

When comparing research conducted with small business owners prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, paying for the advice of an accountant or bookkeeper is now the number one tip small business owners would give to someone looking to start their own business. Pre-COVID-19, the top advice was to start their business as a side hustle.

To encourage small business owners to express their appreciation for their advisor, Intuit QuickBooks Australia has teamed up with Australian digital start-up Cardly, to make it easy for small businesses to send personalised messages of thanks to their advisors in the form of greeting cards. Four specially commissioned cards are now available on the Cardly platform for small business owners to select from.