• Register
Return to: Home > News > Professional Bodies > IFAC survey reveals number one challenge for SMPs

IFAC survey reveals number one challenge for SMPs

Accountants around the world in small and medium sized practices are facing increased staffing challenges according to an IFAC Global survey of practitioners operating in small and medium sized practices (SMPs).

The practitioners were asked about the challenges they are facing, market factors most likely to affect them, the services they provide and their performance, as well as being asked about their SME clients.

Attracting new clients was listed as the number one challenge (46%), the majority of the 12 challenges received the same or similar percentage of concern as 2015, except for staffing however. For the first time in the surveys history, attracting and retaining existing staff, the second highest overall challenge, received a markedly higher percentage, a dramatic increase from 33% in 2015 to 42%.

Survey questions addressed the impact of eight personnel and staffing issues such as finding qualified staff at all levels (45%) and retaining them (41%) which were considered to have the greatest impact.

Other new questions in the 2016 survey addressed in detail the impact of technology, personnel and staffing issues on SMPs. Regarding technology issues, 27% to 38% of respondents reported that each of seven technology issues had a high or very high impact on their SMP.

The anticipated impact of technology developments in the next five years has also increased compared to the previous survey results. Moving to the cloud was found to be the top technology challenge, as practices look to stay current with hardware and software.

“The ever-increasing pace of technological change represents both a challenge and opportunity for SMPs,” said Fayez Choudhury, IFAC CEO. “SMPs that keep pace with developments in technology are likely to do better in attracting, retaining, and nurturing talent.”

The largest groups of respondents were from Europe (38%), Asia (28%) and Africa (14%). While the top challenges assessed as those rated as high or very high, varied by region, there were notable similarities.

The global survey, in collaboration with lead researchers from the University of Dayton (USA) received 5,060 responses from 164 countries. The survey has been conducted annually since 2011.

The survey can be found here.

Top Content

    Accountancy Europe: the winner takes it all

    Jonathan Minter spoke to Olivier Boutellis-Taft, chief executive officer at Accountancy Europe, about how technology could change the industry, and how training needs to keep up to enable the profession to develop

    read more

    Embracing global technology trends

    Accountancy Europe’s Digital Day 2018 found the European accounting profession looking to tackle the challenges presented by new technologies head on. Jonathan Minter reports from the day

    read more

    IMA Conference: automation of the audit

    At the annual conference of the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) in Indianapolis, Deloitte partner Alex Smith gave a presentation on digital transformation in the profession. Joe Pickard spoke to Smith following the presentation to find out more about his views on the future of audit

    read more

    IMA Conference: technology and the human effect

    The annual conference of the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) took place in Indianapolis this year. Members of the profession gathered to hear the latest from the institute and other market players, covering some of the challenges and opportunities the profession faces.

    read more

    The Caribbean: a digital paradise

    The ICAC hosted its 36th annual conference in June this year – very much looking to the future following a tough 2017 for the Caribbean. Jonathan Minter spoke with chief executive officer Misha Lobban Clarke

    read more
Privacy Policy

We have updated our privacy policy. In the latest update it explains what cookies are and how we use them on our site. To learn more about cookies and their benefits, please view our privacy policy. Please be aware that parts of this site will not function correctly if you disable cookies. By continuing to use this site, you consent to our use of cookies in accordance with our privacy policy unless you have disabled them.