More than 65 percent of the 305 certified public accountants (CPAs) surveyed by the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJCPA) about the impact of the coronavirus crisis said that a timeline to allow businesses to reopen will help small businesses more than other forms of economic relief. Deferring tax payments or extending deadlines was ranked second by more than 47 percent of respondents.
Survey participants cited a need for lawmakers to pivot to a business-focused strategy to begin the recovery process. Respondents said 39 percent of their business clients will recover to pre-crisis levels in six to 12 months once the stay-at-home restrictions begin to be lifted, while another 34 percent of clients will need more than 12 months to recover. Survey participants indicated that 12 percent of clients will not recover and will most likely go out of business.
Survey results indicated that the current economic crisis is weighing heavily on the minds of business owners. Respondents said that 27 percent of clients are worried about the survival of their business.
Accounting firms of all sizes share their clients concerns; 40 percent of survey participants indicated that they expect their firm’s revenue to decrease by 11-25 percent during the pandemic. However, New Jersey accounting firms remain committed to clients, with half of respondents indicating that their firms had so far made no changes to their staffing levels.
“This survey shows that business owners need a comprehensive and specific plan for reopening the state, a clear statewide strategy that’s coordinated with medical experts and New Jersey’s business community. The state’s businesses are counting on the administration, the Restart and Recovery Commission and the Restart and Advisory Council to deliver an effective plan of action. We offer our assistance in meeting the multitude of challenges ahead,” said Ralph Albert Thomas, CPA (DC), CGMA, CEO and executive director at the NJCPA.
Survey graphics attached. Additional survey results are available here