Friday, October 25 12:55:30
Ireland's smallest businesses are yet to show the same signs of confidence as their medium and mid-market counterparts.
That's according to the Global Economic Conditions Survey (GECS) carried out by ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) and IMA (Institute of Management Accountants).
Looking at the GECS quarterly survey figures, which gauge the confidence levels from the finance teams within the world's businesses, from quarter four 2011 to quarter two 2013, the same show that while small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) in Ireland were among the least confident in the global economic recovery, there was a significant upturn in the first half of 2013. However, that confidence boost was mainly driven by a positive outlook from medium-sized and mid-market companies.
Liz Hughes, head of ACCA Ireland, said: "These results suggest that while recovery from the downturn has begun in Ireland, it is medium sized and mid-market companies leading the charge with smaller enterprises (less than 250 employees) still feeling the economic pressures, especially with regards to inflation, orders and access to capital. "However, even that confidence surge in the medium sized businesses comes with a note of caution. While many have confidence in the global recovery, the GECS analysis showed that those businesses were less confident when it came to their own business prospects. The underlying message seems to be that the outlook amongst SMEs in Ireland, while more positive, remains delicate."
The results are based on responses from 313 ACCA Ireland members responding to the Global Economic survey between Q4 2011 and Q2 2013, comprising: 84 small & micro companies; 52 medium sized companies; 41 mid-market and 136 large corporates.
Continuing Liz Hughes said: "On a global scale, there are clearly challenges faced by SMEs which are having less of an impact on the larger businesses. The key issues for smaller companies from the end of 2011 through to the end of the first half of this year, remain profit margin pressures, with rising costs and declining orders, securing prompt payment from customers and access to finance. There are clear differences between smaller firms and the large corporates in tackling the challenges of the global downturn and pursuing new opportunities. SMEs with fewer than 250 employees were less likely to make staff cutbacks or reduce investment in capital but at the same time they were also less likely to identify an opportunity compared to mid-sized companies and large corporates, which were more likely to instigate change by cutting back, exploring opportunities to lower costs, or developing into new markets."