Organisations face increasing operational challenges as a result of the domino effect of Covid-19. Irrespective of size, sector or country the economic and social impact of the pandemic has expanded, and challenges are growing for business and the accountancy profession, reveals ACCA’s Covid-19 global survey ‘The Road to Recovery’.
Following March 2020’s original report, three months on the picture now crystalises many key issues that need to be addressed by policymakers and governments. ACCA is calling on governments worldwide to review economic rescue packages and enable a return to sustainable growth.
For Pakistan, the overall picture is one of a slow return to normal. The survey asked respondents in Pakistan a number of questions specific to their role or organisation sector and the results show:
· 55% say employee productivity is negatively affected
· 48% of organisations are focusing on the long-term return to strategic opportunities for the future beyond 6 months
· 52% say customers have stopped or reduced their purchases
· 71% admit to cash flow problems.
Sajjeed Aslam, head of ACCA Pakistan says: ‘Our data for June reveals continued cash flow challenges, with half of respondents in the Pakistan saying this is a problem. Since the March research, the new data reveals greater concerns over financing and debt issues, and given the global economic climate, it means these will be difficult matters to resolve.
‘The key issue at the centre of these issues is a collapse in customer demand for many organisations, with more than half of respondents citing purchases as completely stopped or reduced here in Pakistan. It’s a domino effect, with both product launches and investment plans being deferred, further compounded by supply chain challenges and issues with customer order fulfillment.’
Other results for the Pakistan show:
· 72% have now adopted flexible working from home strategies, with 42% adopting staff rotas to accommodate social distancing requirements.
· 47% are implementing an operating cost reduction strategy
· 40% are reviewing organisation processes to identify efficiencies
· 27% evaluating their social responsibility to the wider communities affected by the outbreak
The poll also asked respondents about the effectiveness of recent government schemes, and found less than a quarter of respondents from Pakistan rating the economic stimulus package as effective. Challenges remain across many other countries.
Sajjeed Aslam concludes: ‘The pandemic has had a profound effect that will resonate well beyond 2020. But it is good to see respondents planning ahead, thinking of the longer term while managing the present, and also thinking of the bigger picture about their responsibilities to the wider community that’s also been impacted by Covid-19.’
Jamie Lyon, the report author and head of business management at ACCA, explains the ACCA’s roadmap to recovery advice detailed in the report: ‘Through our “roadmap to recovery”, we’re recommending that organisations follow the “three As” – Act and respond sustainably to the immediate crisis in the short term; Analyse the different information sources to start to build the path to recovery in the medium term and Anticipate how strategies need to evolve over the longer term.’
ACCA’s roadmap to recovery is available here. This June survey of over 4,500 ACCA members follows the publications of ACCA’s report COVID-19 Global Survey: Inside Business Impacts and Responses in April 2020, and continues to track ACCA sentiment around the world on the impact of COVID-19 and examines how organisations are responding.