Covid-19 Pandemic: Organisations Face Increasing Operational Challenges – ACCA Report

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, a new survey conducted by Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, ACCA’s has revealed.

The latest report titled ACCA’s Covid-19 global survey ‘The Road to Recovery’ followed a 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.

Findings for Nigeria reveal organisations are focusing on the long-term return to strategic opportunities for the future beyond 6 months, as they look ahead post-pandemic

For Nigeria, the overall picture is one of a slow return to normal. In total 115 responses were received from an expert panel of finance professionals, with respondents asked a number of questions specific to their role or organisation sector and the results show:
57% say employee productivity is negatively affected, 56% of organisations are focusing on the long-term return to strategic opportunities for the future beyond 6 months, 45% say customers have stopped or reduced their purchases while 50% admit to cash flow problems.

Thomas Isibor, head of ACCA Nigeria says: ‘Our data for June reveals continued cash flow challenges, with half of respondents in the Nigeria 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 close to half of respondents citing purchases as completely stopped or reduced here in Nigeria. 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 Nigeria show:
87% have now adopted flexible working from home strategies, with 77% adopting staff rotas to accommodate social distancing requirements.
63% are reviewing organisation processes to identify efficiencies while 46% evaluating their social responsibility to the wider communities affected by the outbreak

The poll also asked respondents about the effectiveness of recent government schemes, with only 5% respondents from Nigeria rating the interventions undertaken by the government as effective. Challenges remain across many other countries.

Thomas Isibor 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.’

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