A good place to start our 2021 Year in Review is to have a look back at the predictions and observations we outlined in our 2020 Year in Review. So, how accurate were they?
The pandemic has ushered in a new model of working, with many businesses considering adopting more flexibility in the longer term. With a longer-term shift to hybrid working seemingly on the cards, having the right foundations for productive team working has never been more important. Recent survey data has acknowledged that there is a shift from employees wanting to work remotely at least half the time. One of the most cited barriers to hybrid working and the blended work approach of having staff and outsourced functions is the dip is productivity.
There is no doubt that SMEs are facing a changing market. If you are an SME owner or manager, you will know that the past couple of years have been full of new challenges, and several new measures will have had to be put in place to ensure business survival and success. But it is important to remember that opportunities can arise out of adversity.
Scotland, along with the rest of the world, is being challenged on its climate impact that we know must be addressed. Aberdeen, as a recognised energy hub and the entire north east of Scotland – indeed the whole nation – has a vital role to play in the green economy recovery as we aim to reach the ambitious target of net zero emissions for greenhouse gases by 2045.
If you type “What is the future of audit?” into Google (other search engines are available) there are a range of themes and opinions evident. One prediction is the break-up of the dominance held by the global audit firms leading to increased competitiveness. Another is the shifting of stakeholder expectations from the traditional mantra of auditors being “watchdogs and not bloodhounds” in the wake of numerous high-profile failures. There is also the concern that the audit process does not add value because it is too focused on the past.