Powered by people and technology: the professional practice sector view

Our annual professional practices whitepaper looks to determine the mood among owner managed businesses (OMBs) operating within the sector. The reports tackles concerns, strategies and opportunities that face these businesses when pursuing growth.

This year we have found a slight drop in confidence among OMBs in the sector in achieving revenue and profit targets. Confidence in the general outlook has remained stable at 60%, despite a year of uncertainty. Nevertheless, 75% of professional practice OMBs feel more confident about meeting revenue and 72% are confident in meeting profit targets. This compares favourably against OMBs overall. 

The strength of the UK economy continues to be a significant concern for professional practice OMBs in 2018: 82% say that this is a concern, a figure which is higher than the 78% of all other OMBs. When asked about business concerns, over a third (39%) of professional practice OMBs are concerned about the impact of Brexit negotiations on business (in line with the overall result of 51%). We consider the impact of Brexit, alongside the full findings of the survey. In addition to Brexit, professional practice OMBs have concerns around profit extraction (33%), the threat of cyber-attack or a data breach (33%) and keeping pace with new technologies (31%).

An area that our whitepaper explores is that of innovation, and the impact that technology will have on all professional practices, be that the accountancy, architecture, consulting or legal sectors. Encouragingly, a resounding majority of professional practice OMBs view the rise of technology as an opportunity to their businesses (73%), with just 19% viewing technology as a threat. 

Professional practices can, and have, in past economic slumps weather the storm – so it’s encouraging that OMBs in the sector are investing in technology and their people to continue to deliver value to clients and customers. 

Download the full report here.

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