One in three FDs to cut down on external business advice.

A third of businesses questioned in this week’s Accountancy Age/Reed Accountancy personnel Big Question survey say they are set to cut expenditure on business advisers.

Some wrote off the postponement as ‘just the general trend at the moment’, but one FD said his company had been reviewing its spending plans in any case. Another highlighted the prospect of armed conflict as a factor in reviewing spending plans.

Some of those questioned saw the current climate of uncertainty as good for external advisers and consultants.

‘Whether (there) is an increase or decrease in business, then advisers will benefit. If the business were stable, there would not be a call for them. Companies will use advisers because they are scared of making their own decisions,’ commented one finance director.

One of the 9% of FDs who suggested his company would probably increase this type of expenditure said: ‘We are seeing a global slowdown of a different nature now. Before the recession there was high inflation and high interest rates. Now it is slightly different. With low inflation and low interest rates, people are getting nervous.’

Some 51% of FDs remained neutral, predicting no changes in their expenditure as they already have the relevant skills inhouse.

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