Global Business Voice

AGN global survey on topical business and commmercial issues impacting the SME

The AGN Global Business Voice (GBV) is quick-fire poll presented to senior and respected business advisors from some 40 independent accountancy and financial advisory firms based in the major commercial centres across the world.

Our 'opinion leaders' are a powerful proxy for gauging the views of small to medium sized businesses (SMEs) on emerging issues that are impacting the global business agenda right now. 

Are you an AGN member and want to become an opinion leader? Submit this form now. For queries, please contact Chris White

Published surveys:

May 2021

Making Sense of Cryptocurrencies: Part #1


AGN Global Business Voice: Business Alert

What do you say when your client asks you about cryptocurrencies? In this short series of Global Business Voice (GBV) Business Alerts, we explore the unfolding phenomenon of cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin chief amongst them. We are aiming to demystify the topic and put things in layman's terms. In this GBV we unpack Bitcoin mining and why being bad for the planet might burst the bubble.

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May 2021

Big Opportunities for Direct Investment in Australia


AGN Global Business Voice: Business Alert

There are huge opportunities for AGN technology clients in Australia. The Australian economy (measured through Gross Domestic Product or GDP) was down 1.1% to 136 Billion, which is remarkable given the problems associated with the Covid-19 pandemic.

Growth is still taking place in traditional sectors such as financial services, agribusiness, life sciences, resources and energy. The Australian government warmly welcomes foreign investment in six critical areas. Find out what the six areas are, the incentives offered by the Australian Government and strategise.

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May 2021

Global M&A Activity - The calm before the storm?


AGN Global Business Voice:
In this edition of the AGN Global Business Voice, the survey reveals the headline levels of M&A activity within our pandemic hit economies across the globe. Some of us have read reports that activity is up in some regions, other reports suggest there are some “bargain” businesses available for cash-rich buyers. Well, we have once again called on our global panel of business advisory accountants, spread around the world, to give us a very high-level global picture based on their opinion about what’s actually happening “on the ground”. 

The most striking thing about this research into M&A trends during the pandemic is the sense of an underlying and latent crisis. On the one hand, most economies are suffering the worst situation they’ve seen since the second world war, but on the other, we have only modest increases in distressed sales and business sales values remain steady. What is going on?

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March 2021

Member Survey: Recovering from Covid-19


The AGN Covid Business Recovery Index is a survey based on our member's opinions about how Covid-19 has impacted their country's economy and how fast it might recover. Each month four key data points will be published to indicate the current levels of business sentiment amongst our members. These will relate to ‘Business Confidence’ over the last 30 days and the coming 30 days, and ‘Recovery Expectation’ - Members views on how quickly things will revert to pre-covid levels of business activity.

In this edition, business confidence gets a boost as vaccines deployment gathers pace. The data shows a significant increase with the highest levels since June 2020. Is the return to normality getting closer in range?

Click here for March results
 
January 2021

Member Survey: Recovering from Covid-19


The AGN Covid Business Recovery Index is a survey based on our member's opinions about how Covid-19 has impacted their country's economy and how fast it might recover. Each month four key data points will be published to indicate the current levels of business sentiment amongst our members. These will relate to ‘Business Confidence’ over the last 30 days and the coming 30 days, and ‘Recovery Expectation’ - Members views on how quickly things will revert to pre-covid levels of business activity.

Business confidence has plummeted from +11% to -16% in just two months – now below the levels seen in October 2020! However, the view for the month ahead remains largely positive, and there has been only a small decrease in AGN members who envisage an improvement in business performance in the next
90 days. But strikingly, far fewer members (almost half of last times result) are expecting economies to return to pre-covid levels within 12 months.

Click here for January results
 
January 2021

Is the UK Still an Attractive Gateway to Europe?


Impacts of the Post EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (“TCA”).

Since 11 pm (GMT) on 31 December 2020, it would seem that everything has changed and nothing has changed. Is the UK a more or less attractive place to do business? Take the long-term stalwart of the UK, the US and the 'special relationship'…

In the US the TCA struck on Christmas Eve was broadly welcomed. It removed a major potential source of friction between Boris Johnson's government and the incoming Biden administration. But has Brexit reduced the value of the UK's relationship with the US as it is no longer in the corridors of power in Brussels, influencing EU decisions? And is Britain still the ideal access point for businesses seeking a platform from which to launch their European ventures?

Link to the article
 
September 2020

Member Survey: Recovering from Covid-19


The AGN Covid Business Recovery Index is a survey based on our member's opinions about how Covid-19 has impacted their country's economy and how fast it might recover. Each month four key data points will be published to indicate the current levels of business sentiment amongst our members. These will relate to ‘Business Confidence’ over the last 30 days and the coming 30 days, and ‘Recovery Expectation’ - Members views on how quickly things will revert to pre-covid levels of business activity.

August results show that while overall business confidence has levelled out a little, it is still relatively optimistic. We also report a significant jump in members who predict a return to pre-covid levels of economic activity within 12 months from now (18 months from the start of the Covid crisis). Many countries are experiencing a second wave of Covid 19, and the real test of how sustainable members “cautious optimism” is, will be revealed in the next issue of the index.

Click here for August results
 
November 2020

Member Survey: Recovering from Covid-19


The AGN Covid Business Recovery Index is a survey based on our member's opinions about how Covid-19 has impacted their country's economy and how fast it might recover. Each month four key data points will be published to indicate the current levels of business sentiment amongst our members. These will relate to ‘Business Confidence’ over the last 30 days and the coming 30 days, and ‘Recovery Expectation’ - Members views on how quickly things will revert to pre-covid levels of business activity.

Overall, the main message is a short term decline in confidence but a much more modest adjustment to long term expectations. Recent news of progress in the development of a vaccine is, of course, encouraging, and financial markets have bounced, even though substantial public health benefit is likely a number of months away at best. Our index shows us that 80% of our respondents were already expecting business performance improvements within the next 12 months - it will be interesting to see whether our next survey shows a reduction in the 48% of respondents believing that we will not see pre-Covid levels of business performance within the next two year.

Click here for October results
 
July 2020

The Increased Business Risks Posed by Social Media as COVID-19 Forces Remote Working


AGN Global Business Voice:
In this edition of the AGN Global Business Voice, we take a look at how SMEs deal with their social media activities – through the lens of our panel of 46 business advisers/firms across the world.

Last year it was estimated that 3.4 billion people were social media users - that’s 9% up on 2018 and a staggering 45% of the world’s population. In March this year, i.e. peak pandemic, Facebook announced a 50% increase in messaging on its platform in the countries most affected by COVID-19. Between February and March, Instagram recorded 4.4m new users. For
some time, people have become concerned about whether the benefits of the social media phenomenon outweigh the social problems it creates. But, whatever you feel about social media, if you run a business, the statistics tell you it shouldn’t be ignored.

There is increasing scepticism about the commercial uses of social media with some suggesting that the ‘must-have’ digital targeting platforms are less of a laudable gift to SME business than was once thought. There is even the suggestion that Facebook has created a whole generation of ‘bad customers’ – lazy, disloyal, expensive, elusive...and fickle.

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July 2020

Member Survey: Recovering from Covid-19


The AGN Covid Business Recovery Index is a survey based on our member's opinions about how Covid-19 has impacted their country's economy and how fast it might recover. Each month four key data points will be published to indicate the current levels of business sentiment amongst our members. These will relate to ‘Business Confidence’ over the last 30 days and the coming 30 days, and ‘Recovery Expectation’ - Members views on how quickly things will revert to pre-covid levels of business activity.

In the second edition, results show a marked confidence improvement in the last 30 days, but opinions on the future remain cautious at best.

Click here for June results