Hugging is now permitted in England and Scotland

There was good and bad news as the UK took the latest steps on the road to fully re-opening the economy this week.

The good news is that many leisure and hospitality sectors opening up again, including pubs, cinemas, concert venues. In addition, indoor socialising, larger outdoor gatherings and even hugging is now permitted in England and Scotland. In England groups of up to six, or two households, can meet indoors, while groups of up to 30 can meet outside. So, it’s all systems go then? Well, almost.

The further good news is that this is happening as UK job vacancies have hit their highest level since the start of the pandemic.

The unemployment rate fell slightly to 4.8 per cent in the three months to March, down from 4.9 per cent in February, the Office for National Statistics said.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said there were “early signs of recovery” in the jobs market.

The bad news is that the Indian variant and other mutations could slow or even halt any further opening, but with the vaccines working their magic, that may well not be the case.

We must hope so, but all of this means another large chunk of the UK economy is waking up.

Covid permitting, it is slowly getting back to normal and catching up with basic accountancy, bookkeeping, payroll and other functions need to be performed as businesses awake from long hibernation.

All of this will lead to a further surge in demand for accountants dealing with pent-up demand from clients, the same as happened after the last lockdown relaxation at the end of March.

Many of these small operations opening again face the same headaches, dealing with the likes of payroll, corporation tax, VAT, furlough and other mundane, but crucial accounting tasks.

This in turn puts pressure on accounting firms, where dealing with clients on a one-to-one basis is crucial after months of relative inactivity.

This is where we can help with our comprehensive outsourcing service to manage temporary bottlenecks and free up staff for more specialised services and allow senior accountants to offer their specialist skills.

At GI, we assess your needs and recommend appropriate courses of action.

Contact our UK-based team of account managers today to find out how we can help your firm.

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