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Posted by Bob Smith and Kevin Higgins on Tue, Mar 30, 2021 @ 04:38 PM
professional services survey new england

The coronavirus pandemic has continued to create unparalleled levels of uncertainty across the U.S. economy and business community. In response, we conducted a follow-up survey of some of the top professional services companies, alongside other private companies, in the Greater Boston area to determine how the impact of COVID-19 has shifted since June, and gauge how local leaders are currently responding to the pandemic.

Demographics of Respondents

In general, our survey respondents are CFOs, Partners, Controllers and other senior financial leaders in the Greater Boston area. The majority of our professional services respondents are located in Downtown Boston (50%) or Metro Boston/Central MA (38%). These respondents generally work at small to mid-sized companies, with 61% reporting they have between $5-100 million in revenue.

Key Insights

While the December responses confirmed that we are still in a state of flux, we found the results encouraging. 3 out of 4 respondents have a cautiously optimistic economic outlook for 2021, with only 25% responding that they have a negative overall feeling about the business economic outlook. In addition, 41% of respondents indicated their organizations have remained the same on the recovery spectrum, while 32% are in the “generating cash” stage of recovery and 23% are in the “aligning and transforming” stage. This this tells us that not all professional services companies in the region were affected equally by the pandemic going into 2021.

A big change from our June survey is the number of companies that improved liquidity through loans (50%), a decline of 24% from the June responses. This is likely due to the fact that PPP2 was finalized after our December survey. Another big change from our June survey is the number of companies that consolidated or closed business locations (14%), which is down 21% from the June responses.

While many are hesitant to start making plans for post-pandemic business strategies, one thing is clear: remote work is here to stay. 95% of respondents plan to allow more staff to continue to work remotely as things return closer to normal, which is 8% more than all industry responses in the region.

Full Survey Results

Business Impacts on New England Professional Services Companies


Click here for the full results of our follow-up survey, including comparisons to our June results when applicable.

If you have any questions about how we can help you navigate the changing legislation around COVID-19 or any other accounting or tax matters, you can find our contact information at the end of this video or you may contact us here

Looking for more COVID-19 resources? Visit our resource center for expertise on impacts to expect and how your business can respond.


Bob SmithRobert Smith, MST is the Professional Services Tax Leader in New England. He can be reached at or 617.761.0705.
Kevin HigginsKevin Higgins, CPA is the Professional Services Audit Leader in New England. He can be reached at or 401.626.3218.    

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Tags: private companies, private company, survey, COVID19, Coronavirus, Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act, ARP Act

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