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:

November 2021

M&A Outlook II - The AGN Global Survey of M&A activity: The Foothills of Future Change?


AGN Global Business Voice:

This latest edition of the AGN Global Business Voice survey follows M&A Outlook I, (The Calm Before The Storm), conducted in early 2021 – which gave us a snapshot of how AGN members’ corporate finance activity had been impacted by the global pandemic. Volumes and values were down – but perhaps not as much as one might have expected, and it was clear that there was concern about future levels of distressed sales due to an anticipated downturn in economic fortunes.

Just over half a year later, we now look again into this fascinating area. It would appear that many economies have bounced back with greater energy than might have, at one point, been expected. Regardless, some economies are now burdened with huge public debt, and as pundits are pointing out, “someone will have to pay”, and the question for us is how will that affect global M&A business?

Access the publication to discover the high-level, opinion-based picture from our international panel of business advisory accountants. What is happening in their region or country?

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November 2021

Business Alert: Key Account Management


AGN Global Business Voice: Business Alert

Many trends have accelerated off the back of the pandemic. In particular, we talk about technology and our human capital within the business. But what about our customers? How have future needs and desires evolved, and what are we doing to find out about it?

According to Bain & Co research, a 5% increase in customer retention rates increases account profitability between 25% and 95%. Imagine the impact if you can apply this effect to your biggest, best, and most lucrative clients – or more especially to those existing clients that have the potential to become the biggest, best and most lucrative.

This GBV highlights some of the challenging paradigms which can be barriers to getting KAM off the ground.

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October 2021

Business Alert: Canada - A Hotbed of Opportunity


AGN Global Business Voice: Business Alert

With a mightily impressive tech sector, a global oil reach and a stable political environment, Canada is a hotbed of opportunity for foreign businesses, but with caveats. Furthermore, many companies across all industries, including banking, airlines, transit and more, have announced mandatory Covid vaccination policies for their employees and clients. As of writing this, Canada's population has the highest fully vaccinated rate in the world!

This GBV alert digs a little deeper into the schemes and incentives attracting many international businesses set on accessing the larger North American markets.

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September 2021

Making Sense of Cryptocurrencies: Part #5


AGN Global Business Voice: Business Alert

Welcome to the final part of this GBV series seeking to demystify the world of the cryptocurrency – valuable fiscal tool or fantasy investment vehicle with no intrinsic value?  Since we conceived of this series a few months back, the market value of Bitcoin, the leading cryptocurrency had hit the heights of U$60,000 per coin, then halved to just over U$30,000 and is now gradually rising again –approaching the U$46,000 mark on 9 August 2021. Volatility is the hallmark of cryptocurrencies.

In this article we explore some of the views of the professionals within our own member firms.  It turns out that cryptocurrency experts are a pretty rare beast – although we suspect this is more to do with a reluctance to step into the spotlight on the topic rather than depth of capability.

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August 2021

Business Alert: Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) - Good Business, Or a Matter Of Survival?


AGN Global Business Voice: Business Alert

What is a diversity & inclusion (D&I) policy and why is it good business? How do you set yourself up for success? What are some practical takeaways to action now?

A firm’s D&I policy is broader than pursuing equity by gender or ethnicity; it can also tackle sexual orientation, class, age, religious preference and physical or mental disability. A diverse workforce breeds creativity and innovation, useful for both client service and running your own board room! Businesses that don’t operate diverse and inclusive workplaces see higher turnover rates as there’s a greater risk of a more hostile work environment developing. A McKinsey report found that the companies that performed worst on diversity were almost 30% more likely to underperform on profitability.

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July 2021

Making Sense of Cryptocurrencies: Part #4


AGN Global Business Voice: Business Alert

Bitcoin was originally intended as a commercial tradable currency that everyone could use day-to-day; however, as we’ve discovered in previous editions, there is a way to go to achieve that vision - mainly due to price volatility. Almost by default, they’ve become a vehicle for capital appreciation, with a total market value approaching US$[1.5]tn - the equivalent to the GDP of Australia or Spain.

But are cryptocurrencies a valuable, credible investment? In the 4th edition of our 'Making Sense of Cryptocurrency' series, we explore the arguments in favour and against and ask if regulatory changes are beginning to cramp the style of this maverick money.

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June 2021

Making Sense of Cryptocurrencies: Part #3


AGN Global Business Voice: Business Alert

In this edition, we continue to explore the real-life practicalities of cryptocurrency ownership – buying, storing and spending. Last time we looked at the rollercoaster changes in cryptocurrency prices, and now we consider safety, security and daily practicality.

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June 2021

Mexico - An Open Door To Foreign Investment


AGN Global Business Voice: Business Alert

With an open environment to foreign participation, a range of tax and other incentives are available in aerospace, food processing, renewable energy, pharmaceuticals and electronics. But the most significant incentive for foreign companies to do business in Mexico is the IMMEX Maquiladora (factories) initiative.

The programme allows foreign manufacturers to import raw materials and components into Mexico, tax and duty-free, under the condition that 100% of all finished goods will be exported out of Mexico within a government-mandated timeframe.

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June 2021

Making Sense of Cryptocurrencies: Part #2


AGN Global Business Voice: Business Alert

In the first edition of the series, we looked briefly at the latest developments, considered mining and uncovered the environmental concerns. In this second edition, we talk about practicalities; what’s the likely impact of the authorities and regulation, and which cryptocurrency should you choose.

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May 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 the last edition in its series, results show that business confidence continues its upward trend with +27% in March and now a +59% in May - that s the first time we have seen two consecutive periods of increasingly positive business confidence. Business confidence for the coming month also rose to 47%. March and May data showed a distinct pickup from the previous more pessimistic trend.

Click here for May results