Business environment

Annual report 2022

Read our assessment of the current business environment and find out what motivates BDO.


Fears of inflation, a falling euro exchange rate, war in Ukraine, looming electricity shortages, uncertainty surrounding the Covid pandemic and ongoing digitalisation: the economy has been facing enormous challenges for a number of years. BDO’s 2022 financial year was also dominated by tough economic conditions.


Geopolitical impact

Following several crisis-plagued years, 2022 was expected to be a period of continued economic recovery. However, there remained a considerable degree of uncertainty as to how the pandemic would develop, which dampened economic growth, especially in the first quarter. Shortly after the Federal Council lifted the pandemic-related measures, Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine began. This also had an indirect impact on Switzerland's economic position. Supply bottlenecks and price hikes curbed economic recovery in Switzerland and presented companies with major challenges.

Economic sanctions were imposed on Russia by the US, the EU and, subsequently, by Switzerland, too. BDO also responded to these events and, in line with our strict compliance policy and corporate ethics, we reviewed our business relationships and discontinued them if necessary. In spring, the BDO network also excluded the two national firms in Russia and Belarus from the international network.


Electricity and skills shortages

The fraught energy situation with its risk of power shortages also burdened business development from the third quarter onwards. Many companies were faced with soaring electricity prices. Fortunately, the anticipated power shortage did not materialise. This helped to prevent the expected recession, although growth did not match the level of the previous year.

There is still an above-average shortage of skilled labour. Companies - including BDO - are struggling to find qualified workers:

"We have launched various initiatives to counteract the shortage of skilled workers and to improve BDO's position in the market as an attractive employer."


Confidence in uncertain times

Despite the factors discussed above, Switzerland has emerged relatively unscathed from the uncertain political and economic climate. Many economic players had to adapt their strategies and adjust to the changed circumstances. Thanks to our know-how, we were able to support our clients in this process and jointly develop solutions. Crisis hotspots were also used as an opportunity to scrutinise existing structures, reassess supply chains and reposition the company if necessary.

Harry Affolter

Harry Affolter

Head of Office of Solothurn, Member of the Executive Committee and Chairman of the Board of Directors, Solothurn - Partner