ACCA - The global body for professional accountants

Global professional body sees greater role for accountants in simplifying compliance for small businesses

ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) today welcomes Business and Enterprise Minister Mark Prisk’s commitment to pursue a Better Regulators agenda focusing on closer collaboration between regulators, regulated parties, as well as their advisers and support networks.

Independent research for the National Audit Office (NAO) has consistently found that accountants are more commonly used by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as regulatory advisers than any other source of advice. In light of this, ACCA believes that aspects of the Better Regulators agenda such as ‘earned recognition’ have the potential to take advantage of the expertise of professional accountants in order to simplify compliance for smaller businesses and reassure business owners.

The global professional body first called for a ‘Better Regulators’ agenda in late 2009 at the urging of the ACCA SME Committee – an independent body comprised of SME representative bodies, professional accountants and business advisers, academics, finance providers and entrepreneurs to which ACCA acts as secretariat. ACCA repeated its calls in mid-2010 in its report, Coming of Age: What next for the UK’s regulatory reform agenda? 

Manos Schizas, senior policy adviser at ACCA, said: 'Successive governments have spoken of a ‘regulatory services industry’, and we’ve known all along that our members must be at its heart. If BIS can set out a compelling vision for regulatory services, it will give the Government’s Better Regulation agenda a significant boost.' 

ACCA also expressed its satisfaction at the Government’s renewed commitment to maintaining the independence of the Local Better Regulation agenda. ACCA noted, however, that without further detail on its governance it is impossible to know whether a body established within BIS will be able to assure this.