Accountants to give free advice to small businesses under new scheme | ACCA Global
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Anyone can call themselves an accountant, so to guard against that the government has ensured that advice under the initiative comes from a professionally qualified accountant, such as a member of ACCA. What this means is that small businesses will feel safe in the knowledge that the accountant giving them business advice has passed a rigorous set of professional exams, has already attained experience as a practising accountant, is bound by a code of ethics and conduct, and is regulated by a professional body. They will also have professional indemnity insurance to guard against risk
—Glenn Collins, head of technical advisory, ACCA UK

Small businesses could get up to £2,000 under government initiative

The UK’s smallest businesses could get up to £2,000 to spend on professional business advice from an ACCA Accountant (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants), under a government initiative delivered by small business network Enterprise Nation. 

The Growth Voucher project, which is being jointly run with the Department of Business Innovation and Skills (BIS), the Cabinet Office and other organisations, will see up to 15,000 small businesses receive a maximum contribution of £2,000 from the government in order to seek advice and professional support across five key areas: sales and marketing; management and leadership; access to finance; employment relations; and making the most of digital technologies. 

Glenn Collins, head of technical advisory at ACCA UK, said: 'This initiative is aimed at businesses with less than 50 employees. Rather than simply throw money at them, the Growth Voucher project links funds to valuable advice from professionally qualified accountants that small businesses need as they look to grow, whether that be through accessing finance, exploiting the assets within the small business or through looking to export to new markets. 

'ACCA has been working with BIS since the inception of the scheme and is one of the founding professional bodies populating a Growth Vouchers marketplace where the business receiving a voucher will be helped to find advisers with whom they can spend the voucher.'

True professionals

The Growth Voucher scheme has built in safeguards to ensure the advice and support small enterprises gain from the project comes from professionally qualified accountants. 

Glenn Collins explains: 'Anyone can call themselves an accountant, so to guard against that the government has ensured that advice under the initiative comes from a professionally qualified accountant, such as a member of ACCA. What this means is that small businesses will feel safe in the knowledge that the accountant giving them business advice has passed a rigorous set of professional exams, has already attained experience as a practising accountant, is bound by a code of ethics and conduct, and is regulated by a professional body. They will also have professional indemnity insurance to guard against risk. 

'This means a small business’ trusted business advisor under the scheme will meet the highest global standards. There is a misconception that accountants simply handle the books within a business. However, they also provide services covering both legal and planning elements to help a business such as tax compliance and planning advice, recordkeeping and reporting, forecasting and looking for the right type and mix of finance, and employment and payroll support.

'Under the Growth Voucher scheme, businesses that qualify for it will have access to this kind of support.'

Find out more about the Growth Vouchers project and how to apply for it; plus general information about how ACCA accountants support businesses, via the 'Related Links' section, left of this article.

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For more information, please contact 

Steve Rudaini, ACCA Newsroom
+44 (0) 207 059 5622
+44 (0) 7801 133985
steve.rudaini@accaglobal.com  

Notes to Editors

  1. ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is the global body for professional accountants. We aim to offer business-relevant, first-choice qualifications to people of application, ability and ambition around the world who seek a rewarding career in accountancy, finance and management. 
  2. We support our 162,000 members and 428,000 students in 173 countries, helping them to develop successful careers in accounting and business, with the skills required by employers. We work through a network of over 89 offices and centres and more than 8,500 Approved Employers worldwide, who provide high standards of employee learning and development. Through our public interest remit, we promote appropriate regulation of accounting and conduct relevant research to ensure accountancy continues to grow in reputation and influence. 
  3. Founded in 1904, ACCA has consistently held unique core values: opportunity, diversity, innovation, integrity and accountability. We believe that accountants bring value to economies in all stages of development and seek to develop capacity in the profession and encourage the adoption of global standards. Our values are aligned to the needs of employers in all sectors and we ensure that through our qualifications, we prepare accountants for business. We seek to open up the profession to people of all backgrounds and remove artificial barriers, innovating our qualifications and delivery to meet the diverse needs of trainee professionals and their employers.