ACCA - The global body for professional accountants

Research Reports

SMEs and foreign exchange risk
This report explores the role of accountancy practitioners in managing the foreign exchange exposures of SME clients, and what the accountancy profession could do to improve its offering to small businesses. It reports the findings of a survey of SMPs developed by ACCA and the Edinburgh Group, along with insights from Kantox Peer FX.

Edinburgh Group report
The report captures the key findings of new research among small and medium-sized accountancy practitioners (SMPs) around the world. The Edinburgh Group, a coalition of 14 accountancy bodies and a champion of SMEs and SMPs, commissioned the survey on which it is based. The report investigates the extent to which SMPs’ clients (typically SMEs) are currently undertaking international activities, the challenges they encounter in doing so, and the kind of support available to them. 

Environmental aspects of sustainability: SMEs and the role of the accountant
This report describes the potential for further widening SMP advice provision to include the topic of environmental sustainability. Sustainability and CSR have been identified as emergent key issues for the accountancy profession, alongside the importance of addressing SME needs.

In search of innovative solutions: report of the discussions from the FEE roundtable series 'access to finance for SMEs'
FEE SMP Task Force, May 2012. This document reflects the outcome of debates held in expert roundtables organised by FEE, the Federation of European Accountants.

SMEs and their advisers: measuring trust and confidence
Using a sample of 1,777 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in six countries, this paper develops a new means of measuring the trust SME owner/managers place in business advisers, including accountants. It discusses the implications on the demand for value-added advisory services and publicly-funded business support.

Getting paid: lessons for, and from, SMEs
This report brings together the experiences of business owners and managers as well as credit and finance professionals in businesses large and small, from the supplier's as well as the buyer's side. It finds that there is only so much government can do to protect small firms from abusive credit terms and late payment, but also a great deal that businesses can do for themselves. Published as part of ACCA's contribution to the UK Government's Finance Fitness Campaign.

A digital agenda for European SMEs
This report summarises the views of ACCA's European members who work in the SME sector and from this and other available evidence, presents a series of targed recommendations aimed at increasing the demand and uptake of the digital solutions by European small firms in the areas of cloud computing, e-invoicing, social lending and e-commerce. The report finds some important gaps in awareness and confidence levels among the SME sector, and calls on the European Commission, member state governments and the IT industry to actively engage with the advisory community if a critical mass of SMEs is going to be reached.

Practical resources

Get paid! A guide for owners and managers of small businesses
As part of the government's 'Get Paid' campaign, this 'quick guide' to avoiding or managing late payment, summarises the tips outlined in ACCA's 2012 report by Boden and Paul.

Managing cash flow guides
Experienced practitioners know that late payment and poor cashflow are leading causes of small business failure even in the best of times. During the economic downturn of 2008/9, ACCA teamed up with the Institute of Credit Management to promote ten quick and user friendly guides to optimising cashflow for small businesses. The guides can be helpful to small business clients as a quick reference and to practitioners as a trigger for more in-depth discussions on cashflow and related services.

UK 'how to....' Guides


These guides are designed to be passed to clients and keep them informed on key issues. You are encouraged to download these guides for your own information and, when required, share with colleagues. A space on the backpage allows you to add your contact details.

Download guides.

UK Podcasts


Growth and exports

Knowing your clients business

Managing ongoing relationships

Sell yourself - sell your business

Protect your price

External resources


IFAC SMP Committee


Last updated: 23 Sep 2013