Access to finance is one of the most important issues facing business today. It underpins business and economic growth.
While regulators are still tinkering away at a better set of rules to safeguard the global financial system, banks are trying to rebuild confidence in their balance sheets and investors around the world are counting their gains and (more likely) losses.
All the while, the real economy is making a sluggish recovery. For the entrepreneur or local government providing physical infrastructure, access to finance could once again become a tangible barrier to getting things done.
Financial information is at the heart of sustainable access to finance and the accounting profession is uniquely trusted to produce, interpret and verify the quality of such information. ACCA champions global standards that help drive confidence in information, making it easier and cheaper for organisations to access the finance they need.
The profession also plays a decisive role in assessing and measuring risk; designing and implementing organisational controls; and helping inform valuations for tangible and intangible business assets.
For accountants acting as trusted business advisors, understanding and devising routes to access finance is at the core of their work. Whether it's the day-to-day tasks of keeping the books and ensuring the business is on top of cash flow; or helping businesses plan for their future financing needs; or coaching them to become more creditworthy or investable, the accountant's role is vital.