ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) joins SMEunited, AccountancyEurope and EFAA in a joint call for action to ensure SMEs are able to access professional advice, helping them to identify the most appropriate COVID-19 recovery support options available, and make the best use of them as they work towards a swift recovery through the crisis.
The COVID-19 crisis continues to have a huge negative impact on hundreds of thousands of Small and Medium-Sized Entities (SMEs). The European Union (EU) and national governments are already addressing the issue, having set up strong support measures to assist companies including SMEs, but these support measures will only be effective if SMEs can access them easily and are able to use the funding in the most efficient ways.
There are several challenges to this:
Countries are also facing an unprecedented public financing challenge from COVID-19, and while the EU’s recovery package will make additional funding available for countries, this funding should be used in the most effective and transparent way.
Mike Suffield, Director of Professional Insights at ACCA says: ‘Experts from the accountancy profession and from SMP associations are the closest and trusted advisors for SMEs, and as such, they can play a vital role in supporting SME survival. With their strong financial expertise, they can help them navigate the various local, national and European support financing opportunities, access the relevant support options and prepare the necessary application documentation. And importantly, they can also support SMEs in the development of financial plans to ensure most effective use of the funding to make a swift recovery during the crisis’.
In their joint call for action, SMEunited, Accountancy Europe, the European Federation of Accountants and Auditors for SMEs (EFAA for SMEs) and ACCA recommends the following actions:
Aleksandra Zaronina-Kirillova , Head of SME Affairs at ACCA says: ‘Accountancy professionals and small and medium-sized practices(SMPs) have risen strongly to the challenge of COVID-19, supporting the SME sector heavily impacted by the crisis. They are often referred to as the “emergency services” for small business sector, working individually and collectively to keep thousands of small businesses afloat. In some cases, given the emergency of the situation, many accountants and SMPs have been providing the assistance to small businesses pro-bono, supporting their clients who had no income, but how sustainable is that given that practices are themselves part of the small business segment?’
‘Governments need to intervene and support the small business sector at this important phase, when businesses need to rethink the way they will be working in the new realms. Access to professional advice and respective funding to access this advice is crucial for sustainable recovery’, Aleksandra Zaronina-Kirillova concluded.
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