A leading accountancy body has highlighted the “vital” role accountants can play in the different stages of development of small and medium-sized enterprises.
A report by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) says that small businesses with well-developed finance teams achieve faster, more sustainable growth for longer and are better able to attract finance for development.
Rosana Mirkovic, the ACCA’s head of SME policy, said: “There is considerable evidence which shows growth is much stronger amongst SMEs with a comprehensive finance function backing them up.
“The role of the accountant in an SME setting goes well beyond the basics of bookkeeping. Their role is vital at different stages of an SME’s development.
“Credit providers, supply chain partners and other stakeholders need a wealth of information from the finance team of an SME. For some investors, the information they require changes after investment to focus on other aspects of the business, such as agreed milestones. Finance professionals are central to providing that insight into the business at all stages.”
She added: “The role of finance professionals is widening and taking on a more business-focused nature, which is of particular importance for SMEs.
“From their infancy to their eventual growth into something larger and beyond, the role of their finance function changes and adapts to suit the needs of the business. The accountants who help a new start-up get off the ground will play a very different, but equally critical role when that business is in full, sustainable growth mode.
“Having a finance professional on board that can support the business from start to high growth and beyond is clearly important.”