SMEs' travails should prick the ears of practices

by Kevin Reed

More from this author

27 Nov 2012

  • Comments

SO SMALL BUSINESSES are struggling. This is not a huge surprise.

The fact that they are struggling to deal with accessing finance, or understanding government-backed initiatives, according to two new surveys, merely backs up longstanding anecdotal evidence.

But what is interesting is that these reports are effectively a cry for help from the small business community. It made me think: are their advisors doing enough for them? Do they have advisors?

My discussion with practitioners lends me to think that, on the whole, firms are doing their bit to keep the lifeblood of UK business ‘oxygenated' – if you pardon the analogy.

Of course ‘doing their bit' is pretty vague, a generalism. There are no doubt hundreds of firms that are either lacking the energy or nous to provide proactive and value-added help to their client base, perhaps content to stick to compliance-led offerings. These firms are probably the same ones wondering why their margins have been squeezed.

What is clear from the surveys is that someone along the line is missing a trick. For go-getting practices, it is clear that there are great opportunities for them to pick clients that are either completely unhelped at the moment, or not getting the attention they deserve.

Some firms are going to come out of this recessionary period much, much stronger than others. Whether it's using technology as a tool to change working practices and processes, better marketing efforts to win new clients, running the rule over existing clients, or making hard decisions on who can deliver within the practice, there's still time to be one of the ‘stronger' firms.

Kevin Reed is the editor of Accountancy Age

Visitor comments

blog comments powered by Disqus
display:none

Add your comment

We won't publish your address


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms & Conditions

Your comment will be moderated before publication

Submit
  • Send
HM Revenue & Customs

Head Of Financial Control

HM Revenue & Customs, Telford, Full Time, Permanent/p>

 

Newsletters

Get the latest financial news sent directly to your inbox

  • Best Practice
  • Business
  • Daily Newsletter
  • Essentials

Careers

Search for jobs
Click to search our database of all the latest accountancy roles

Create a profile
Click to set up your profile and let the best recruiters find you

Jobs by email
Sign up to receive regular updates with the latest roles suitable for you

Briefings

budget-management

Why budgeting fails: One management system is not enough

If budgeting is to have any value at all, it needs a radical overhaul. In today's dynamic marketplace, budgeting can no longer serve as a company's only management system; it must integrate with and support dedicated strategy management systems, process improvement systems, and the like. In this paper, Professor Peter Horvath and Dr Ralf Sauter present what's wrong with the current approach to budgeting and how to fix it.

cchcover

iXBRL: Taking stock. Looking forward

In this white paper CCH provide checklists to help accountants and finance professionals both in practice and in business examine these issues and make plans. Also includes a case study of a large commercial organisation working through the first year of mandatory iXBRL filing.