Two-thirds of SMEs still don’t have a business plan

Two-thirds of SMEs still don’t have a business plan

Latest SME Recovery Tracker by ACCA UK and the CFN shows worrying disparity between corporates and SMEs in fight against pandemic

Two-thirds of SMEs still don’t have a business plan

65 percent of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) still don’t have a business plan or financial forecasts in place, according to the Corporate Finance Network (CFN) and Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) UK’s joint SME Recovery Tracker.

That’s compared to 85 percent of accountants in the corporate sector who do. Claire Bennison, head of ACCA UK said in a statement that while this is to some extent to be expected, the numbers also show the need for SMEs to work with tech savvy accountants.

“In some ways, the different approaches to business planning between SMEs and corporates can be understood, but there are lessons to learn from each other here. Working with digitally adept accountants means SMEs will get the advice they need about how to balance the books, to stabilise their business models and plan ahead. However, sentiment shows that recovery appears to be unpredictable for SMEs – and this is alarming,” she said.

Kirsty McGregor, founder of the CFN added that with the technology available today, it was possible for SMEs to have similar levels of support as corporates with the help of accountants utilising cloud technology.

“The corporate world is recognising the importance of cashflow planning and this is something SMEs can also embrace nowadays with the cloud and digital tools which are available and make this far easier than in previous recessions,” she said in the statement.

“Couple this with professional advice from accountants, SMEs can work towards creating a more resilient business. We know this is a massive challenge, but help is out there and supporting the accountants in this work is the sole function of our joint campaign.”

The government has recently begun pushing for employees to return to office working, with an ad campaign beginning this week, the BBC reported. Yet despite the pressure from government, a third of SMEs are still concerned about opening their offices with social distancing requirements remain in place. However in the corporate sector, firms are much more relaxed with 47 percent “very confident” about the return to the office, according to the Recovery Tracker.

While many SMEs do not have a business or forecasting plan in place, the Tracker found that 70 percent of SMEs had taken advantage of the government’s tax deferral schemes, suggesting that accountants are helping small business to plan ahead.

 

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