Advice – Peace plan for Business Link

Relations between the Business Links network of advisers and the accountancy profession could improve over the next few weeks, after the intervention of the Department of Trade and Industry.

The DTI recently met working party members from the English ICA and ACCA to discuss progress on a best-practice agreement put forward by the accountancy bodies.

Business Links has appointed David Tutleby as a new external relations manager for the network to liaise with the profession at a national level and ensure local co-operation schemes move forward.

Chris Lewis, head of the institute?s business group, said the meeting ?was the most positive we?ve had with the DTI?.

He added: ?The important thing is that the DTI understands accountants are the first port of call for small businesses when they have a problem. David Tutleby will be the link man to push forward plans for accountants and Business Links to engage more closely.?

According to Richard Longley, another institute representative on the joint working party, some suspicions remain. As its founding grants dried up, Business Links had to generate more revenue, he explained.

?The main issue for the accountancy profession is that the network should not try to reproduce the service accountants already provide,? said Longley. In tandem with ACCA, he looked forward to tangible progress in the next few weeks.

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