In its annual Enterprise Survey, the ICAEW says the cost of implementing new legislation has risen from £6bn to £7bn in 12 months.
Most of this burden, 69%, is falling on micro businesses, the ICAEW claims.
Despite this, the survey found that the economic outlook for many was still rosy.
Almost nine in 10 of respondents planned business growth over the next two years, with a quarter of businesses intending to expand by more than 20%.
The annual survey of chartered accountants in business looks at a number of areas affecting industry including business growth, funding and finance provision and burdens on businesses.
Eric Anstee, Chief Executive of the ICAEW, said: ‘Government measures to improve access to finance, reduce skills shortages and improve the burden of red tape are falling short of their objectives.’
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