Business – Help sought for ‘dead duck’ IT scheme

The ambitious Adviser Skills Initiative – an industry-wideountants for the pilot year of its scheme to improve IT advice for small companies. This follows criticism from software trade associations and the profession that the scheme was a ‘dead duck’, writes Nick Huber. accreditation scheme for business advisers offering IT advice to small and medium-sized businesses – is backed by heavyweights like Microsoft, CIMA and the English ICA. It will be open to all business advisers.

Accountancy practices have been keen to target SMEs with IT consultancy, and the new scheme could offer an industry standard.

One management accountant involved in the initiative warned it involved too much paperwork and dismissed it as a ‘dead duck’. He said the government’s Business Links networks, which advise small business, could snatch consultancy work from accountants through the scheme.

But Paul Abbott, an agency manager at the Institute of Management which runs the accreditation scheme, said it would mean more contracts for accountants and called for the profession to play a central role in its pilot year.

‘We’re looking to get around 500 people in the pilot scheme and want a quarter of this group to be from the accountancy profession,’ he said.

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