SBS pushed for automatic recognition

At the same time, accountants are set to play an important role in a new company rescue scheme launched by the SBS.

Michael Groom, the ICAEW president, told a recent general practitioners conference he was seeking to change the basis by which firms are recommended to small businesses by the SBS.

‘There was a lack of recognition of what we had to offer,’ Groom said.

The SBS is the government agency responsible for the network of Business Links which provide information, advice and access to experts on issues relating to running a small business.

‘We want to be automatically recognised as being capable in our skills areas,’ Groom added.

Currently firms have to apply to the SBS on an individual basis to become a recognised adviser.

The move could effectively outsource the accreditation process to the institute.

Separately the SBS this week launched a pilot scheme to help small businesses with short-term financial problems.

The scheme will give small businesses access to turnaround experts, or ‘company doctors’, who have been approved by the service.

A spokesperson for the SBS said accountants and insolvency practitioners would play a role in pulling together ‘bespoke rescue packages’.

Under the plan, which will be piloted in eight regions, advisers will put together rescue packages concentrating on long-term debt management through realistic assessments of businesses for creditors.

David Irwin, head of the SBS said: ‘I want to change the way the business community behaves towards small firms that experience a cash-flow crisis.’


SBS website

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