New accreditation for accountants who advise on IT

Patricia Hewitt, e-minister and minister for small firms launched the ‘Technology Means Business,’ system last week, in a bid to introduce an industry standard for IT advisers including accountants.

The scheme has launched after a 12-month pilot scheme and a number of DTI reports, which found a lack of uptake of new technology in the SME sector compared to European and Far Eastern countries.

Hewitt said small businesses were coming under increasing pressure to join the e-commerce revolution but are confused about what steps to take.

She added: ‘Small and medium sized businesses are the lifeblood of the UK’s economy. It is vital, therefore, that they receive the very best advice on harnessing information and communications technologies within their business.’

Part of the initiative will include a virtual community for small business advisers to share best practice for all accredited advisers.

The scheme – a public-private partnership between the DTI sponsors including BT and Microsoft – will be run by the Institute of Management.

It will operate through a number of centres in the UK, through individual company’s own channels and interactive websites and extranets.

There will be fifty accredited advisers by the end of the month, with nearly 500 registered. The aim is to have 1000 advisers engaged by the end of the first full year.

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