The funds, targeted at filling the so-called ‘funding gap’, have survived
Department of Trade and Industry consultations and EU regulation, and are
They have been a long time coming and one can only hope that during that time
high street accountants have been preparing to take advantage of the ECFs.
Lawyers and small boutiques will be eyeing the new funds, but if accountants are
informed they should be the main advisers to benefit, as they remain first point
of contact for small businesses.
There can be a perception that advisory work for sole practitioners is
limited to audit and tax work, but with the introduction of the ECFs these
accountants have the opportunity to extend their service offering.
The ECFs are so attractive for high street accountants because there will be
little or no competition from the larger accounting firms, who need to work on
much bigger deals to generate a decent return on the sums they pay their staff.
This leaves small accountants free to tap a new revenue stream.
The main focus of the ECF finance will be small business, but that shouldn’t
stop accountants from taking their slice of the action.
Nicholas Neveling is a reporter on Accountancy Age
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