By Isabella Colletta

The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) has launched its Small and Medium Practices (SMP) report coinciding with Small Business Advice week. The “Responsible SMP Pacesetters” report surveyed almost 50 global SMP leaders to evaluate the importance of SMPs and how they have helped businesses amongst the uncertainty caused by the pandemic.

The report outlines how SMP’s have guided SME’s through the difficulties caused by Covid-19, such as highlighting the support available to firms and articulating clients requirements to a diverse range of stakeholders. The report also evaluates areas in which SMP’s contribute to the wider community, particularly areas such as supporting the charity and NGO sector, as well as encouraging sustainability and ethics.

Owner of Northumberland design agency 247 Graphics, Mark Fairley, recalled in the report how working with SMP Graeme Tennick Accountants (GTA) advanced his small company during the pandemic. He said: “GTA’s support has been delivered by a variety of different methods including reactive newsletters, which keep business owners up to date on the current changes, webinars with the added benefit of trial software to help understand how we can change to grow and what impact it would have on our business. This has been immensely beneficial and a kind gesture to help small businesses like myself.”

Report author and ACCA’s head of SME professional insights, Aleksandra Zaronina-Kirillova, commented on the diverse contributions of SMP’s that the report outlines, saying: “SMPs are a key part of the financial health system for the SME sector. They have proven to be the ‘emergency services’ to small businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic; providing enhanced business support and access to finance, enabling SMEs to make a contribution to overall economic growth. 

“However, they also have a much broader and impressive role in society, which often remains untold, so we wanted to shine a light on these aspects by publishing this report. ACCA is a proud advocate of the SMP space and we aim to develop a robust global ACCA-SMP community.”