The Consultative Committee of Accountancy
Bodies – Ireland (CCAB-I) and the Irish Banking Federation (IBF)
have launched a joint initiative to improve business lending and
kick-start economic recovery. 

The Business Plan Guide, developed by
Ireland’s four accountancy bodies, represented by CCAB-I, and IBF,
will assist Irish Small-and-Medium sized Entities (SME) in
developing their business plans as part of applications to banks
for credit.

The guide contains practical support for local
businesses to improve the quality and success of loan applications
and speed the lending decision process.

CCAB-I and IBF said the aim of the guide is to
“encourage the survival and growth of Irish SMEs by increasing the
chances of those businesses accessing capital, which has been one
of the major challenges throughout the recent economic

CCAB-I chairman and Chartered Accountants
Ireland president Austin Slattery said due to economic woes in
Ireland “small and medium sized indigenous businesses have suffered
more than most”.

“Availability of credit and access to capital
are crucial to the survival and development of business. Our own
members across business and practice tell us this is one of the
most challenging aspects of the current economic climate,” Slattery

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“Whilst the state and the banks have made a
certain amount of capital available, it is clear that more needs to
be done. Accountants need to play our part and provide leadership
in addressing this issue. There is now, more than ever, an
imperative for lenders to understand businesses and their

He added that the Business Plan Guide
provides an agreed upon “common language, framework and

“We have agreed what core information must be
included in business plans for small businesses. Both sides now
have clear expectations of what is required, which must improve the
quality and success of loan applications and speed the lending
decision process.”

CCAB-I comprises the four main accounting
bodies in Ireland – Chartered Accountants Ireland, the Association
of Chartered Certified Accountants, the Chartered Institute of
Management Accountants and the Institute of Certified Public