ACCA: Accountants can bridge the ‘advice gap’ on funding and capital arrangements for SMEs

ACCA: Accountants can bridge the ‘advice gap’ on funding and capital arrangements for SMEs

As UK SMEs continue to tackle the effects of the pandemic, The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and the capital advisory platform are working together to help bridge the advice gap ensuring firms choose the right options for funding and capital loans.

Both ACCA and believe that having a deeper understanding of the usually complex funding market enables accountants to support their clients further and strengthens relationships with their SMEs.

To help ACCA UK members act in their role as trusted advisers to SMEs, is offering access to their Continuous Professional Development (CPD) certified Learn courses. These will help accountants deepen their knowledge and confidence around funding, whilst also giving accountants important insight into how lenders and banks work.

Paul Surtees, CEO and co-founder of Capitalise, said: “Having collaborated on the #LeaveNoBusinessBehind campaign, Capitalise is thrilled to be working once again with ACCA by providing education materials for the benefit of ACCA members. With further restrictions upon the economy, SMEs will continue to need our collective support through the quarters ahead. Business owners will need further capital, these tools are designed to help you in those conversations.”

Glenn Collins, head of technical advisory at ACCA UK, added: “Obtaining finance now and in the future is a vital step towards business recovery. We’ve worked with our partner Capitalise to provide ACCA members with access to Capitalise’s CPD certified Learn courses, which will deepen knowledge around finance options, while also providing important insights into how lenders and banks work, putting professional accountants in the best position to support clients at this difficult time.”

Since the pandemic broke in the UK, SMEs have needed more help than ever accessing capital to support them through unprecedented times. And with more remote banking of SMEs, an advice gap for SMEs has formed at the point when they need it the most.

At the same time for many businesses, and far from being the full solution, CBILS and BBLS are the stopgaps. Whilst 1.2million SMEs have taken a bounceback loan, the average loan facility of £30,000 - less than a single director’s salary - is not a significant capital cushion for a prolonged economic recession that is further limited by pandemic related restrictions. ACCA UK and think that additional working capital will be needed if UK SMEs are to once again be the backbone of the UK economy.

Mr Collins concluded: “It’s vital for our members to be in the best position to support clients around their broader needs, and training is part of the solution.”

The two courses are:

  • Core – offering an introduction to funding, the changing role of the bank manager, an overview of the funding market, and insight on compliance and your new role (approx. 1 1/2 hours CPD)
  • Adviser - Next, learn how banks approach lending, how to have confident conversations with clients and take a closer look at the different types of funding available (approx. 3 hours CPD)

Each course has its own certification, is designed in bite-sized chunks that can be done in one go or across different sessions and includes a range of documents and links to help with further support.

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