Family businesses under pressure, accountant warns

Fraser Campbell of Campbell Dallas
Fraser Campbell of Campbell Dallas

Family businesses in Scotland are under pressure from regulatory changes and rising costs, a partner in a Renfrew-based accountancy firm has warned.

Fraser Campbell of Campbell Dallas told The Herald that it has remained difficult for owner-managed businesses to secure credit since the Great Recession.

Around half of private sector workers in Scotland are employed by family businesses.

Mr Campbell highlighted new accounting standard FRS 102, automatic pension enrolment, and recent tax changes as the next major financial burdens for family firms.

He explained: “FRS 102 requires businesses to tear up the established rule book used to prepare accounts and grapple with new, complex requirements. Aside from the additional in-house time and cost required to do this, it is also likely to lead to additional costs from their advisers.

“The commercial impact of the changes can affect a wide range of matters including credit ratings, reported profits, tax liabilities and bank covenants.

“The next major financial burden is the requirement for pension auto enrolment in workplace pensions. This has already affected larger businesses as they deal with the complex system and will hit smaller businesses disproportionately higher.

“Only sole director enterprises will escape the costs of auto enrolment.”

He also said he would “encourage more family businesses” to consider mezzanine finance options such as the Business Growth Fund and Scottish Loan Fund.

He suggested family businesses have been too reluctant to cede control over their firms to consider all available funding options.

Share icon
Share this article: