The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) has advised governments at all levels to initiate policies that will enable small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) access finance.
The President, ACCA, Mr. Martin Turner, said this during a forum tagged: “Access to Finance for SMEs,” organised by the association in Lagos.
Turner described SMEs as the driving force in growing any economy since big corporate companies were hit by the global financial crisis.
He identified tax challenges and access to finance as some factors affecting the growth of SMEs globally.
“The taxation of investing in SMEs here, as well as the actual day-to-day running of things, is making it more difficult for you (SMEs) to help the economy.
“There are reasons for the tax regulations, as I am sure you are aware of taxation of small businesses have been implemented to regulate and ensure reputability in these testing times.
“The costs of these taxes are, of course, an extra strain on you, particularly when you first start up. It is not just tax and competition which create challenges for SMEs. They also face the cautiousness of the banks to lend money, as a direct result of the financial crisis,” Turner explained.
He insisted that access to finance was a big issue for SMEs, especially for startup businesses, noting that banks were now too afraid to take the risk of lending to them.
“Well, one of the keys to success with small business, is a trusted and well-round accountant. At ACCA we train our students to become accountants for business, ready for any task that may be thrown at them, increasingly tasks that are not traditionally within their remits.
“It is also worth noting the implementation of an International Financial Reporting Standard for SMEs, which came into force last year, here in Nigeria. This is helping to meet the business needs you have, and to understand exactly what you’re capable of,” the ACCA boss added.