Northumbria University, Newcastle, and Sage are welcoming accountants across England to take part in free training.
The training is set to offer accountants with “better knowledge of digital technology that can drive SME productivity.”
Research conducted by Sage shows that there remains a significant challenge in the UK economy to help more SMEs as research shows that UK SMEs lost 5.6% of their business time to admin, a productivity loss of £40 billion in the last 12 months alone, an increase of 0.9% compared to the year before.
SMEs are still “burdened by paper-based admin and currently spend an average of 120 days a year on admin”. However 50% of UK businesses currently use, or intend to use technology for admin functions by 2022, meaning greater commitment is required to remove the obstacles that prevent companies from accessing digital tools and skills.
As a trusted advisor to SMEs, accountants are perfectly placed to help drive SME digital adoption, and this government-backed project will be a trial to demonstrate this unique relationship.
Claire Bennison, head of ACCA UK, said: “Accountants are a crucial business partner to SMEs, helping them to grow their business and better understand the environment in which they operate, which is increasingly reliant on digital technologies. This project is surely a win-win for all involved.”
Sabby Gill, MD for Sage UK and Ireland also added: “As small businesses scale up, hire more staff and contribute further to the economy, even greater value can be unlocked by digitising business admin.
“The technology that currently has the highest productivity and value-add to businesses is now increasingly cloud and service based. As the role of the accountant continues to expand, we envisage the training will help accountants strengthen their counsel to clients and demonstrate the opportunities that digital technologies bring.”