According to the trade body, SMPs are a “crucial lifeline” to the small business sector, which is particularly vulnerable to business failure and poor governance.
It comes as ACCA has published its latest report to mark Small Business Advice Week, entitled Responsible SMP Pacesetters, which has surveyed almost 50 global SMP leaders.
According to ACCA, the report “shows the importance of SMPs and why they act as a safety net for businesses trying to rebuild and steer their way through the Covid-19 pandemic”.
The study reportedly shows how “agility and innovation” have contributed to an “unprecedented mobilisation” of the SMP community, with smaller accountancy firms working nonstop to keep smaller businesses afloat.
ACCA noted that the firms in question have continued to support business “all the while facing their own challenges”, such as a lack of staff, delayed payments or the physical difficulty in conducting audits.
The report also demonstrates how SMPs provide a “vital link” between SMEs and the ecosystem they have to navigate, helping to articulate their needs to larger stakeholders, including the government, regulators and banks.
The latest study also found that smaller accountancy firms gave support to the charity and NGO sector through donations, fundraising and volunteering.
SMPs also helped promote the accountancy profession and social mobility, as well as financial inclusion and financial literacy. They have also played a “leading role” in sustainability and ethics in the industry, according to ACCA.
The report author and ACCA’s head of SME professional insights, Aleksandra Zaronina-Kirillova, said: “Today ACCA is pleased to support Small Business Advice Week by launching our timely report Responsible SMP Pacesetters.
“We really want to show just how vital small accountancy firms are to small businesses especially at a time like this. SMPs are a key part of the financial health system for the SME sector.”
She added: “They have proven to be the ‘emergency services’ to small businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic; providing enhanced business support and access to finance, enabling SMEs to make a contribution to overall economic growth.
“However, they also have a much broader and impressive role in society, which often remains untold, so we wanted to shine a light on these aspects by publishing this report.
ACCA is a proud advocate of the SMP space and we aim to develop a robust global ACCA-SMP community.”