ACCA: Accountants need to help keep SMEs afloat

ACCA head Pat Semenya shares the steps SMEs can take to mitigate the Covid-19 impact.

Small businesses around the world are facing one of the most challenging times in recent history. The spread of Covid-19, or coronavirus, is forcing these businesses to adapt to an uncertain, unpredictable and rapidly evolving environment. Amid conflicting and confusing advice, or even a lack of advice, from all quarters, small and medium-sized enterprises need to be able to cut through the noise to ensure their business survives

“All businesses are being impacted by the spread of Covid-19 with small and medium-sized enterprises particularly at risk,” says ACCA South Africa head Pat Semenya. “This is where accountants come in, bringing their expertise to help keep SMEs afloat.”

There are a number of steps that SMEs can take to mitigate the impact that the spread of the disease could have on market demand:

  1. Look for alternative ways to deliver services and/or products.
  2. Consider alternative sources of supply, ensuring you don’t put your eggs in one basket, either within one company or one geographic region.
  3. Ensure you have a business continuity plan in place, and update it regularly. It should include risk around supply chains
  4. Consider alternative sources of finance as late payments become a growing issue
  5. Check what support the government is offering – there are relief initiatives for struggling businesses, including help with tax relief, social security and business loan relief.
  6. Encourage regular e-meetings to stay in touch with suppliers, customers and employees.
  7. Ensure you offer both practical and emotional support to your staff and communicate regularly to offer this reassurance. 

Visit the ACCA  SME's COVID-19 website to enhance your knowledge and adaptability through this pandemic.