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:
- Look for alternative ways to deliver services and/or products.
- Consider alternative sources of supply, ensuring you don’t put your eggs in one basket, either within one company or one geographic region.
- Ensure you have a business continuity plan in place, and update it regularly. It should include risk around supply chains
- Consider alternative sources of finance as late payments become a growing issue
- 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.
- Encourage regular e-meetings to stay in touch with suppliers, customers and employees.
- Ensure you offer both practical and emotional support to your staff and communicate regularly to offer this reassurance.