Stories from practice

6 July 2022

Insights from SME accountants: how to keep bringing value to small businesses by Cyril Degrilart from CNCC and CSOEC France

As part of our news series on SME accountants, we talked to Cyril Degrilart. He runs a Paris-based small accountancy practice that helps SMEs make the digital shift. Cyril is a member of Accountancy Europe’s SME Network, which brings together small practitioners (SMPs) from around Europe to inform its SME strategy.

As a young practitioner, I have great faith in the future of the profession.  Despite automation taking over conventional accounting tasks, accountants have many reasons to look forward to the future. That is especially valid for accounting practices which have taken the lead to diversify their services.

How can small practitioners achieve this? More than 10 years helping SMEs digitalise have taught me 3 important lessons:

Diversify your skills

The accountant of the future will ensure sustainability information’s quality and exploit the company data to its fullest through data management tools. Taking advantage of technology and “make data speak” is how accountants will keep being an asset to businesses.

My main advice for European accountants is to diversify their expertise. There are many specialisation avenues such as data management or corporate social responsibility (CSR). SMEs will count on their accountants to provide reliable and essential advice to help build their business resilience. With our expertise, we can help address the evolving expectations of regulators, business partners, finance providers and societies at large.

Evolve towards a “full-service mission” model

I strongly believe in the potential for smaller accounting practices to develop full-service missions. This means providing SME clients with comprehensive services to manage their company: business (model) development advice, management consulting, digitalisation etc.

To achieve this, we have built up our team’s knowledge of technical subjects linked to accounting, tax etc. Setting up a collaborative environment within the team also enables sharing insights. Any accounting business can make these happen, regardless of their size.

We have also implemented a new strategy to empower the team. Team members work on “project mode” and are involved in the design and development of new service missions. For example, we foster intrapreneurial projects around data, executive coaching and marketing strategies.

Learn from your fellow accountants

It is key to learn from other accountancy professionals and build on the ideas and experiences others have accumulated. Professional accountants should meet in different forums to brainstorm and exchange insights on specific and practical topics. This also includes sharing tools, guidance and working methods that have proven their worth in practice.

With its videos, podcasts, articles, checklists and tools accountants can use to advise SMEs, Accountancy Europe brings value to its members with practical support for SMPs. In that regard, the SME Network where we exchange experiences and brainstorm between professionals from across Europe is extremely helpful.


This interview is part of our Insight from SME accountants series, where small practitioners share their experience supporting SMEs with their sustainable transition. Connect with Cyril Degrilart on Linkedin or follow him on Twitter.


Related content

Stories from practiceInsights from SME accountants: from professional sports to environmental accounting

9 August 2022

Stories from PracticeInsights from SME accountants: practitioners help SMEs go green

25 July 2022

UpdateSME Update

12 July 2022

EventESEF in practice 3: sustainability

30 May 2022

UpdateSME Update

27 May 2022

Consultation responseEC’s consultation on VAT in the digital age

30 March 2022

EventIntellectual property for accountants – train the adviser

25 March 2022

UpdateSME Update

24 March 2022

PublicationHow IP can help build risk resilient SMEs

24 March 2022

PublicationWar in Ukraine – what European accountants need to know

9 March 2022

NewsWar in Ukraine – responses from the accountancy profession

9 March 2022

In the mediaAccountancy Europe & the EUIPO: working together to support and guide SMEs

1 March 2022

UpdateSME Update

25 February 2022

PublicationVAT rates – greater flexibility for Member States

14 February 2022

Consultation responseEC’s consultation on Listing Act: support for ambitious simplified SMEs prospectus

3 February 2022

PublicationSupply chain sustainability assessment

28 January 2022

EventBecause Green Recovery Counts

27 January 2022

Consultation responseIAASB’s Exposure Draft on a New Standard for Audits of Less Complex Entities

26 January 2022

UpdateSME Update

21 January 2022

PublicationOur SME work: 2020 and 2021

21 December 2021

Sign up for our newsletter

* indicates required
Would you like to subscribe to our newsletter?
On which topics would you like to receive news?