SMEunited, Accountancy Europe, European Federation of Accountants and Auditors for SMEs (EFAA for SMEs) and ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) call on the European Institutions and national governments to ensure better access for small and medium-sized entities (SMEs) to advisory services to support them in these critical times. To this end, the associations also recommend to use the upcoming National Recovery and Resilience Plans or other European programmes.
The COVID-19 crisis continues to have a huge negative impact on hundreds of thousands of SMEs. The European Union (EU) and national governments are already addressing the issue, having set up strong support measures to assist companies including SMEs. However, many of these measures are quite complex and SMEs may need advice and support to access them in a smoothly and effective manner.
Experts from SME associations and the accountancy profession play an important role in supporting SME survival and have financial expertise about the current state of small businesses. We recommend the following actions:
- The European Commission and national governments should fully and at early stage involve them in discussions, planning and design of SME support schemes to ensure their efficiency
- Governments should ensure that SMEs are able to access professional advice as it is already the case in certain EU member states, such as in Ireland or Finland. This professional advice should help SMEs to:
o identify the most appropriate COVID recovery support options available to them
o prepare documentation required for applications for support and recovery financing
o develop robust financial plans and use the support funding in the most efficient way for the business
- These provisions should be included in National Recovery and Resilience plans under the EU’s Recovery and Resilience Facility and Budget for 2021
- An overall simplification and, where relevant, harmonisation of the support application requirements and procedures across different EU and national support funds
See the full statement below.