The Business Advice Service (BAS) aims to help small companies and start-ups with business and financial advice to help economic growth.
Small and medium business owners can contact firms in their area on a variety of issues, both large and small, and there is no future obligation. More than 2,000 ICAEW practices have already signed up to offer the initial free consultation under the scheme.
In the Q3 2011 Business Confidence Monitor (BCM), over 35 per cent of SMEs said that regulatory requirements was an issue. This was followed by a quarter responding that access to capital and late payment from customers were all greater challenges to their companies’ performance than a year ago.
Clive Parritt, ICAEW President, said: “Start-ups or growing small businesses need the best advice to succeed at a time of fragile recovery and limits on public spending. There is a clear need for expert business advice which helps SMEs and start-up businesses become engines of growth.
“In response, the Business Advice Service will offer SMEs the opportunity to discuss their business with a qualified chartered accountant through a free initial consultation. ICAEW Chartered Accountants will be able to offer expert advice on a whole range of issues facing them – from starting a business to turnaround, restructuring, financial management or taxation issues.”
The scheme is also supported by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS). Mark Prisk, Minister of State for Business and Enterprise, said: “Small firms are the bedrock of the UK economy but some also need financial management support. This service is an example of how businesses can work together and will hopefully lead to local economic growth and potential job creation.”