SMEs (Small to Medium Enterprises) are the backbone of UK economy and employ up to 60% of the national workforce. In other countries, these smaller enterprises produce similarly positive figures. In Africa, 80% of the region’s employment is provided by SMEs and this is only set to grow. With these enterprises experiencing positive growth, the need for certified accountants cannot be understated. With many businesses currently outsourcing their finance management to small accounting practices (SPAs), growing businesses will require dedicated accountants or a greater number of advisors, making aspiring accountants necessary for the future economy. Accountancy degrees and supplementary programmes (like the ones offered by CUC Online) have responded to this by offering a combination of disciplines to make accountants more knowledgeable about business processes, and, therefore, better placed to advise and assist SMEs or larger enterprises.
How management accounting can help SMEs
According to a Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) report, which explored financial management in SMEs, accountancy within small and medium-sized enterprises is often managed by the owner or manager. However, this takes vital time away from their business development plans and with no higher level expertise, SME owners could be missing out on potential revenue. Accountants on an advisory or in-house basis help small to medium business owners manage their finances and plan for the future. This makes a growing business less reactionary in the long-run and allows for the prediction of costs and revenues over a significant period, which helps bolster business growth.
Even if SME owners use accounting software to help ease the time burden of accountancy, there are a number of software packages on the market today, making it difficult to choose which is right for their needs. An accountant can help owners make the decision and can even offer one-to-one tutorials on certain programmes so they can access, and most importantly, understand their accounts.
Growth is at the heart of most SMEs and because of this, successful enterprises will soon have more employees than before. This amplifies the real concern about time management. A business owner operating a busy company would have difficulty finding the time to manage the payroll system, which is where an accountant is particularly useful. Payroll issues seriously reduce staff morale and can cause disagreements, making this area an important one to address reliably.
Accountants are vital to growing economies around the world, and thanks to a useful skillset those qualified can work effectively in many fields, including law, advertising and more. To inspire trust in your clients or employer, accountants need to have accredited qualifications that can back up their knowledge and experience, which is where online education is particularly useful.
Online accountancy degrees
Expanding the future accountant’s knowledge base is an essential aspect of preparing accountants for work with SMEs. In the CUC Online Management and Professional Accounting course (BA, HND or HNC), students are taught management concepts in tandem with accounting. This allows graduates to realise the impact of their accounting decisions, enabling them to work alongside business owners with more ease. If already working in the field, the knowledge imparted by this course will likely reinforce experience and since the programme is taught online, there is no need to leave current employment in order to study which, in many ways, seems like a backwards step.
Learn more about the growing need for accountants in our previous blog, highlighting the UK’s shortage of accountants and how the gap needs to be filled. For further information on our accountancy programmes and to view our courses, click here.