The role of gigabit connectivity in accelerating SME digitisation and resilience
The impact of COVID-19 has been global and indiscriminate, Irina Varlan, the Managing Director of GigaEurope, writes in her article to EURACTIV. The current situation requires us to think, plan, and operate differently. While it touches us all, the direct impact on businesses and individuals differs – notably the disproportionate impact on SMEs, and on those who rely on them. Connectivity and a willingness to incorporate new digital solutions will enable businesses, especially SMEs, to survive and thrive in the future. Varlan emphasizes the need for a comprehensive ‘SME ecosystem’ approach to support SMEs’ uptake of digital technologies and means of doing business. Read more
Accountancy Europe publishes paper on supply chain due diligence assurance
The paper, written in collaboration with EGIAN, explains what supply chain due diligence is and how supply chain assurance works.
Accountancy Europe interviewed its members from smaller sized accounting networks to understand how they help businesses to manage supply chains.
It is based on discussions around market practices with three expert representatives. The interviews show that accountancy firms, including small and medium-sized accountancy networks and associations, are increasingly prepared to review the sustainability of supply chains. The paper also considers what is needed for reliable and robust assurance on the supply chain, including:
- common standards and methodologies for high quality assurance
- the qualities, expertise, capabilities and skills assurance service providers need
- ethical requirements, including independence standards
The paper reveals a market trend for professional accountants, from firms of all sizes, to support businesses with the application of due diligence requirements. Read more
Accountancy Europe responds to EC consultation on simplifying SME listings
Accountancy Europe has provided its feedback on EC’s initiative to revamp EU’s SME listing rules. We call on the EC to, in particular, initiate an ambitious SME prospectus reform to make these lighter, shorter and easier for SMEs to produce whilst balancing with the need to provide investors with sufficient key information. Read more
Accountancy Europe issues its views on audits of LCEs
Accountancy Europe has responded to the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board’s (IAASB) exposure draft (ED) on a new standard for audits of less complex entities (LCEs). The response:
- presents overall support for the initiative, noting that there is an urgent need for a global LCE auditing standard
- makes specific recommendations to improve and simplify the proposed standard
- encourages the IAASB to engage with national standard setters, regulators and audit oversight bodies
- reminds of the importance of ensuring the ISAs’ scalability
Accountancy Europe publishes overview of key provisions in Council’s VAT rates agreement
Following the Council’s agreement on the EU VAT rates reform in December 2021, Accountancy Europe published on 14 February a paper outlining the key features of the compromise. It provides a comprehensive overview of how the Council agreement differs from the original EC proposal, and from the status quo.
These changes are important for SME accountants to be aware of. They are particularly relevant to SMEs that operate cross-borders within the EU single market. Read more
SME Fund 2022-2024: new EUR 47 million scheme to provide financial support to SMEs is now accepting applications
The recently launched EUR 47 million EU fund scheme that offers partial reimbursement of the costs of intellectual property (IP) diagnostic services and trade mark, patent and design applications – SME Fund 2022-2024 – is gaining momentum. SMEs across the EU can apply now and save up to EUR 2,250. IP representatives, including accountants, can apply to the SME Fund on behalf of their SME clients.
So far, the SME Fund has received above 3,000 applications, of which 78% are from micro enterprises. Another highlight is that IP Scan requests are on the rise, with 274 in less than 2 months. SMEs are beginning to realise the benefits of an IP Scan when creating a business strategy.
Last year nearly 13,000 European SMEs benefitted from the first initiative of this kind.