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Small Business Matters

Small Business Matters is a programme of ICAEW research which investigates the types of business support that can be met by the valuable business-accountant relationship.

Phase one - The 99.9%: small and medium-sized business

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The 99.9%: small and medium-sized business

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Our first report takes a close look at the small business community and their use of accountancy services.

Key findings

  • In particular, we found significant differences between sole traders and micro businesses, which are often classed together for regulatory purposes under both EU and UK law.
  • Businesses in all size bands overwhelmingly report an accountant as their most trusted business adviser.
  • The most popular services were accounts preparation (65%), tax services (62%), bookkeeping (32%), audit (28%), business advice (25%), and a review of the financial statements (14%).
  • More than expected, nearly a quarter of small businesses feel that audit should be mandatory for businesses like them. Just over half disagree.
  • If the definition of a small company in the UK is increased to the maximum (as set out under the 2013 EU Accounting Directive), 0.2% of UK companies will be directly affected.

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Profiling small and medium businesses

We have created archetypal profiles to represent typical characteristics for each sized band to better understand each group's support needs. 

Which one are you? 

  • Sole trader: Hamid
  • Micro business: Brightweb
  • Small business: Sights2see
  • Medium business: Printstyles

Infographic: One size does not fit all

Big companies are big news, but they are not the majority. Micro-companies, sole traders, and small or medium sized business all look to grow in different ways. 

Find out how in our infographic.

The launch

The report was launched at the successful panel discussion, "Small Business Matters: Understanding the issues" on 25 September 2014.

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