ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants), released a guide titled ‘Financial management and business success – a guide for entrepreneurs’, designed to help small businesses understand the importance of financial literacy.
This corporate guide serves as a timely reminder for SMEs in Singapore navigating in the complex and uncertain business environment to cope against uncertainties arising from global economic developments. In the event of incidents, SMEs need to look at business continuity, and how to protect the business from risks.
Unlike other guides, this guide stresses on the importance of business planning and the role it plays at every stage in the life of a business. It adopts a ‘plan first approach’ looking at what entrepreneurs are trying to do with their business first and linking this directly to the financial knowledge they need.
Citing the urgency for SMEs to reinforce their financial capabilities, William Tan Kwang Hwee, Chief Financial Officer of Ley Choon Group Holdings Limited and member of ACCA Singapore’s SME Finance Transformation Committee says, “Singapore is a highly open economy, and extremely exposed to global dynamics. Strengthening financial management capabilities within local SMEs is no longer a luxury, but a necessity in the bid for entrepreneurs to secure long term growth for their organisations.”
Kwang Hwee further added, “Capable accountants are akin to good co-pilots who can help business owners improve the odds to corporate longevity and success amidst a turbulent environment.”
The guide recognises that “developing advanced financial capabilities will take time and money, and needs to be balanced against other demands on the business”, but highlights that the business will maximise its success if leaders plan ahead to see how financial management can help achieve their goals.
Ms Nina Tan, Chairperson of ACCA Singapore’s SME Finance Transformation Committee, echoes this sentiment, and highlights that SMEs in Singapore have a distinct advantage over their competitors in the region, “SMEs should leverage on the financing, training and technological transformation programmes initiated by the Singapore government to enhance their capacity, competence and capabilities to grow and sustain their businesses. They should use this opportunity to relook at their talent strategy and upskill their employees.”
Tan adds, “As technology advances by leaps and bounds, SMEs must become early technology adopters and implement more robust systems that will give them an edge over the competitors. The future accountant needs to be digitally savvy in addition to being technically competent.”
This guide is ideal for anyone starting their own business, seeking to improve their business or new to financial management. For entrepreneurs who wish to develop their own skills or those of their employees, ACCA provides cost-effective learning platforms such as the ACCA-X online training, which offers complimentary and low-cost courses covering business planning and related fina