Thursday, February 18, 2010

Press Release: Supporting Enterprise Growth

Press Release: Supporting Enterprise Growth

18 February 2010, ACCA Pakistan launched SME Survival Kit today at a local
hotel. The event was attended by a large number of SME owner managers, ACCA
members, policy makers and academics. Participants expressed opinion on
managing survival challenges by obtaining professional advice, exploring
informal sources of finance, thinking innovatively, seeking marketing
opportunities outside Pakistan and having reliable and relevant accounting

"Acknowledging the enormous economic importance of SMEs to national
development, employment creation, role in supply chain and promoting
entrepreneurial innovation, ACCA SME Survival Kit provides practical
guidance on managing challenges including access to finance, succession
planning and business development," said Mr. Shahid Rashid, CEO SMEDA at
ACCA discussion forum. He further said that effective working capital
management, maintenance of reliable accounting records, timely succession
planning and innovative business development will stimulate SME growth.

Dr Afra Sajjad, Head of Education and Policy Development, elaborating ACCA
SME agenda stated, "The vital economic importance of SMEs, which invariably
account for the great majority of businesses in both developed and
developing economies, needs to be recognised by governments, other agencies
and support bodies. Regulators need to 'think small first' when developing
business rules, rather than adapting rules intended originally to be used by
multinationals operating in the world's capital markets. SMEs need 'the
complete accountant' in their organisations to add value to the financial
health and sustainable development of the company: accountants versed in
financial reporting, management accounting, broader strategic skills and

Mr Zafar Iqbal Chaudhry, President, Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry
stated that due to the paramount importance of SMEs to the economic growth
of Pakistan, the government and the private sector need to enable SMEs
achieve their potential of being the backbone of the country's economy.

Mr Hamid Ikram, Chairman, SME sub-committee ACCA Pakistan stated that ACCA
SME sub-committee along with other relevant stakeholders is working on
enhancing the accounting, bookkeeping and taxation knowledge and expertise
of SME owner managers to increase transparency in their reporting procedures
that would enable them to obtain easy and cost -effective finance.

Mr Hassan Yasser, Assistant General Manager SME Department, Bank Alfalah
Limited stated that access to finance is a critical challenge for SMEs and
banks are working in partnership with SMEs to alleviate this challenge but
SMEs also will have to understand the importance of maintaining reliable
accounting records and nurturing working relationship with banks. Even
though the State Bank of Pakistan has tried to facilitate financing, SMEs
struggle to fulfil the basic information requirements and thus run into
problems in banks, and finally leave, very disappointed at not getting the
loan. Informal sources of finance will also have to be explored.