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Sustainability Information Enhances SME Business, Says ACCA Guide

Generating and utilising sustainability-related information can help SMEs not only survive but thrive, according to a new guide by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). Professional accountants are essential in enabling SMEs to access the benefits of sustainable business practices.

ACCA’s latest guide, titled “Sustainability Reporting – SME Guide,” emphasises the significant role SMEs play in global value chains. The guide is designed to help SMEs produce the sustainability-related information increasingly required by regulators and stakeholders.

Strengthening SMEs Through Sustainability

Sharon Machado, co-author of the report and head of sustainable business at ACCA, remarked, “Creating and using sustainability-related information allows SMEs, their advisors, and stakeholders to identify and capitalise on opportunities while managing risks. This approach strengthens SMEs financially, making it easier to secure investment and favourable trade terms with suppliers. Additionally, in the competitive talent market, it aids in attracting and retaining top-quality employees.”

As demand for sustainability-related information grows, all organisations must be prepared to report on their management of sustainability-related risks and opportunities. This demand extends beyond the organisation itself to its value chain, coming from regulators, investors, and other stakeholders. Given that SMEs constitute 90% of organisations worldwide, they are a critical component of the value chain

Competitive Edge through Sustainability Practices

The benefits of communicating and leveraging sustainability-related information can provide SMEs with a new competitive edge.

Aaron Saw, co-author of the report and head of corporate reporting insights – financial at ACCA, stated, “While SMEs might find these demands challenging, especially during times of financial strain, evidence suggests that the effort is worthwhile. We encourage SMEs to take initial steps in sharing sustainability-related information, aiming to become better businesses.”

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