'Big 4' accountancy firm, KPMG, has recently axed its service for SMEs. James Hurley, Enterprise Editor at The Times, asked our chairman for her view on this
The full article in The Times can be viewed here: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/can-you-count-on-help-from-big-hitters-vdkx056ct
Kirsty McGregor, Founder and Chairman of The Corporate Finance Network, was asked about the recent wind-up of KPMG's low-cost small business market, and her comments were as follows:
"Well, I'm not at all surprised. SMEs need far more business support than just managing their accounting records and it was clear most would never be able to afford either Grant Thornton's or KPMG/big4 rates for their full advisory service.
KPMG etc aren't set up to be able to advice business owners who don't have the luxury of a full management team/board of directors. Their trainees don't learn how to work with these businesses, as they're generally working on much larger corporates during their training contract. The culture in owner-managed businesses is completely different from board-led corporates.
There will be the occasional SME which grows fast enough to be of interest to the big firms who are targeting multi-advisory, premium priced work such as tax planning and corporate finance, but the vast majority of SMEs are lifestyle businesses and their life cycle will therefore not match up to the expectations of KPMG partners. It was never going to produce the volumes which I expect they needed to make this service line successful."
She continued, "Contrast that with the member firms of The Corporate Finance Network, which are all high quality, regional, accountancy practices with the structure to service smaller businesses and yet also the additional expertise to cater for the needs of growing businesses as they get larger. Their rates will be far more palatable to the owner-manager, and the skills, resources and experience they have across from their membership of our network means that they can provide just the same range of advice which the largest national firms can, as well as the common sense and human touch which understands this UK SMEs."
For more information about the member firms in The CFN, click on the 'About Us' pages.