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Open letter to British Business Leaders: Our work is core to your success

To British Business Leaders

Our work is core to your success.

Accountants and finance professionals have been at the heart of the many teams tasked with rebuilding our economy. Over the past months as COVID-19 has thrown us innumerable challenges, we have been doing intense, dynamic and critical work to help underpin the foundations of the businesses we support. 

Mindful that what we build today needs to stand tomorrow, we gather and evaluate the data that leads to better long-term strategy and better outcomes.

Our expertise as performance managers able to identify – and measure – what matters, means we give business leaders organisational focus and the right information to make the right decisions. 

From SMEs to international corporations, from charities through to the NHS and public sector, our members’ work sits at the heart of driving resilient and sustainable organisations that create jobs, opportunity and prosperity. 

We have, therefore, asked the Government to support the UK’s recovery and address structural issues and vulnerabilities with the following aims: 

  • To build business and consumer confidence

Cutting employers’ national insurance bills would help to keep people employed and create new jobs. Additionally, the Government could reduce red tape, introduce a Growth Accelerator Scheme to nurture start-ups and small businesses, and support companies of all sizes to adapt their business or operating models to the new reality.

  • To enhance Investment in skills

Skills are vital to rebuilding the economy, so the Apprenticeship Levy should be transformed into an Apprenticeship and Skills Levy that employers can allocate to both apprenticeships and reskilling their current workforce. There should be a ‘rebuttable right’ to retrain and the Government should create and invest in specified ‘skills clusters’ across the UK. Generous R&D tax incentives could stimulate innovation.

  • To reduce uncertainty 

By outlining its business tax plans for the next two years, the Government would allow companies to make informed investment decisions. It should also pause plans to implement new business regulations, offer incentives that encourage businesses to diversify their supply chains, and persuade them to build up their cash reserves.

  • To boost sustainability

Reform of insolvency and administration practices would allow for certain viable businesses to re-structure and survive. Selected green infrastructure investment will also be important for the government to reach its carbon emission targets’, supporting a net-zero recovery and future business sustainability.

As the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, the combined voice of The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and the American Institute of CPAs, we have 650,000 members and students worldwide ready to contribute their expertise to revitalising economies.  

As finance professionals, we pledge to work with you to build back our economy for the better, for the long term, for everyone.

Visit CIMA Business Recovery to access free business and finance tools that may help you and your organisation.

Andrew Harding FCMA, CGMA
CEO Management Accounting,
The Association of International Certified Professional Accountants