More than 275 accountancy firms ask UK government to plug gaps in SME aid
Countingup, a UK-based banking and account app, has written to the UK chancellor Rishi Sunak, along with more than 275 other accountancy firms, asking the government to fill the gaps still laid bare in its coronavirus support for small businesses.
Over the bank holiday weekend, the letter drummed up a list of signatures from accounting firms which serve small businesses. The country’s largest accountancy firms – EY, PwC, Grant Thornton and KPMG – have not penned their names to the letter.
“They [signee firms] are at the coal face, extremely busy dealing with the many enquiries around the government’s support for small businesses impacted by COVID-19 – by and large they are providing this support for free,” the letter reads.
“More urgency is needed to award grants today. Many businesses face collapse today. They cannot wait until the end of April for the Job Retention Scheme (JRS). Entrepreneurs face their business being crushed.”
The letter asks for more clarity on the process and timing of grants from the JRS – also known as the furlough scheme – and the Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS), which helps freelancers and sole traders.
The letter says those limited companies with directors who remunerate themselves through dividends, sole traders who began trading after 6 April 2019, and sole traders with previous trading profits of more than £50,000, are all being “unfairly left behind” by these government grants.
“We simply appeal for it [the government’s aid] to be provided equitably across the range of small businesses represented in the UK,” says Countingup’s CEO Tim Fouracre.
As part of its effort to tackle coronavirus, Countingup has also created a furlough salary calculator and a self-employed grant calculator to help firms work out the costs of furlough staff and those individuals which might have lost business to the pandemic.