Wednesday, 21 October 2009
I attended the launch of the report on access to finance for SMEs and a round table discussion on the issue, jointly organised by CPA Australia and ACCA in Kuala Lumpur today. The Chief Executive of the newly restructured SME Corp, Dato' Hafsah Hashim was also present.
The report was based on the research conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) on behalf of ACCA, CGA Canada and CPA Australia. Among the findings of the research are:
- SMEs are continuing to grow in spite of the economic downturn
- Access to finance has been squeezed due to rationing of finance mostly by banks
- SMEs have mostly turned to their banks for advice during these difficult times – an interesting finding given the amount of animosity the crisis created between small businesses and banks
- SMEs are cutting cost and improving cost management although small number of them have formal cost cutting plan
- To preserve cash, SMEs are postponing investment, a strategy which could affect their future growth potentials
- Some firms are poised for new growth phase
Issue of difficulties in obtaining financial facilities from banks was raised during the panel discussion. Another issue that was discussed was the alternative financing modes such as through private equite or venture capital to complement the banking system.
The reports could be downloaded here:
It was indeed an honour to be invited to give a key note address at the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia's International Management Accounting Conference held at Cititel Hotel, Kuala Lumpur. I was requested to provide my views on how collaboration between academicians and practising accountants would enhance accounting knowledge.
I approached this issue by elaborating about the network-centric approach which is being applied by many companies. Using the concept of Wikinomics, I shared how companies are now looking for talents and brain power outside of their organisational walls.
Given that academicians have the knowledge based and research capabilities, they are well positioned to participate in a more collaborative environment. Their key challenge would be how to build relationships with industry players so that the academicians would be the first face to be recall whenever people in industry have certain business needs.
At the same time I also highlighted that business issues and challenges come from a multi-dimensional perspective. Therefore, offering a narrow and singular solution would not work well in solving real life problems.
The conference was officiated by the Deputy Minister of Higher Education and also attended by foreign academicians from Australia, United Kingdom and few other countries.
My presentation could be viewed and downloaded at: