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Government pushed on bookkeeper voucher scheme

The Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (ICB) has urged the government to consider a voucher system of up to $4000 which will help small businesses access advisory services.

Bookkeeper Aidan Curtis 30 April 2020
— 1 minute read

The ICB has proposed a program where small businesses are better able to access advisory services to help with government stimulus measures and long-term survivability.

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As part of the proposal, the ICB requested the government support the initiative through a voucher system of between $2000 and $4000 to allow businesses “to engage with a prequalified advisor”.

ICB executive director Matthew Addison said in a discussion paper that a voucher system would be preferable to a cash handout as it could help with further small business support “beyond the immediacy of the current critical situation”.

“A voucher system is preferable to a cash handout to ensure funds are directed only to prequalified and accredited professionals,” Mr Addison said.

“Funding can be staggered with timing to reflect initial engagement and periodic review.

“Where the offer is not taken up by micro and small business owners, there is no cost to the budget.

“The uptake of the offer might be a prerequisite for ongoing future support to micro and small business, thus ensuring that only those who genuinely and cooperatively wish to meet community expectations are offered further targeted support.”

Mr Addison believes that, while the government can provide financial assistance to businesses, it is the businesses themselves that will “determine their future”.

“While government role is to unconditionally support its population in times of crisis, the criteria for longer term support will necessarily require small business to be around for the long-term,” Mr Addison said.

“This proposal goes some way to helping business and government understand the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on small business in longer-term.

“That understanding will inform government of the areas where longer-term ongoing support is required and desirable.

“A proposal for small business to receive appropriate level of strategic and financial planning support is strongly recommended.”

Government pushed on bookkeeper voucher scheme
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