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A report released by BDRC Continental, an independent researcher, has revealed that only nine percent of Small and Medium Enterprises applied for business finance in the last 12 months. According to the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, the SME Finance Monitor is considered to be the most accurate record of SMEs in the UK applying for finance.

From October to December 2011, 5000 managers and owners of SMEs were interviewed, with the figures providing very little cheer. The number of businesses which applied for business finance fell to nine percent, in comparison to the previous figures of 12 and 15 percent respectively. The number of companies using external finance has also dropped from 51 percent to 41 percent in six months. Worryingly, deleveraging appears to be occurring throughout the UK, with micro businesses more likely to resort to the practice.

However, the report also reveals that a large number of companies are planning growth over the next year, although slightly more intend to remain the same size. Businesses which are average or high risk are gradually moving away from the external loan market, although these same companies seem to be planning growth during the next 12 months. Overdrafts are now being used as an emergency fund rather than being used to fund capital.

During stringent times, outsourcing to a low cost accountants will provide a realistic financial strategy which utilises all available tax reliefs and allowances to legitimately reduce tax bills. Financial planning is advisable for all small businesses.




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