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ICAN tasks SMEs on good record keeping to access loans


LAGOS – The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) on Wednesday urged small and medium enterprises(SMEs) to keep good financial records to enable them access loans.
ICAN President Mr Chidi Ajaegbu gave the advice at a seminar organised by the institute for SMEs in Lagos.
The seminar is tagged, “Forum of Firms: Mergers of Small and Medium Practices for Improved Service Delivery”.
Ajaegbu said that most SMEs could not access loans because they could not present viable records of their business transactions.
“The multinationals of today started as SMEs and we cannot overestimate the fact that SMEs are the engine of growth in any economy, even in the West.
“Part of the things we are here to discuss is how SMEs can keep proper records.
“Because the banks themselves want to make money, so they can’t afford to give out loans to you if you don’t have proper records.
“The blame is on both sides as some of the interest rates we have from the bank loans are not also SME-friendly,” he told the participants.
“The banks are not able to ascertain the authenticity of the bankability of the business records as some of them are not even put together by qualified people from us.
“So if the over 17 million SMEs we have are to truly contribute to the per capita development, one area they need to work on is proper record keeping and we can sort out the other issues accordingly.”.
A Lecturer in the institute, Mr Anthony Oshadare, said SMEs constitute about 90 per cent of businesses in the country, yet contribute barely over one per cent to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Oshadare said that harsh business environment, poor access to finance and poor managerial skills were the major challenges facing small and medium businesses and accounting firms, hence the need for mergers.
He said that the event was to encourage small and medium practice firms (SMPs) to form networks and mergers in order to position them for better global competitiveness.
He urged SME owners to employ the services of certified accountants and auditors to assist with their company accounts. (NAN)

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