While I agree with Charles Tilley (CEO's notebook, January/February) that the SME sector is vital both to the economy and to CIMA, I feel that the institute has been converted to this view only very recently.
I have worked in the SME sector for 25 years, initially as an employee and for the past 16 years as one of CIMA's 1,000-plus registered members in practice. Many of the businesses in this sector do not require a full-time finance professional, but the ability to find an appropriately qualified and experienced person can help them greatly. This is a key area of business for many members in practice.
With regard to his comment that "many smaller businesses are spending proportionally far too much on audit", there are two issues on which I should elaborate. First, in most circumstances a company with a turnover of less than [pounds sterling]5.6m does not require an audit for statutory purposes. This exemption covers up to 90 per cent of businesses.
The second point concerns the whole question of the value of an audit to any company, its members or other stakeholders. The fact that no auditor...