ACCA Report Exposes Impact of Bribery on SMEs Globally

2 mins read
Business Grants

A recent report by the Association of Chartered Accountants (ACCA) delves into the far-reaching consequences of bribery and corruption for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) on a global scale. Titled “Bribery and Corruption: The hidden social evil on your doorstep,” the report highlights the urgent need for enhanced transparency and robust regulatory frameworks to address these challenges effectively.

The research reveals a concerning prevalence of bribery and corruption within SMEs, with over half of respondents expressing fears that opposing such practices could result in lost business opportunities. However, there is also a growing recognition of the benefits of taking a stand against corruption. The majority of respondents agree that implementing strong anti-bribery policies can enhance customer confidence and increase the likelihood of securing lucrative contracts.

Jason Piper, ACCA’s head of tax and business law, emphasises the detrimental effects of corruption on markets, economic growth, and investment. He highlights the dilemma faced by many small businesses when confronted with demands for bribes, often with little bargaining power to resist.

The report draws on a wide range of data, expert insights, and real-world case studies to illustrate the multifaceted impacts of corrupt practices on SMEs and economic development. It emphasises the severe consequences that businesses may face, including legal penalties and reputational damage.

Susan Love, strategic engagement lead at ACCA UK, stresses that bribery and corruption are global issues affecting businesses of all sizes, including those in Scotland. She emphasises the importance of anti-bribery policies in enhancing SME prospects and preventing corrupt practices.

ACCA hopes that this report will spark meaningful change by prompting organisations across various sectors to assess their practices and adhere to high standards of business conduct. It is intended for business leaders, policymakers, and regulatory bodies committed to combating corruption and promoting a fairer business environment.