The new Small Business Service will not be successful in lifting unnecessary regulations from smaller companies, according to an overwhelming majority of finance directors. Only 17% of finance directors surveyed for this week's Accountancy Age Big Question, conducted by Reed Accountancy Personnel, said they thought the service, which will be introduced by next April, would reduce red tape on small businesses. But many FDs agreed small businesses needed different guidance and advice to that given to larger organisations, as well as separate regulations. 'Companies already pay for advice and training. If this service is funded by the government, all that is happening is that money is moving in a different direction. I can't see how the advice and help will differ from what companies get already,' said Sunil Patel, director of finance of software provider OVD Technologies. Another FD, who asked to remain anonymous, said this latest attempt to reduce regulation would prove as unsuccessful as previous ones. 'Nothing seems to have worked in the past. If anything, the burden seems to increase with every attempt to reduce it,' he said. However, some FDs held out hope that the service could improve conditions for small businesses. Richard Forwood, FD at electronics company Utilux UK, welcomed the new service. 'Any service to reduce bureaucracy on small companies is welcomed,' he said.
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