Skip navigation

Making Accountants Digital Enablers (MADE)

Northumbria University and Sage UK Ltd working in partnership with the government’s Business Basics Fund, welcome accountants in England to take part in free digital skills training with the overarching aim to boost small business productivity and economic growth.

Why is this study important for small businesses?

Technology when applied appropriately enables and transforms businesses and people to be more efficient and perform at their best.

Small Business Minister Kelly Tolhurst says: “Research shows that boosting productivity could unlock £100 billion for the economy and helping small businesses make better use of technology will enable them to seize the opportunities of scaling up in new markets when we leave the EU.”

It is well understood that accountants are the trusted adviser for small businesses and with the right digital technologies are best placed through their relationship to:

  • Improve the quality and punctuality of record keeping
  • Save small businesses time through streamlining workflows
  • Drive opportunities for revenue growth
  • Reduce business risk and potential failure

We are investigating whether accountants, as trusted advisers, can drive digital adoption and management best practice and therefore increase SME productivity.

We are asking two research questions:

  • Does the facilitation of digital adoption in UK SMEs by UK accounting firms increase productivity?
  • How does the facilitation of digital adoption in UK SMEs by UK accounting firms increase productivity?


What are the benefits to businesses?

Low take-up of readily available technologies and management best practices is driving the UK’s productivity problem. Thus, the benefits to small businesses of taking part in this study are that they would be exposed to and be given skills to develop:

  • Greater innovation
  • Increased competitiveness
  • Sustainable growth
  • The seven key characteristics of the most productive companies in the UK
  • Business use of existing technologies that have been shown to work for the most productive firms in the economy
  • Opportunities to identify the UK’s most successful UK innovators


What are the benefits for the Accountant / SME relationship?

  • Enhance your relationship with your accountant, in order to:
  • Build on the reputation of accountants as the most trusted business advisers
  • Add value to your business
  • Increase business satisfaction with the services you offer




Back to top