Research Line Developments in the provision of financial and business services for SMEs

Research line A: Developments in the provision of financial and business services for SMEs

Technological innovations and new regulations are examples of changes that can affect the provision of financial and business services for SMEs. Those who provide such services, such as accountants and insurance agents, must respond to these changes in order to ensure continuity in their business operations. For example, technological innovations are transforming the classic role of the accountant from simply the professional who draws up annual statements into a new role - more proactive and with greater added value - as a business adviser. At the same time, the growth of (international) regulation is also influencing the profile of today’s accountants: there is a growing emphasis on ‘compliance’ with rules and regulations, and this is leading to a growing impression among businesspeople that accountants are more concerned with ‘ticking boxes' and ensuring that rules are complied with than focusing on what really matters: creating added value for their customers. The research group is currently carrying out research into the added value of control by accountants in SMEs and the impact of technological changes on the accounting profession. But also a research question such as ‘how does new legislation regarding the receipt of income in the form of commission impact on the business model of insurance intermediaries?’ is by no means out of place within this research line.

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