According to the latest research, around six in 10 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) believe that they are not sufficiently protected against bribery and corruption.

The findings were published by the global professional accounting body ACCA, and suggest that the inability to tackle crime may be stunting growth.

According to the report, which surveyed almost 1,000 business finance experts, around 60 per cent of SMEs believe there is “insufficient” guidance to combat bribery and corruption.

This is despite a similar number suggesting that SMEs who demonstrate strong anti-bribery credentials are more likely to secure trading contracts with large, multinational organisations – promoting growth and confidence in the supply chain.

The findings form part of the ACCA’s major new study, Combating bribery in the SME sector.

Commenting on the report, Jason Piper, global policy lead for Business Law at ACCA, said bribery and corruption is having an overwhelmingly negative impact on the business environment.

“The findings from this survey are conclusive and show businesses are desperately searching for that much-needed support,” he said.

“Compared with our survey findings from six years ago, small businesses believe there is even less guidance on combating bribery and corruption. We found that employees negotiating on behalf of companies need awareness courses on what constitutes bribery – and more importantly how to deal with this.

“Crucially, anti-bribery guidance for SMEs needs to be short and accessible. This is something most of our members questioned do not believe to be the case.”

Click here to access the report in full.

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