Do Accountants and Accounts software designers still think that SMEs should not be able to draw up accounts in statutory format? Recent questions/answers (see below) suggest to me that at least some do think this.
Gone are the days when SMEs could only realistically do the book-keeping and needed others to turn it into financials. Modern software puts the dividing line at a much higher level.
In my SME we want to have all this information available - we understand it and think that it is part of runnning the business. However, I guess that, because this is "AccountingWeb", answers will argue to preserve portions of the work for only those Qualified to do it.
Our SME does employ an Accountant - & he's great. But I think he would agree that working electonically at the year end would be far simplified if I can produce (and look at before I send to his team) the draft summaries in various formats, including statutory format.
[E.g. one of the niggles is that Line 50's P&L doesn't separate out Interest Earned from Sales.]
My own profession (statistician) had to come to terms with this sort of thing a few decades ago with a plethora of stats packages and percieved loss of business for the professionals. All its really done is to remove a lot of dross and make the professional job more interesting.
BTW: I learnt from an answer to 'Charity Accounts Foftware' that "Sage have two accounts products,
Sage Accounts Production (SAP) and Sage Accounts Production Advanced (SAPA)." So I requested brochures from Sage. The guy who sent them (very promptly) asked me how many number of companies I need to produce accounts for. I emailed back that I'm an SME not an Accounting Practice. He replied: "We have a separate division which deals specifically with Industry, I look after accountants only." (so he's forwarded my email).
I'm interested to know if this just Sage's approach - or do all UK accounting software suppliers have quite distinct products/support/teams for the Profefssion and the ROW?