Microbusiness and their Impact on the Local Economy

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation


This study examines the accounting practices of micro-businesses, their challenges, relationships with accountants, business ethics and social responsibility.
Based on qualitative inquiry, twenty in-depth interviews with micro business owners were carried out and analysed thematically.
The results show that:
- Most micro businesses operate as a single entity where owners do not have a fixed salary.
- Some owners gained business knowledge by themselves or a trained by a mentor/family member.
- Most micro-businesses use single-entry bookkeeping and cash basis accounting.
- Time cost, laziness and not appreciating the importance of record-keeping emerged as key challenges of accounting practices.
A number of operational and managerial implications arise from the study:
- Their accountants are only used for statutory requirement activities (Tax, VAT etc.) and are reluctant to provide any business advice.
- The revelation of unethical activities tends to take place from time to time as a survival mechanism.
- Microbusinesses are involved in the community (helping local schools, raising funds for charities etc.)
Overall, the study provides an understanding and struggle of microbusinesses in Scotland. Accountancy Regulator (ICAS) needs to look closely at the issues raised in the study.
Period14 Dec 2018
Held atHerriot Watt University, United Kingdom
Degree of RecognitionNational


  • Micro-businesses
  • local economy
  • SMEs
  • Contributions
  • Challenges