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Financial Management Enhancement Project for SMEs



Business sector:

Financial institutions

Funding source:

Bank Funded

Contract type:

Consultancy Services

Notice type:

Invitation for expressions of interest (CSU)

Issue date:

19 May 2016

Closing date:

09 Jun 2016   at  23:59   London

Access eSelection

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development ("EBRD" or the "Bank") delivers both financing resources and advisory services to small and medium-sized enterprises (“SMEs”). Currently, the EBRD's annual investment into the SME sectors of its countries of operations exceeds EUR 1.3 billion. In addition to the significant levels of financing for SMEs through local commercial banks, or directly, the EBRD supports SMEs with over 2,000 advisory projects a year.

The EBRD now intends to expand its advisory services to SMEs further by aiming to improve local companies' financial management, planning and reporting, internal controls, fiscal transparency and overall financial literacy.

The "Financial Management Enhancement Programme for SMEs" (the "FMEP" or the "Programme") will build on the pilot work under the EBRD's "Accounting Improvement Programme" (the "AIP") that is being successfully implemented in a number of EBRD countries of operations ("CoOs") including Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Kyrgyz Republic, Moldova, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Albania, Egypt, Macedonia, Kosovo, Croatia, Montenegro, Turkey and Ukraine.

The AIP has already helped more than 75 local SMEs to access know-how focused on financial management and reporting. The AIP advisory support and associated training allowed the SMEs to improve transparency of financial reporting, make better strategic and operational decisions and as a consequence improve their access to finance.

Under the FMEP, the EBRD seeks to enhance local companies' financial management capacities to grow their businesses and enhance their attractiveness to local and international lenders and investors through the support of up to 3 firms (the "Engagement Partners") that will facilitate the delivery of a capacity building programme (to include but not limited to training, transfer of skills and mentoring)in financial management capabilities and skills, reporting and IFRS audit, through their network partners/local presence in at least 80% of the EBRD’s CoOs, including but not limited to the following:

Albania - Egypt - Moldova - Tajikistan - Croatia- Kosovo - Armenia - FYR Macedonia - Mongolia - Tunisia - Cyprus - Kyrgyz - Azerbaijan - Georgia - Montenegro - Turkey - Russia - Bulgaria - Belarus - Jordan - Morocco - Turkmenistan - Serbia - Bosnia and Herzegovina - Kazakhstan - Romania - Ukraine.

The Programme will be based on the development and delivery of a uniform product that is appropriate for all CoOs (to the extent possible) and aims to improve financial literacy and transparency of reporting in selected SMEs – currently estimated to be between 150-300 per annum. Furthermore the Programme will use as a proxy, the financial reporting standards as set out in the IFRS IASB. These standards will aim to deliver improvements and capacities within selected SMEs in the following main areas:

a. Financial management, part 1: cash flows, liquidity, and solvency, costs
b. Financial management, part 2: role of financial reporting and planning for business management, KPIs, access to finance;
c. How to present financial information when applying for a loan (historic financial statements, projections);
d. Reporting standards: Statement of financial position, Statement of changes in equity, Statement of cash flows;
e. Audit: the needs for an audit, how to prepare for an audit.

The Bank is now seeking up to 3 "Engagement Partners" with whom it can reach an agreement for the terms and conditions of supply of services to EBRD's SME clients. The SME clients will select and contract a local service supplier ("financial management partner") to deliver their tasks (the "financial management package") and this will be chosen from a list of financial management partners allied to one of the 3 Engagement Partners' local networks.

It is estimated that a maximum budget of EUR 20,000 will be available for each SME financial management package.

Status of the Selection Process: Interested firms or groups of firms are hereby invited to submit expressions of interest.

Programme Start Date and Duration: The EMEP will be launched as soon as suitable terms of engagement can be agreed with the selected Engagement Partners, and this is hoped to be concluded by the third quarter of 2016. The duration of the terms of engagement are anticipated to be up three years. Depending on the success of the Programme, the availability of further funding and the satisfactory performance of the Engagement Partner, this Programme may be extended.

Cost Estimate for the Programme: dependent on the uptake of the Programme.

The Consultant must determine whether any VAT would be chargeable on the services and the basis for that determination, without taking into consideration the special status of the Bank as an IFI and state this to the Bank in their response to the Invitation for Expressions of Interest. To the extent that a Consultant incurs input VAT on goods and services purchased in connection with the provision of services (eg VAT on airline ticket) which is not otherwise recoverable by the consultant from the local tax authority, the gross cost to the consultant of such expenses shall be treated as a reimbursable expense.

Funding Source: the EMEP is expected to be funded from various sources of donor funds provided by multilateral and bi-lateral partners and the EBRD Shareholder Special Fund ("SSF") .

Eligibility: There are no eligibility restrictions.

Profile of the Engagement Partners: Corporate services are required. The Engagement Partner/s shall be a firm or a group of firms with the following capability, experience and expertise.

1. The Engagement Partner shall be a full member of the International Federation of Accountants ("IFAC") Forum of Firms; the affiliates or member firm must also be full members of the Forum;

2. The Engagement Partner shall be one of the top 30 international "Accounting Networks and Associations", ranked by annual income.

3. The Engagement Partner must have local presence/associated local partners in at least 80% of the EBRD’s CoOs as set out above.

4. The Engagement Partner shall have a good central "command structure" that can mobilise the related local financial management partners in a homogenous way: ie that have the capability to manage a standardised approach across all CoOs.

5. The Engagement Partner shall have appropriately qualified and skilled local experts at the central and local level

Submission Requirements: Interested firms are hereby invited to submit expressions of interest. In order to determine the capability and experience of consulting firms seeking to be shortlisted, the information submitted should include the following:

1. Company profile, organisation and staffing. Indicate any offices in EBRD CoOs and describe relevant regional operations/networks/partnerships in the EBRD’s CoOs
2. Description of the role the Engagement Partner will play in implementing the FMEPIn tabular form provide details of previous experience or similar assignments particularly undertaken in the previous 5 years with a specific focus on the EBRD's Countries of Operation as a priority.
The table should include information in date order (most recent first) on:
i) project location/country;
ii) main activities;
iii) objectives;
iv) duration (mm/yy to mm/yy),
v) expert months provided (if different from duration),
vi) key experts in team,
vii) number of local consultants used (if applicable)
viii) split in of time in field/desk research (if applicable)
ix) contract value and
x) contracting entity/client
3. CVs of the Proposed Key Senior Personnel who will be involved in the management of the Programme, including qualifications and experience relating to similar assignments undertaken in the last 5 years
4. Completed Consultant Declaration Form and Contact Sheet, the template for which is available from the following web-link:

The above information should not exceed 20 pages excluding CVs and contact sheet.

The complete expression of interest (including CVs, Consultant Declaration and Contact Sheet) should be submitted, in English electronically through e-Selection, to reach the Bank not later than the closing date. The expression of interest should ideally be in one file (pdf). The permissible file size is 4MB.

Bank Contact Person:
Angela Levitsky
Technical Co-operation
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
Tel: + 44 20 7338 6363

1. Following this invitation for expressions of interest, a shortlist of qualified firms will be formally invited to submit proposals. Consultant selection and engagement will be subject to availability of funding.
2. The shortlist criteria and weighting are:
(a) Firm’s experience in similar assignments (40%)
(b) Firm’s experience in the Bank’s countries of operation, including local presence/local partnership relations/networks (40%)
(c) CVs of Managing Local Partner and key Senior Personnel (20%)

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