Sage Survey Finds That Majority of Small Businesses Aren't Using Accountants to Their Full Potential
APR 25, 2012 - 09:00 ET
Most Engage Their Accountants for Accounting and Bookkeeping Services and Tax Support Only
ATLANTA, GA--(Marketwire - April 25, 2012) - Sage North America announced today the results of its Accountant Usage Study, a survey focused on how small businesses use accountant services. The study found that rather than engaging an outside accountant as a full business partner, a majority of small businesses only look to them for specific services and support, such as accounting, bookkeeping, and taxes. Sage, a leading provider of business management software and services to more than 6 million small and midsized businesses worldwide, conducted the study among 472 small businesses in the U.S. and Canada.
The survey found that 40 percent of U.S. small businesses do not utilize an outside accountant, with the most common reason being a preference to do the accounting on their own (72%). However, the 60 percent of small business owners who look to outside accountants for their expertise mostly rely on them for accounting services (76%), bookkeeping services (49%), and tax support (personal, 46%; business tax compliance, 43%; and corporate tax, 43%).
"While the survey indicates that 90 percent of small business owners realize that their outside accountant is critical to their success, most are not using these experts to their full potential," said Jennifer Warawa, vice president, partner programs and channel sales, Sage North America. "Accountants offer so much more than general accounting and tax services; they can provide critical guidance that can help take a business to the next level. All businesses, big or small, need a plan and a good accountant will partner with a business to examine all the data to help build a roadmap to success."
Some other services that accountants provide and are less used by U.S. small business owners include financial planning, business consulting, and wealth management (with only 33%, 25% and 15% of small business owners reporting that they receive these services).
Other findings from the survey include:
"Sage works with millions of small businesses around the world and with tens of thousands of accountants. We have seen the value that a strong partnership between the two can bring and encourage business owners to explore expanding their accountant relationship," said Warawa.
To determine if an outside accountant is a good fit for their business, small business owners should consider:
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