Are Accountants Critical To Your Business Success?

outside accounting servicesSage, the leading supplier of business management software, recently released a survey to determine the opinions of small businesses on outside accounting services. Over 450 small business owners in the US and Canada were surveyed and were able to provide extremely valuable insight for every small business owner.

Accountant Usage

Over 60% of the companies surveyed are currently using outside accounting services and 90% of them say it’s absolutely critical to the success of their business. Being an accountant myself, my opinion is somewhat biased but I have always fundamentally believed this to be true and it’s part of the reason why I was drawn to study the Tax Act for the sake of my own business endeavors.

Related: The Key To Choosing The Right Business Advisors

Getting Audited

It’s never fun when your business gets audited by the CRA (or the IRS for my American friends). 38% of the businesses in the survey had been audited at some point and an impressive 88% of those companies said the accountant they were working with at the time was very helpful during the process.

How To Find An Accountant

I was especially interested in the results for this section because working with an accountant or a business advisor requires building a relationship and there is a huge need for trust. I feel that the data in the Sage survey accurately reflected this belief with nearly 60% of business owners finding their accountant through a personal referral and 27% using a family member or friend.

What was even more interesting was how only a meager 19% found their accountant through the Yellow Pages when just a few years ago, that was truly the best way. I would estimate that using the Yellow Pages was responsible for at least 40% of client referrals only a few years ago, based on my experience in the past. In a few more years, I think it’s safe to say that web searches will completely replace the Yellow Pages. Those of you that disagree, I would love to hear from you in the comments below.

Survey Conclusion

The survey conducted by Sage ultimately concluded that the majority of small business owners are not using accountants to their full potential and that most are solely engaging them for accounting, bookkeeping and tax support only. The issue here is that businesses and entrepreneurs can be utilizing their accountants and business advisors to help bring their financial information to life by closely examining current data and using that knowledge to help steer the business on a path to profitability.

Related: How To Avoid The Burden Of Tax Issues

It’s very important as a business owner to use every member of your team to their full potential.  Often we assume that our team is limited to those that are employees on payroll and ignore the skill set of those that are contracted or leveraged on a more part-time or casual basis. Don’t waste valuable skills of those within your reach… help is always closer than you think!

To see the press release from Sage about the survey, click here.

Do you feel that outside accounting services are necessary to the success of your business? Leave a message in the comments below.


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