Accountants get high marks from small business leaders

By Ken Tysiac

Small business leaders consider their accountants to be the most important professionals their businesses use, according to a new survey.

Accounting professionals received high marks in the poll of 393 small business leaders conducted by Wasp Barcode Technologies, a maker of asset, inventory, time, and attendance hardware and software.

Accountants were ranked in importance ahead of attorneys, bankers, insurance agents, technology firms, and staffing services. Ninety-nine percent of the survey respondents are based in North America.

Two-thirds (67%) of the respondents said they are very satisfied with their accountants’ services, and an additional 21% said they were somewhat satisfied. And although 37% of survey participants said they pay too much in taxes, just 14% said they believed their accountant could do more to reduce their taxes.

Seventy-one percent of businesses represented in the survey outsource tax preparation, and half outsource payroll. Respondents said the top accounting challenges they face are:

  • Accounts receivable/collections (51%).
  • Cash flow (44%).
  • Managing paperwork (33%).
  • Closing the books each month (28%).
  • Managing payroll (27%).

Despite the strong marks reflected in the survey, there is room for accountants to improve in the services they provide small businesses. More than four in 10 respondents said their accountants are more reactive than proactive.

Ken Tysiac is a JofA editorial director.

SPONSORED REPORT

How the election may affect taxation of business income

This report summarizes recent proposals to reform the U.S. business income tax system and considers the path to enactment of any such legislation.

VIDEO

How to Excel pivot a general ledger

The general ledger is a vast historical data archive of your company's financial activities, including revenue, expenses, adjustments, and account balances. J. Carlton Collins, CPA, shows how to prepare data for, and mine data with, PivotTables.

QUIZ

Did you follow 2016’s biggest accounting news?

CPAs will remember 2016 as a year of new standards and new faces. How well did you follow the biggest accounting events? The 7 questions in this quiz will help you find out