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.

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