The Sage Small Business Accountants Usage 2013 Study which looked at how small businesses use accountant services, found that the majority of small businesses that utilize the services of an outside accountant (74 percent in the United States and 68 percent in Canada) do so, in part, because of the complexity of regulations and tax code. This survey was conducted among 373 small businesses in the United States and 300 in Canada.
This is not the first time a Sage survey has shown these as key issues for small businesses. The Sage Small Business Sentiment Survey from February 2012 showed that 49 percent of small businesses felt high taxes were one of their top three issues that would hinder growth, while 43 percent of small businesses surveyed said too many regulations would hinder growth.
A similar survey in November 2012 found that 67 percent of small businesses were most concerned about taxes, and 48 percent were most concerned about regulations. In that same month, the Sage Canadian Small Business Financial Literacy Survey found that 34 percent of small business owners felt that dealing with taxes was a management weakness.
Ever-changing tax codes and increased complexity of regulations show no signs of letting up with many of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act going into effect in 2014 in the United States. To manage this and other regulatory changes, partnering with an outside accountant to help stay compliant should be a priority for small businesses in 2013 and beyond.
Many small businesses recognize the value of an outside accountant, especially when it comes to preparing corporate taxes and being compliant: Seventy-four percent of US and 80 percent of Canadian small businesses receive corporate tax services from their outside accountant, and 52 percent of US and 53 percent of Canadian small businesses use their outside accountant for business tax compliance. Sixty-two percent of US small businesses actively utilize the services of an outside accountant (up from 60 percent last year), and 82 percent of Canadian small business owners utilize an outside accountant (up from 61 percent last year).
Jennifer Warawa, Sage VP of partner programs and channel sales, shares these and other findings from the survey and the importance of using an outside accountant as a business consultant in this video.
For more findings from this study, see the Sage Accountants Usage Survey report and infographic.