Accountants Are Still Favored as Small Business Advisors

The results of a new survey conducted by the National Federation of Independent Business and Wells Fargo show that accountants are still the advisor of choice among small businesses.

Two-thirds of small businesses surveyed have one person with whom they consult before making significant business decisions, and 84% of small employers turn to one or more advisors. When asked which among a group of 10 choices were the most likely to be chosen as advisors, accountants were selected by 59% of those surveyed. The 10 choices were: accountants; family members; bankers; management; marketing or financial consultants; lawyers; engineers; suppliers; insurance agents or brokers; designers including Web site designers; and other business owners.

The percentage of small employers seeking advice from accountants increased to 74% among employers of 20 or more people.

Eighty-three percent of those who received advice from an accountant took the advice and another 11% took most of the advice for a total of 94% who listened to and acted on advice from their accountant.

The survey also showed that small employers are more likely to take advice when they pay for it than when it is given at no charge.

Advice was most frequently sought in the areas of accounting, bookkeeping, and taxes (73%), legal questions (56%), computers, software, Web sites and telecommunications (53%), and industry-specific technical matters (48%).

You can read or download the entire 36-page survey.

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