Where Do Accountants Fit in With Startups?

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Everyone dreams of getting in on the ground floor of a startup, but how do they engage accounting services and, moreover, how do startups, start up?

Let’s address the question both from a numbers and an on the ground experience perspective. 

By the Numbers

Palo Alto Software, who run a business planning website www.bplans.com and are the creators of the business planning software LivePlan, recently released a report “What Small Businesses Want From Accountants and Advisors.” Based on survey data, they analyzed early-stage small businesses and the overall small business market in general.

Here are some highlights:

What services do early stage small businesses want from their accountants?

• 71%  Tax planning

• 71%  Cash planning and forecasting

• 61% Bookkeeping

• 61%  Monthly management reporting and Key Performance Indicators (KPI)

• 61%  Business planning and strategy

• 38% IT and software

• 35%  Business Coaching

• 34%  Human resources

Overall, do small businesses have an accountant?

• 48%  No accountant at all

• 20%  Yes, but meet quarterly or less

• 18%  No, but have one on staff

• 14%  Yes, meet monthly

Overall, what accounting solutions are small businesses using?

• 64%  MS EXCEL

• 14%  QuickBooks Desktop

• 14%  QuickBooks Online

• 8%    Other cloud-based solution

Overall, how will small businesses decide who to work with?

• 60%  Referrals and cost of service

• 70%  If they offer advisory services

• 57%  Specific industry expertise/niche services

On the Ground Experience Perspective

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About Bryce Sanders

Bryce Sanders

Bryce Sanders is president of Perceptive Business Solutions Inc. in New Hope, Pennsylvania. He provides high-net-worth client acquisition training for the financial services industry. His book, Captivating the Wealthy Investor, can be found on Amazon.com.


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