Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

Accountants Seen as Information Sources by Small Businesses

Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

Accountants Seen as Information Sources by Small Businesses

Article excerpt

Where does small business go for information? A telephone survey sponsored by the Small Business Administration found almost two-thirds (62%) of the respondents said they relied on accountants for business information, which they found to be "timely, accurate and relevant to their needs."

Other survey results offered insights for CPAs into small business information needs and uses. Respondents most valued information provided by sources they already knew and trusted who knew' a lot about their companies, the business conditions they faced and their local context. Their most frequent sources included informal business contacts with customers, suppliers and competitors, as well as magazines, newsletters and meetings of trade or professional associations.

The report, How Small Businesses Learn, details a survey of 1.247 owners and managers of U.S. companies employing fewer than 100 people, in the finance, insurance, real estate-construction, manufacturing and retail industries. Small companies employ more than half of the nation's work force and are a wellspring of business innovation, the SBA said. "Government agencies produce a flood of information that could help small companies flourish," according to Jere Glover, the SBA chief counsel for advocacy.

The research focused on four areas: where the respondents turned for information, why they needed it, whether the information received was useful and what was important about their the sources.

Among the survey highlights:

* The most pressing information need was in business management. …

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