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Accountants most trusted advisers to small business

Accountants remain the trusted advisers to Australian small business with almost 70 percent of business owners claiming they would consult their accountant on business decisions.

AccountantsThe American Express Tax Time – Time is Money report found small business owners are three times more likely to source information on new business payment and tax reporting systems from their accountant than their bank.

The national survey also found the majority of small business owners would consult a sole or small sized accountant (71 percent), one-in-four would consult a mid-sized consultancy and just 4 percent would turn to a large accounting practice for advice on business payments and tax reporting.

“Small business owners view accountants as a valid and reliable source of financial advice when it comes to the smartest way to pay for business expenses and simplify tax reporting,” said Jason Fryer, Head of Small Business Services Australia, American Express.

“For accountants this means that they need to know about new and worthwhile products and processes that can streamline their client’s financial reporting.

“With the end of financial year reporting upon small business owners, now is the time when accountants should be informing their clients about how to receive some respite from their bookkeeping by implementing automated processes for the 2010 / 2011 financial year,” Fryer added.

The American Express report found that 82 percent of small business owners would welcome a system that could automatically record transactions and reduce the time it takes to prepare their BAS and tax reporting.

“Small business owners are looking for financial products that can reduce the time spent recording transactions and collating receipts for tax reporting and are expecting to receive advice from their accountant.”

The survey revealed the average small business processes more than 100 transactions every quarter. The task is even greater among those businesses turning over $500,000-$2 million per annum with almost one in three reporting in excess of 300 transactions per quarter, which means keeping track of over 1,200 receipts a year.