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Accountants more important than banks to small businesses

Accountants are trusted advisers to Australia’s small businesses when it comes to streamlining business payments and tax reporting, a recent report finds.

AccountantThe American Express Tax Time – Time is Money report has found that almost 70 percent of Australia’s small business owners claim that they would consult their accountant for information about ways to streamline business payments and reduce the burden of tax reporting and are three times more likely to source information from their accountant than their bank.

The findings support the continued importance of accountants to small businesses nation-wide, affirms the Head of Small Business Services Australia, American Express, Jason Fryer.

“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 Mr Fryer.

“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 report also found that the size of the accounting firm impacts on whether or not it is seem as a viable avenue for consultation, with an overwhelming 71 percent of small business owners claiming they would consult a sole or small sized accountant. This number decreases to only one-in-four small businesses consulting a mid-sized consultancy and just four percent turning to a large accounting practice for advice on business payments and tax reporting.