Intuit Accountants News Central

Intuit Survey: Accounting Professionals, Small Businesses Optimistic About Growth

Article Post Date
February 23rd 2011 by Kim Amsbaugh

Has your company grown in the last 12 months? How important is investing in new technology to help facilitate that growth? Who would you trust more, The Cosby Family or the Sopranos, to manage your business finances?

These are just a few of the questions we recently asked Intuit small business and professional accounting customers in an online survey. To see a visual representation of the findings and find out if the Cosbys or Sopranos are most trusted when it comes to managing business finances, you can download an information graphic here.

In brief, Accounting professionals and small businesses are poised for progress as long as they continue to invest in new technologies, marketing and advertising, and face-to-face time with clients.

Firms, Companies Are Growing

In a considerable showing of resilience, 65% of accounting professionals and 54% of small business owners said  their companies grew in the last 12 months. Despite this growth, 75% of accounting professionals and 80% of small business owners rate today’s economic climate as “just fair” or “poor.”

Both groups expressed optimism for the future, with 94% of accounting professionals and 87% of small business owners seeing opportunities to grow their businesses in today’s economy.

Ranking the major factors toward growth:

When asked what keeps them up at night, 32% of accounting professionals said “keeping clients happy.” For 26% of small businesses, “paying bills” is their number one concern.

The Role of New and Web-based Technology

In 2010, a total of 39% of accounting professionals and 35% of small businesses invested in new technology to help maintain their success and grow their businesses. In addition, 84% of accounting professionals used technology to reduce operating costs and expand their client base, while 79% of small businesses used technology to market their business and expand their customer base.

Accounting professionals are more open to using online applications than small business owners. Some 74% of accounting professionals believe online applications will be integral to accounting firms in the future, and 38% already use them to access accounting and financial information through the Web.

Among small business owners, 60% see the use of mobile phone applications to communicate with customers or accounting professionals as important to future success, with 29% currently using online applications to access their accounting or financial information.

Face-to-Face Communication Remains Important

The survey also asked accounting professionals and small businesses how they communicate with each other.

While e-mail (60%) and telephone (54%) are the most common ways the two groups communicate, 64% of small business owners value face-to-face check-ins with their accounting or financial professional.  In addition, 75% of small businesses owners say their accountant or financial professional shares information with them in person.

View this PDF to see a visual representation of some of the findings.

Survey Background and Methodology

Global Strategy Group, an independent, full-service market research firm, conducted an online survey of 1,217 Intuit small business and 1,200 Intuit accountant customers between Oct. 15-20. The margin of error at the 95% confidence level is plus or minus 2.8%.

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  • About Kim Amsbaugh

    Kim Amsbaugh Kim Amsbaugh is Senior PR Manager for Intuit's Accounting Professionals Division. She is based out of Intuit's Mountain View, CA headquarters. See all of Kim's articles…

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