Accountants are increasingly seen as the number one port of call for small businesses to attain business advice, a survey by business software provider Sage UK has revealed.
The Sage Omnibus survey, which polls more than 1, 000 customers per month, found 44% of small business owners turn to accountants first for business advice, compared to 21% who search the internet and 18% who called on business groups and industry associations.
Interestingly, 21% of business owners say they are more open and honest with their accountants than their bank managers while 15% are more honest with accountants than they are with their friends, family and even spouses!
Half of respondents think that accountants provided the most valuable business advice, while 90% of business owners described their relationship with their accountant as "good" or "excellent".
Sage has suggested these figures help illustrate the evolving role of accountants, who have become seen increasingly as part of their clients business.
"More business owners than ever before are turning to accountants for guidance as the regulatory landscape evolves, and the fact that more than 1 in 7 are more honest with their accountant than they are with their nearest and dearest underlines just how valued their counsel and advice really is," Sage accountants division managing director Jim Scott said.
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