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Susan Ward

Most Canadian Small Businesses Are Doing Their Own Accounting

By November 20, 2012

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The majority of small business owners surveyed in Sage's Financial Literacy Survey said they perform their business' financial management tasks themselves, including invoicing (78%), payroll (58%), inventory management (55%) and accounting (52%).

And when it comes to learning to manage business finances, 73% of respondents are self-taught; 41% learned from an accountant, a consultant or a bookkeeper; 29% received formal full time education. Quebec business owners are less likely to have learned from a professional (29%).

Small business owner doing your own accounting? Here's help.

No wonder, then, that so many small business owners surveyed recognized the need to know more about financial planning (67%), tax payments (65%) and cash flow (58%)!

The survey also took a look at how small business owners are taking care of business. While laptops (67%) and smartphones (58%) are the devices most often used to manage business-related activities, 18% of small business owners are using tablets.

And fifty-two percent of respondents said they use their mobile devices to handle email, and thirty percent are using them to bank online.

Read the entire Sage Canadian Small Business Financial Literacy Survey.

I don't find any of this information surprising. Having an accountant or using a payroll solution costs money and small businesses are notoriously cost-conscious.

And a small business owner may not feel that their accounting needs are complex enough to justify the cost of an accountant; doing a job, invoicing a job and depositing the income when it comes in is not exactly rocket science, for instance.

My two cents on this is that you don't pay an accountant just to do your accounts; you pay them for their expert advice. Accounting and income tax software are great tools, but they don't provide you with direction for your small business's future or foresee potential pitfalls.

So even if you are using software or online applications to do your books, it's a good thing to have an accountant as well. Don't have one? Use these tips to help you find a good one: How to Find a Good Accountant.

More on Financial Management

Image (c) Trinette Reed / Getty Images

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Comments
December 23, 2012 at 4:05 am
(1) Darren Veerapa says:

I have often come across this issue. When asked, they simply said they did not ask their accountants about financial planning etc. Indeed, small biz owners seem to think that they are only good for tax. The question is, are they? what do you think? I know they have the training. But if no one is asking them the question, accountants are not getting any experience on this matter and therefore.. small biz owners are not asking either. Catch 22?

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