Accountants beat banks as most trusted source of advice

by Rachael Singh

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07 Dec 2012

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Jim Scott

ACCOUNTANTS are the most trusted business advisor, following a breakdown in honesty between companies and their bank managers.

A fifth (21%) of businesses say they are more open and honest with their accountants than their bank managers, according to a Sage Omnibus survey of more than 1,000 of its customers.

Exactly half, 50%, of those surveyed believe their accountant provides the most valuable business advice, with 4% believing this to be the case with friends, 2% family, and bank managers sloping in at 2%, alongside solicitors 2%.

The latest statistic is indicative of the detachment of business owners with their banks.

Honesty is also the best policy, with 15% of small business owners also claiming they are more honest with their accountant than even friends, family or spouse.

About 44% turn to their accountants first for business advice, 21% to the internet and 18% to business groups or Chamber of Commerce associations.

Jim Scott (pictured), managing director of Sage Accountants Division, said: "Accountants have played a key role in the success of many businesses, but it is in challenging times that the value they bring really comes to the fore. More business owners than ever are turning to accountants for guidance as the regulatory landscape evolves, and the fact that over one in seven are more honest with their accountant than they are with their nearest and dearest underlines just how valued their counsel and advice really is.

"Businesses that view accountants more as trusted partners and less as mere service providers when accounts need to be filed are also better placed to make the most of new technologies, including cloud-based software and mobile apps that provide access to up-to-the-minute information anytime, anywhere."

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