Commissioned by technology company CCH, the research found that two-thirds of SMEs surveyed believed their accountant had evolved into a more consultative, advisory role.
Almost the same number (63%) said the professional title of ‘accountant’ should change to ‘business adviser’.
A survey of practitioners supported this view with 90% believing their role has changed into more of a business adviser.
But only 36% said their professional title should change.
Ray Sieber, managing director of CCH, commented: ‘The research suggests that the role of the practitioner is undergoing a significant transition within the SME marketplace.
‘Instead of simply using an accountant to prepare accounts and process returns, companies are now turning to their accountants in a business critical capacity.’
He continued: ‘Practitioners themselves evidently believe the name “Accountant” is synonymous with professionalism and are hesitant to move from this. However, in light of recent events, perhaps the time is right for many practitioners to reassess this and reposition themselves and maximise this opportunity to properly promote a broader range of services.’
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