Many Small Business Owners Report Being Tied Down With Accounting/Bookkeeping Responsibilities

Only 38% Use Accountant Or Bookkeeper - Many Use "Pen And Paper" (26%) Or "Spreadsheets" (26%) To Manage Books Optimism Abounds For Small Business Owners Thinking Ahead For Next Year

Toronto, ON - A new small business owners survey conducted by Ipsos Reid on behalf of Intuit Canada reports that small business managers today feel pulled in many directions, and often feel they are spending too much time "finding new customers" (36%), taking care of "day to day operations" (28%) and "managing accounting and/or bookkeeping" (25%) responsibilities.

The fact that accounting and bookkeeping is cited by many small business owners as a major drag on their work-time is probably in large part related to the fact that just 38% use an accountant or bookkeeper. In fact, when it comes to accounting methods, one-quarter of small business owners use "pen and paper or ledgers" (26%) and "spreadsheets" (26%), while smaller proportions use software like "QuickBooks"(15%), or "Simply Accounting"(14%)

A majority of small business owners recognize the important value of accounting software as three-quarters (77%) agree with the statement "accounting/financial planning software gives (them) the confidence to build/manage a successful business" (16% strongly agree).

The survey also explored some important issues surrounding the small business environment in Canada today, specific findings included:

  • High optimism about the coming year: 80% are confident about the growth prospects for their business in the next year;
  • When asked where they would go to find information about starting and running a business: 38% say "the internet"; 35% "friends and family"; 25% an "accountant or bookkeeper".
  • Most (74%) small businesses market their business via "word of mouth" however many also use a "website" (29%), "flyers or catalogues" (22%), and "internet marketing" (21%).
  • Two-thirds (66%) feel the Federal Government is "not supportive" of their business (29% say not at all supportive).

These are the findings of an Ipsos Reid poll conducted for Intuit and fielded from September 6th to September 10th, 2006. For the survey, a representative sample of 978 small business owners were interviewed via an internet panel survey. The sample used in this study has been weighted to accurately reflect this population. With a sample of this size, the aggregate results are considered accurate to within +/-3.2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had this entire population been polled. The margin of error will be larger within each sub-grouping of the survey population.

Full tabular results are available in the attached factum and tables

For more information or to schedule a media interview, please contact:

Paul Orovan
Research Manager
Ipsos Reid Publc Affairs
(416) 324-2900
[email protected]

Ipsos Reid
Ipsos Reid is Canada's market intelligence leader, the country's leading provider of public opinion research, and research partner for loyalty and forecasting and modelling insights. With operations in eight cities, Ipsos Reid employs more than 300 research professionals and support staff in Canada. The company has the biggest network of telephone call centres in the country, as well as the largest pre-recruited household and online panels. Ipsos Reid's marketing research and public affairs practices offer the premier suite of research vehicles in Canada, all of which provide clients with actionable and relevant information. Staffed with seasoned research consultants with extensive industry-specific backgrounds, Ipsos Reid offers syndicated information or custom solutions across key sectors of the Canadian economy, including consumer packaged goods, financial services, automotive, retail, and technology & telecommunications. Ipsos Reid is an Ipsos company, a leading global survey-based market research group.

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