ATLANTA, May 22, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- According to the 2019 Small Business Finance and HR Report, five out of six small business owners agreed that their accountant is “a trusted advisor they can turn to for a wide range of business advice.” Thirty-one percent say their accountant is the advisor they trust the most, followed by family and friends (22%), lawyers (16%), and financial planners (9%). However, only 61% said they are satisfied with the breath of services their accountant performs.

OnPay, the top-rated payroll provider serving small and medium businesses, surveyed a random panel of 1,081 Americans who self-identified as owners or managers of small businesses with at least one employee. The research was performed in April 2019 with the goal of better understanding how small businesses manage their finances and HR, and how accountants are expected to help.

Accountants as Advisors

While 86% of small business owners agree their accountant is a trusted advisor, only 53% strongly agree. When an accountant offers the right level of service, as many as 88% of small business owners strongly agree they are a trusted advisor.

Here are a few ways accountants can better serve their clients:

  • Offering more than taxes and bookkeeping: A large number of small business owners expect accountants to help with tasks like payroll (38%), accounts payable and accounts receivable (37%), and financial projections (32%).
  • Knowing their clients well: Overall, 53% of small business owners say their accountant knows them “very well.” When a business owner works with an accountant they describe as a trusted advisor, that number jumps to 84%.
  • Communicating frequently: 47% of small business owners who call their accountant a trusted advisor say they have contact with them once a month or more. On average, only 39% of all small business owners talk to their accountant that often.

“While a majority of the businesses we surveyed view their accountants as valuable advisors, nearly 40% want a greater variety of services,” said Mark McKee, president and COO of OnPay. “Accountants have a sizeable opportunity to grow their firms to better suit their clients’ needs and further evolve their role in an advisory capacity.”

The report also includes detailed information and firmographics about when small businesses are likely to look for an accountant and where they’re most likely to look.

SMBs and HR

According to the survey results, accountants have ample opportunities to support their clients with HR services. The survey shows that the average small business spends almost 40 hours a month on HR- and payroll-related activities – a significant amount of time that could be spent on more strategic activities.

Eighty-six percent of business owners said they are confident that their HR practices are fully compliant with state and federal regulations. However, they are far less confident about specific HR tasks. Less than 50% expressed confidence they are doing a good job of things like maintaining employee handbooks, categorizing contractors vs. employees, and monitoring changes in employment laws. 

Technology plays a role in creating better HR results. Ninety-six percent of small business owners who use HR software see their accountant as a trusted advisor. And respondents who use payroll software are also 63% more likely to feel confident they will pay employees on time. 

Access the Survey Results

The 2019 Small Business Finance and HR Report includes responses from more than 1,000 small business owners and managers nationwide. It covers general finance practices, how organizations rate and evaluate their accountants, and how companies handle HR responsibilities.  An analysis of the results is now available online at http://payrollcenter.com/onpay/2019-small-business-finance-HR.

About OnPay

OnPay’s mission is to set the new standard in payroll by making payroll, HR and benefits easy, affordable and mistake-free. OnPay launched in 2009 as the subsidiary of a traditional payroll company. The team’s deep history with payroll helps OnPay deliver an approachable payroll solution that accommodates companies in every industry, as well as their accountants and bookkeepers. PC Magazine gave OnPay an “Excellent” rating, and the company has earned five-out-of-five-star ratings for its payroll solution on Capterra, earning awards for ease of use and best customer service. Learn more by visiting OnPay.com.

Media Contact
Vicki LaBrosse
Accounting Edge Marketing for OnPay
vlabrosse@accountingedgemarketing.com
651.552.7753