More Than Half of Canadian Small Business Owners Cite Dealing With Taxes as an Area of Significant Weakness in Managing Their Business

RICHMOND, BC--(Marketwire - Feb 6, 2012) - Sage released today the findings regarding small business owners' concerns with tax compliancy from a recent 'financial literacy' survey conducted by Angus Reid Public Opinion on behalf of Sage's Simply Accounting business. The survey, which succeeded a 2009 study focusing on financial literacy, aimed to gauge the overall perceptions, knowledge and habits of small business owners with regard to financial management, resources and compliance.

The latest round of findings revealed that 53 per cent of respondents consider dealing with taxes as a significant area of business management, followed by managing sales and marketing (27%) and managing the finances of the business (26%). Concurrent to this, 32 per cent of small business owners also reported that income tax is the government rules and regulations they are most concerned about complying with. The survey found that those with smaller businesses are more concerned than larger businesses with income tax compliance (35% versus 10%).

"The fact that more than half of the respondents view taxes as an area of weakness is understandable as regulations are complex and many Canadian small business owners have not been formally trained on tax codes," said Nancy Harris, vice president and general manager at Sage Simply Accounting. "With all the changes in compliance rules and government regulations, such as the Employment Insurance (EI) and Canadian Pension Plan (CPP) payroll tax hikes for this year, seeking the assistance of a professional or using accounting software can help Canadian business owners not only save time, but also succeed in facing these new compliance challenges."

On average across the country, small business owners are less concerned about income and sales taxes compliance compared to 2009 (43% versus 51%). Since 2009, small business owners have become more concerned with conforming with rules and regulations associated with record keeping (20% versus 12%) and permits and licenses (11% versus 5%).

Other highlights of the Sage-Angus Reid small business survey include:

  • To stay on top of updated rules and regulations, 47 per cent of small business owners said they utilize professional services, while 27 per cent use government websites or phone lines.
  • More financially literate small business owners -- those who have identified the single cost that has the largest impact on their business -- are more likely to use accounting software to stay current on rules and regulations, while those with larger businesses are more likely to consult with professional services.
  • When it comes to financial knowledge, respondents cited EI/CPP compliance (18%) and tax payments (14%) as the financial management areas they know the least about. However, when these results are compared to those of the 2009 survey, small business owners are more likely to state that they know everything they need to know about EI/CPP compliance (32% versus 27%) and tax payments (32% versus 24%).

The survey was conducted May 17-23, 2011 and its results have a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4%, 19 times out of 20.

About Sage North America
Sage is a leading global supplier of business management software and services for small and midsized businesses. The Sage Group plc, formed in 1981, was floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1989 and now employs more than 12,300 people and supports more than 6 million customers worldwide. For more information about Sage in North America, please visit the company website at Follow on Facebook:, and Twitter:!/SageNAmerica.

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