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Survey of Small Businesses Explores What Owners Really Want

Posted November 28, 2018 by Bobby Martin

At Vertical IQ, we often talk about how industry research can help build value-added client relationships. A recent survey conducted by Accounting Today, a leading provider of online business news for the accounting community, underscores this fact.

The business owner’s ideal accountant

Accounting Today’s survey of over 1,000 small businesses explored what owners expect from their accountant or CPA and what those in the accounting profession can do to better meet the needs of their small business clients. Their responses to some of the survey’s questions were what you might expect, yet the participants also provided rather eye-opening insights about how they view the accounting profession as a whole.

All of the findings from the study were interesting, but one finding struck a chord for me. One question asked what business owners/execs are looking for in an accounting services provider—what is the most important quality that that person can possess. A resounding 78 percent of respondents said the most important attribute of an accountant is that they are “a trusted advisor to me.”

One survey respondent even noted they would like their accountant to “tailor the service to my business and provide specific ideas/concepts that can help my business run more smoothly and increase profit.” Another observed, “Being able to understand the challenges we face as an industry would be helpful.”

These responses to this survey question are telling. Owning and running a business is hard work; it can often feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything that needs to be done. And tailoring advice, offering specific business ideas, and being educated about the nuances to how businesses are best managed within specific industries to get the job done can be difficult work for accountants. But business owners are clearly clamoring for trustworthy guidance like this from someone who can offer them personalized insights about how to make their business run more efficiently and more cost-effectively.

The industry-specific guidance they want (and need!)

A reputable accountant is an obvious person for a business owner to turn to for this very type of tailored business advice. But how can an accountant possibly be everything to every client when oftentimes they are working with companies in a wide array of industries?

Vertical IQ can help accountants, bankers, small business consultants, and advisers attain that coveted “trusted advisor” status with their clients by providing key insights on nearly 400 industry verticals and 325 local economic reports. In as little as 5 minutes, you can get up to speed on your client’s industry, preparing you to offer them valuable information on things like the latest trends that others in the industry are capitalizing on, as well as potential pitfalls to watch out for.

Ready to get started? 

By using the industry intelligence available on Vertical IQ, accountants have the opportunity to be a true “trusted advisor,” providing insights on specific tactics to grow a client’s business, and how to avoid the complex challenges others in their client’s industry are facing.    

Contact us today for more information about Vertical IQ or for a demo!

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