in partnership with AccountingWeb,
released a new report outlining the competitive advantage gained by
small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) when their accountants are able
to offer more than bookkeeping services. Analysis from the report
suggests that accountants are particularly well-suited to provide
reliable technology advice to SMBs struggling through software decisions
and unable to afford outside consulting.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that approximately 20 percent
of small businesses fail by the end of their first year and 50 percent
close up shop by the end of their fifth year. Given this high potential
for failure, SMBs are increasingly seeking practical guidance,
specifically on which software, data security, and network to choose
from, as well as more general technology advice.
The North American survey conducted by AccountingWeb—with
over 400 firms participating—provides insight into how accountants feel
about giving technology advice and why they are stepping up to be more
than just bookkeepers.
According to the report,
accountants are being asked for technology advice from 83 percent of
their client base. Outside of tax season, nearly 40 percent of
accountants receive anywhere from five to 20 technology questions per
month. These findings conclude that SMBs are looking for input and
hoping to get answers by consistently asking their accountants for help.
However, if accountants aren’t proactively offering help, companies
should be asking for it.
Additional findings that may impact a small or medium-sized business’
decision to ask their accountants for technology advice:
Accountants are typically interested in handling questions about the
following types of technology: desktop accounting software (62%),
software training and support services (46%), and data security (57%).
Accountants are motivated to provide technology advice because their
clients are asking for advice (38%) and it allows them to exercise
their passion for technology (21%).
In addition to answering questions for clients, accountants
proactively recommend technology to clients when they spot a need
“These findings show that business owners are clearly seeing their
accountant and bookkeeping partners as far more than simply number
crunchers. The challenge for those professionals is to revise their
business models to capitalize on that demand. Moreover, if business
owners expect to receive valuable technology advice then they need to be
prepared to pay for it,” said Andy North, publisher at AccountingWeb.
“This is part of a wider change in the relationship between accountants
and their clients that started at the turn of the century.”
“Zoho helps accountants overcome the challenges of giving business
advice by providing an all-in-one suite of apps that connects an
accountant’s core focus, finances, with nearly every tool that their
client may need,” said Raju Vagesna, Zoho’s Chief Evangelist. “In
addition, our Zoho
Partner Program provides financial professionals one-on-one
trainings, resources, and support to help them expand their accounting
and bookkeeping practices. Zoho is excited to continue working with
accountants and helping businesses expand and develop.”
Zoho is the operating system for business—a single online platform
capable of running an entire business. With 40+ apps in nearly every
major business category, including sales, marketing, customer support,
accounting and back office operations, and an array of productivity and
collaboration tools, Zoho is one of the world’s most prolific software
Zoho respects user privacy and does not have an ad-revenue model in any
part of its business, including its free products. More than 45 million
users around the world, across hundreds of thousands of companies, rely
on Zoho every day to run their businesses, including Zoho itself. Zoho
Corporation is privately held and profitable with more than 7,000
employees. Zoho is headquartered in Austin, Texas with international
headquarters in Chennai, India. Additional offices are in Pleasanton,
California (U.S.); Renigunta, India; Tenkasi, India; Yokohama, Japan;
Beijing, China; Singapore; Queretaro, Mexico; Byron Bay, Australia;
Utrecht, Netherlands; and Dubai, United Arab Emirates. For more
information, please visit www.zoho.com.