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Accountants reveal common gripes with SME clients

Adam Zuchetti
Adam Zuchetti
14 September 2017 1 minute readShare

A national survey of accountants and bookkeepers has revealed the unnecessary burdens SME owners are placing on their accountants – and, in turn, themselves.

Over 500 accountants and bookkeepers were asked by Intuit to reveal the common problems they face managing the accounts of SME clients, which may end up costing these clients more time and money to resolve.

Not keeping on top of bills and debts was the third most common problem they saw, with a staggering 57 per cent saying they came across business owners who didn’t fully understand the importance of maintaining healthy cash flow.

The next most common concern was not using accounting software. Given the prominence of such providers such as Intuit, MYOB and Reckon, it is surprising that 60 per cent of accountants and bookkeepers said they were still dealing with businesses using alternative, clunky methods of tracking their business’ finances.

However, the clear winner was a lack of proper record-keeping, with close to three-quarters (74 per cent) of accountants and bookkeepers citing the keeping of proper records as their top piece of advice to business owners.

A massive 85 per cent of those surveyed said the mixing of personal and business expenses created numerous problems for them.

Such issues can in turn prove problematic for the business owner, such as higher accountant bills, delayed documentation processing and a higher risk of audits from the tax office.

The worst offenders for causing headaches in the accounting profession were tradies.

The findings of this survey mirror comments by Sydney accountant Alexander Laureti, who told My Business last year that often simple things get overlooked in the daily running of a business which can ultimately have the biggest impacts.

Hear more advice from Alexander on how to make best use of your accountant, as well as tips to manage your finances, on the My Business Podcast below:

Accountants reveal common gripes with SME clients
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Adam Zuchetti
Adam Zuchetti

Adam Zuchetti is the former editor of MyBusiness and a senior freelance media professional, specialising in the fields of business, personal finance and property. In 2020, he also embarked on his own business journey – inspired in part by the entrepreneurs and founders he had met through his journalistic work – with the launch of customised pet gifting and subscription service Paws N’ All.

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