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The Sage 2010 Pulse survey questioned 321 accountants and 325 senior decision makers at small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).  Here are some of the key findings:

• 60% of business owners want sound business advice.  Interestingly, 38% of businesses named accountants as their most trusted source for business advice. This is nearly a 20% increase in two years and puts accountants way in front of management consultants.

• 63% of business owners want accountants to be cost effective.  This is up a massive 70% in two years and must be a result of tougher market conditions.  This is such a big jump that we have written a report about cost effectiveness of accountants.

• 42% of businesses want more regular contact with their accountant with tax planning being the most popular service. Regular contact by phone and email seems to be the key with 42% of businesses owners wanting this.

• 48% of businesses owners thought their accountant could deliver more insights into the performance of their business to support decision making.  Interestingly, there is an increase of 30% of business owners who want business planning advice.

I’d welcome your feedback on these numbers and will be discussing them with clients and comparing them to our 2010 survey.

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