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Not Surprisingly, More Than Half of Canadian Small Businesses Report that Their Business Success Hinges on Getting Paid in an Efficient Manner

Survey indicates Sage Simply Accounting customers are less likely to be concerned with government compliance; more financially savvy than the average small business owner

Richmond, BC - Oct 18, 2010 – In a small business survey recently conducted by Sage Canada – a followup to the 2009 Angus Reid-Sage survey on ‘financial literacy’ – results show that 53 per cent of Sage Simply Accounting customers believe that efficient invoicing/billing is one of the aspects of financial management most critical to their businesses’ success. Managing costs (40%) and cash flow (36%) were also cited by respondents as pertinent to the success of their businesses.

“A year after our initial survey, in which nearly a quarter of Canadian businesses were unable to identify the key costs that need to be managed for success, our latest results from amongst Sage customers indicate improvement, with only 16 per cent of respondents admitting the same inability. However, more work is and can always be done,” said Jamie Sutherland, vice president and general manager, Sage Simply Accounting. “While the economic outlook suggests that Canada is on the road to recovery, entrepreneurs continue to seek better control of their operations, as all business decisions can significantly impact their bottom line. At our annual Simply Partnership conference later this week, we’ll be focused on working with and educating our partners on best practices and how our products can best assist their clients in gaining a better understanding of how to manage the overall financial health of their businesses.”

Used by hundreds of thousands of companies in Canada, Sage Simply Accounting’s customers represent a broad range of business types. The 27-question Small Business Survey, conducted in September and October 2010, was designed to examine the financial state of Canadian small businesses by focusing on their level of ‘financial literacy’ and assessed Sage Simply Accounting customers’ comfort level with financial management and how they manage their finances, obtain financial information and manage their businesses in compliance with government requirements.

The survey found that small business owners keep up with regulatory changes in numerous ways. The most popular sources of information on changes are professional services such as an accountant (69%) and government website (37%). However, Sage Simply Accounting customers are more likely to rely on their accounting software to keep up with regulatory changes (30%) in comparison to the average business owner (17%). To the question regarding compliance with government rules and regulations, Sage Simply Accounting customers also indicated that they are less likely to be concerned with sales tax (14%) and income tax (17%) compliance than the average small business owner (16% and 38% respectively).

Other highlights of the Sage Simply Accounting Small Business Survey include:

  • Seventy per cent of respondents said they have been negatively affected by the economic downturn, with 14 per cent calling the negative impact ‘dramatic.’
  • The activities that Sage Simply Accounting customers and business owners are most comfortable with are dealing with clients (79%) and suppliers (78%), while they were least comfortable with managing sales and marketing (67%).
  • The majority of small business owners perform financial management tasks in-house, with invoicing/billing (91%), payroll (75%) and accounting (70%) being the most common tasks completed by themselves or someone else in their company.
  • Nearly half (46%) of Sage Simply Accounting customers promptly include announced tax code changes into their financial plans for the coming year in comparison to less than one-third of respondents in 2009. In addition, only one-third of Sage Simply Accounting customers wait until they file their tax return to see what effect tax code changes had on their taxes versus 69 per cent of respondents in 2009.

The findings of the survey, along with other topical issues, industry trends and best practices for small business success will be discussed at Sage Simply Accounting’s Small Business Thought Leadership Panel on October 20. The panel will be moderated by the Business Development Bank of Canada’s (BDC) managing director of Subordinate Financing – B.C./Yukon, Axel Christiansen and will feature prominent small business experts and veteran entrepreneurs – Sage Simply Accounting’s Jamie Sutherland; Darren Root, CEO of RootWorks, president of Root & Associates, executive editor of The CPA Technology Advisor, and co-author of the upcoming book The E-Myth Accountant: Why Most Accounting Practices Don't Work and What to Do About It; and George Moen, President of Blenz Coffee.

Sage Simply Accounting’s Small Business survey was conducted from September 23 to October 6, 2010. Results have a margin of error of plus or minus 5.8 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

About Simply Partnership 2010

The Simply Partnership 2010 conference being held October 21, 2010, in Vancouver will offer members of the Sage Accountant’s Network (SAN) a special opportunity to exchange ideas and perspectives with Sage insiders, session leaders and industry experts. Participants will learn innovative strategies designed to help small business owners becomes more productive, profitable and successful. Complete details on this special Sage event are available at: www.simplypartnership.com

About Sage Simply Accounting
Celebrating 25 years, Sage Simply Accounting is the #1 choice of Canadian small businesses and accountants,* used by more than 500,000 Canadian businesses. Developed in Sage's global research and development centre in Richmond, B.C., the fully bilingual Sage Simply Accounting is known for its easy to learn, easy to use approach to accounting, while providing the most comprehensive features that small businesses require—from start-up through to maturity. Sage Simply Accounting is supported by a highly trained team of customer service specialists in our Richmond, B.C., centre, and by 10,000 consultant partners located in communities across Canada who help thousands of companies daily to manage their business more effectively with Sage Simply Accounting. For more information about Sage Simply Accounting, please call 800-665-8805 or visit www.simplyaccounting.com.

About Sage North America
Sage North America is part of The Sage Group plc, a leading global supplier of business management software and services. Sage North America employs 4,000 people and supports 3.1 million small and midsized business customers. The Sage Group plc, formed in 1981, was floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1989 and now employs 13,100 people and supports 6.2 million customers worldwide. For more information, please visit the Web site at www.sagenorthamerica.com.

* Based on independent surveys of 312 Canadian businesses with 1-99 employees and 482 accountants who work with small business clients, conducted in Canada in Sept 2009.

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