Small Business Owners’ need help; here’s what CPAs can do

On the heels of Luminari & CIBC’s new white-paper about the future of public accounting, we’re tackling other relevant research on small businesses in Canada, and where CPAs can add the most value.

Small businesses are the backbone of the Canadian economy, accounting for nearly 98 per cent of businesses across the country. What’s more, we know that CPAs and small businesses are like peanut butter and jelly; they’re meant to go together.

With this in mind, understanding the common struggles small business owners face is how, we as CPAs, can maintain relevance in our client’s financial journey. From long days, meetings with potential investors and trying to keep on top of the newest technologies, there’s no denying small business owners are often swimming against the tide.

Their biggest challenge

The CIBC SmartBanking™ for Business Survey revealed one of the biggest obstacles small businesses face is with technology. One-in-four small business owners said their current technology platforms have too much manual data entry.

They want a better way of doing things

Additionally, this poll of 1,005 business owners across the country saw 25 per cent of respondents saying they spent too much time on bookkeeping, accounting and payroll.

The survey also found that 18 per cent of entrepreneurs feel “they are always working” with roughly the same amount admitting to working over 60 hours per week.

While advancements in technology can help alleviate these concerns, digital technology adoption is actually quite low among small businesses. Often, small business owners struggle to find tools that simplify their lives, that are both affordable and easy to use.

They can’t find the right help

Furthermore, our whitepaper shows that many of the top accounting firms in the country admit to facing difficulty in hiring the workers they need to run their business.

So how can CPAs help?

Finding new ways to make your clients’ lives easier and their businesses run smoother is imperative to easing the burdens facing SMEs today. Whether it’s a new way to automate a process that’s being run manually, expanding your services lines (like bookkeeping) or fielding potential candidates, there are a lot of ways CPAs can go above and beyond to help their clients sleep better at night.

Firms are already shifting from being more than just “accountants” for their clients, so there’s a start. As we found out in our whitepaper, modern technology hasn’t been as widespread as some people would have you believe. A lot of the time, business owners don’t know what technology is accessible to them and how it can improve their work life balance. That’s why we were fascinated to learn that 83 per cent of firms we surveyed had a dedicated partner responsible for keeping up to date with new and evolving technology. Clearly, keeping clients and staff up to date on tech solutions to help solve clients’ problems is already an area being heavily invested in by most firms.

Interested to learn more about the research Luminari & CIBC did with 35 of the top accounting firm partners in the country? Learn more and download the free whitepaper, here: https://www.luminari.ai/cibc/#Home



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