SurePayroll Insights Survey: Small Business Owners Becoming Increasingly Loyal as Accountants Save Them Significant Time on Taxes

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Survey finds that most small business owners spend over a dozen hours less during tax time than the average American and stay loyal to accountants for filing taxes.

There are a lot of services that business people are willing to switch because of better prices -- a good accountant isn't one of them

Small business owners may be known for independence, but a recent survey conducted by online payroll service SurePayroll says this isn't the case when it comes to getting help during tax season.

The survey finds that nearly 93 percent of small business owners are relying on an accountant to help them file their business tax returns -- 5 percent more than last year's survey indicated -- and that on average they devote much less time to the process than most Americans spend on filing personal taxes.

Results show that the average small business owner spends around 12 hours on the tax filing process. According to U.S. government information on the official White House Web site, the average American spends around 25 hours preparing their tax return - 13 hours more than the average small business owner.

But time isn't the only savings business owners get by using accountants. Nearly 70 percent of small business owners believe their accountants will give them advice that will help them pay less, adding cost-savings to the list of reasons it makes sense to outsource taxes to an accounting professional.

Most small business owners also feel their accountants treat them right. Almost all (92 percent) small business owner respondents indicated their accountants are accessible throughout tax season, stating they could contact them whenever necessary.

The results suggest that small business owner satisfaction with accountants has translated into increasing loyalty. 94 percent of respondents reported they were using the same accountant they used in 2007 -- an increase of 11 percent from last year.

SurePayroll President Michael Alter isn't surprised by the survey's findings.

"SurePayroll surveys have consistently indicated that accountants are the small business owners' most trusted advisors, and for good reason. Good accountants can more than make up for their fees in the tax dollars and potential fines they save them," he says. "Most provide their clients with a spectrum of services that benefit the business in a variety of ways. The value they provide is quantifiable, so it's easy to justify the cost."

But would a small business owner consider leaving their accountant if the price were right?

For most, not a chance. When asked if they would consider leaving their current accountants for cheaper, overseas alternatives - even if they could do so at one-third of the cost -- 92 percent said no.

"There are a lot of services that business people are willing to switch because of better prices -- a good accountant isn't one of them," says Alter.

In addition to tax return filing, small business owners said they looked to their accountants for assistance with tax planning (51 percent), financial accounting (29 percent), financial analysis (22 percent) and audits (21 percent). And 79 percent of respondents said the accountant who assists with filing their annual return also handles their personal taxes.

About SurePayroll:

Voted Editor's Choice for best payroll service by PC Magazine, SurePayroll is America's largest full-service online payroll service. In addition to its payroll and ClickFREEâ„¢ tax file and pay service - which allows a user to complete the entire payroll process in minutes - SurePayroll provides HR and compliance resources, workers' compensation products and 401(k) retirement solutions designed specifically for small businesses.

SurePayroll also offers a private-label and co-branded payroll service to accounting and banking partners to offer payroll processing to their small business clients.

SurePayroll is passionate about small businesses and their payroll. The company is dedicated to providing an extremely friendly and simple payroll experience - at a price small business owners can afford. For more information, visit http://www.surepayroll.com.

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Frank Krolicki
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