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SMEs Still Stick To Google For Accounting Advice

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Researchers in the U.K. last year found that a significant portion of small business owners turn to Google when they need some kind of financial help. The latest report suggests not much has changed.

Analysis by the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) revealed that 19 percent of SMEs surveyed said they would simply Google their questions when they need financial advice; that’s nearly the same portion of business owners (22 percent) that said they would turn to an actual accountant.

According to reports on Tuesday (July 5), the AAT’s findings could suggest that small businesses know that they are lacking when it comes to financial knowledge. Even so, only 11 percent said they regret not spending more time on finance when first launching their businesses.

That compares to the 19 percent that said they would have put more focus on marketing at the beginning of their small business.

“Starting your own business can be a daunting process. This research shows that many people who want to run their own business may need more help when they’re starting out,” said AAT Head of Business Development Rob Alder in a statement. “If you have a business idea, it’s essential you do as much research as possible to ensure your idea has the best chance to succeed.”

“Being confident in yourself and your idea is excellent, but you should still ensure you get as much advice as you can, from multiple sources,” he added.

AAT found other trends in the small business community. For instance, more than half of the entrepreneurs surveyed said they are worried about unpaid invoices; London has some of the highest instances of the negative impacts of late payments, with SMEs in the city spending an average of 1.5 days a month focused on chasing down late payments.

While AAT research found that about a fifth of small business owners turn to Google for financial assistance, IGF Invoice Finance found last year that the figure could be as high as one-third, with a nearly equal portion (34 percent) going to an actual accountant.

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