The MYOB SME Snapshot survey took into account the answers and operations of 400 small businesses throughout Australia.
The research indicated that 48 per cent of businesses surveyed turn to accountants first when their business is faced with financial difficulty.
“The survey highlights that accountants are invaluable to business owners, regardless of the industry or the size of business”, said Tim Reed, MYOB chief executive.
Mr Reed noted that the accountant-client relationship expanded far beyond compliance matters.
“Rather than just being called upon at tax time, they [accountants] are actually a constant source of financial advice throughout the year, helping businesses grow and remain profitable,” he said.
The survey also revealed some alarming statistics about the state of SME businesses, with accountants well placed to be of assistance in these areas.
Specifically, 62 per cent of businesses surveyed noted that they have had to utilise some form of business financing in the past 12 months. In addition, 47 per cent of SMEs with annual revenue of less than $75,000 have resorted to dipping into savings to cover extra costs.
The research also highlighted that flexible work options are on the rise at Australian SMEs.
Eighty-six per cent of businesses with employed staff indicated they offer some form of flexible working arrangements for their employees, with an increased tendency to allow working from home.
“This is good to see because flexible working can increase business productivity, reduce turnover and improve job satisfaction,” Mr Reed concluded.