SOURCE: SAGE

Sage

February 06, 2012 09:00 ET

Almost Half of Quebec Small Business Owners Cite Dealing With Taxes as an Area of Significant Weakness in Managing Their Business

Sage-Angus Reid Public Opinion Survey Results Show Income Taxes and EI/QPP Compliance Continue to Be Key Concerns

RICHMOND, BC--(Marketwire - Feb 6, 2012) - Sage released today the findings of small business owners' concerns with tax compliance from a recent 'financial literacy' survey conducted by Angus Reid Public Opinion on behalf of Sage's Simply Accounting business. The survey, which succeeded a 2009 study focusing on financial literacy, aimed to gauge the overall perceptions, knowledge and habits of small business owners with regard to financial management, resources and compliance.

The latest round of findings revealed that 47 per cent of respondents consider dealing with taxes their weakest area of business management, followed by managing the finances of the business (22%) and managing sales and marketing (21%).

"The fact that almost half of respondents view taxes as an area of weakness is understandable as regulations are complex and many Quebec small business owners have not been formally trained on tax codes," said Nancy Harris, vice president and general manager at Sage Simply Accounting. "With all the changes in government rules and regulations, such as the newly introduced mandatory Attestation of Revenue for Quebec entrepreneurs, seeking the assistance of a professional or using accounting software can help Quebec business owners not only save time, but also succeed in facing these new compliance challenges."

For more than a third of respondents (34%), income tax is the government rule or regulation they are most concerned about complying with. Since 2009, small business owners have also become more concerned with permits and licenses (12% versus 5% in 2009).

Other highlights of the Sage-Angus Reid small business survey include:

  • To stay on top of updated rules and regulations, 58 per cent of small business owners said they utilize professional services, while 30 per cent use government websites or phone lines.
  • More financially literate small business owners -- those who have identified the single cost that has the largest impact on their business -- are more likely to use accounting software to stay current on rules and regulations, while those with larger businesses are more likely to consult with professional services.
  • Those with smaller businesses in Canada are more concerned than larger businesses with income tax compliance (35% versus 10%).
  • When it comes to financial knowledge, Quebec small business owners cite significant gaps in their knowledge when it comes to tax payments (37%) and EI/QPP compliance (34%).

The survey was conducted May 17-23, 2011 and its results have a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4%, 19 times out of 20.

About Sage North America
Sage is a leading global supplier of business management software and services for small and midsized businesses. The Sage Group plc, formed in 1981, was floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1989 and now employs more than 12,300 people and supports more than 6 million customers worldwide. For more information about Sage in North America, please visit the company website at www.SageNorthAmerica.com. Follow on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SageNorthAmerica, and Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/SageNAmerica.

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