May 03, 2011 09:00 ET

Sage Survey Finds That French-Speaking Canadian Accounting Professionals Are Concerned About Time Management

Social Media Adoption Is Low Despite 'Keeping Up With Technology' Being Identified as a Key Challenge

RICHMOND, BC--(Marketwire - May 3, 2011) - Sage released today the findings of a recent survey of nearly 200 of its French-speaking Canadian Sage Accountants Network members. Conducted in February and March 2011, the survey covers a variety of topics of interest to accounting professionals, ranging from top concerns to social media usage to the resources they tap into to stay on top of trends in the profession.

Among the 182 respondents, the biggest challenge facing their firms was time management at 32 per cent followed by keeping up with technology at 27 per cent. While these were common challenges for both French-speaking and English-speaking respondents, the prior also indicated that getting new clients (26%) is a significant challenge while the biggest challenge for the latter is achieving work-life balance (37%).

"It is with much support of our Sage Accountants Network partners and accounting professionals that Sage ERP Accpac and Sage Simply Accounting have been the number one ranked accounting and ERP solutions in Canada for the past 30 years," said Jennifer Warawa, senior director, partner programs at Sage. "As our survey indicates, while our French-speaking and English-speaking members have similarities, they also face different challenges. Understanding their wants, needs and challenges helps us to continually improve our products and services and provide our partners with the tools that will assist them to work more efficiently and support their clients."

In terms of social media, the survey indicates a slower adoption rate among French-speaking respondents than their English-speaking counterparts in Canada and the U.S. Sixty-seven per cent of French-speaking respondents indicated that they aren't using any social media tools in a professional capacity compared to 55 per cent in English-speaking Canada and 43 per cent in the U.S. In fact, only 14 per cent of respondents' firms have a website compared to 26 per cent of English-speaking respondents. For those using social media, the survey reveals that the key tools that are being used are Facebook (17%) and LinkedIn (13%).

Although there are numerous Canadian accounting professional association publications, when asked which accounting publications respondents read, 65 per cent stated that they do not read anything compared to 56 per cent of English-speaking respondents. In the U.S. only 19 per cent of respondents indicated that they do not read any accounting publications.

"We have touch points with our members several times during the year through workshops, listening tours and at our annual Simply Partnership conference, and the majority have expressed how ardently devoted they are to furthering their professional knowledge, so this is a particularly surprising finding," said Warawa. "We know many of our partners proactively seek out opportunities to build professional knowledge, such as seminars and conferences, and as such, our survey suggests that they do not find publications to be a compelling way to augment their professional growth strategy."

Other highlights of the survey include:

  • In terms of online accounting resources, 87 per cent of respondent stated that they do not read any, while 89 per cent of their English-speaking counterparts indicated the same.
  • Only 16 per cent of respondents stated that their firm did specialize with clients in a particular industry compared to 31 per cent of English-speaking respondents.
    • Fifty-eight per cent provide services/consulting, 52 per cent focus on retail and 36 per cent specialize in construction.

About Sage North America
Sage North America is part of The Sage Group plc, a leading global supplier of business management software and services. Sage North America employs 4,000 people and supports 3.2 million small and midsized business customers. The Sage Group plc, formed in 1981, was floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1989 and now employs 13,400 people and supports 6.3 million customers worldwide. For more information, please visit the website at: Follow Sage North America on Facebook:, and Twitter:!/SageNAmerica.

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