April 22, 2013 10:15 ET

Sage Survey Shows Small Businesses in North America Consistently Struggle With the Complexity of Tax Regulations and Code; Many Turn to Outside Accountants for Help

ATLANTA, GA--(Marketwired - Apr 22, 2013) - The Sage Accountants Usage Study, which looked at how small businesses use accountant services, found that the majority of small businesses that utilize the services of an outside accountant (74% in U.S. and 68% in Canada) do so, in part, because of the complexity of regulations and tax code. This survey was conducted among 373 small businesses in the U.S. and 300 in Canada.

This is not the first time a Sage survey has shown these as key issues for small businesses. The Sage Small Business Sentiment Survey from February 2012 showed that 49 percent of small businesses felt high taxes were one of their top three issues that would hinder growth, while 43 percent of small businesses surveyed said too many regulations would hinder growth.

A similar survey in November 2012 found that 67 percent of small businesses were most concerned about taxes, and 48 percent were most concerned about regulations. In that same month, the Sage Canadian Small Business Financial Literacy Survey found that 34 percent of small business owners felt that dealing with taxes was a management weakness.

Ever-changing tax codes and increased complexity of regulations show no signs of letting up with many of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act going into effect in 2014 in the U.S. To manage this and other regulatory changes, partnering with an outside accountant to help stay compliant should be a priority for small businesses in 2013 and beyond.

Many small businesses recognize the value of an outside accountant, especially when it comes to preparing corporate taxes and being compliant: Seventy-four percent of U.S. and 80 percent of Canadian small businesses receive corporate tax services from their outside accountant, and 52 percent of U.S. and 53 percent of Canadian use their outside accountant for business tax compliance. Sixty-two percent of U.S. small businesses actively utilize the services of an outside accountant (up from 60% last year), and 82 percent of Canadian small business owners utilize an outside accountant (up from 61% last year).

For more findings from this study, see the Sage Accountants Usage Survey report and infographic.

Sage North America is a leading global supplier of business management software and services for small and midsized businesses. For more information about Sage North America, visit Follow Sage North America on Facebook,, and Twitter,

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