By Max Clarke

Accountants are the most valued professional adviser when it comes to business advice, with a fifth of small businesses believing that their accountant provides them with the most valuable business advice.

12% of respondents to a survey of small business owners, carried out by, name friends, while 10% state a member of their family has given them the best advice on their business. One in three believe their own advice is the most valuable with regards to running their company.

“Whilst some business owners value their own judgment over anyone else’s, when it comes to the running of their business, it’s important to seek professional advice,” said’s Karen Barrett.

“Setting up and running a business can be time consuming, especially in the current economic climate and an accountant can offer not just valuable advice but also free up your time to focus on other important business matters. The UK tax system is constantly evolving and it is important to keep up to speed on how any potential changes could impact on you and your business — making tax a key area where professional advice is invaluable.

Of the 54% of small business owners who have sought professional advice on their accounting and bookkeeping needs, 48% say that their accountant has saved them money in the long-term, while 47% state that they had helped them make sense of the complex UK tax system.

Over a quarter say using an accountant has meant they have more time to focus on important business decisions. One in ten say their accountant has helped them to free up time to spend with their family.

According to small business owners, self assessment forms and business forecasting are the most difficult processes in the running of their business.

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