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A new report by Zohoand AccountingWeb shows that small businesses are asking their accountants for technology advice 83% of the time. And 40% of the accountants say they are asked tech questions up to 20 times a month.

According to Andy North at AccountingWeb, 62% answer questions on desktop accounting software; 46% answer questions on software training, 46% answer questions on support services and 57% answer questions on data security.

AccountingWeb surveyed over 400 firms in North America.

Business owners trust their accountants

It appears that business owners trust their accountants and they think that accountants know everything about how a business functions financially.

Accountants are often able to give expert advice because tech systems are often integrated with accounting solutions on the web.

The report shows that business owners see their accountants as much more than just number crunchers. North said the challenge for accountants is how to keep pace with the demand.

Clients Ask For It

Thirty eight percent of accountants supply technological advice because clients ask for it.  Still others (21%) reported answering these questions allowed them to use their passion for technology.

However, some accountants worry about liability in giving more than just their accounting services.

North said there were some consequences for the SMB/accountant relationship.

North sees that eventually, accounting firms will develop and offer “clearly defined and priced technology consultancy services” that eliminates some of the risks of informal consultancy.

Industry Leaders

He pointed to Zoho as one of the industry leaders that offer a wide range of the kind of technology needed on one platform. North said this simple platform will make it easier for accountants to provide this type of advice. Raju Vagesna, Zoho’s Chief Evangelist in a company release that “Zoho helps accountants overcome the challenges of giving business advice by providing an all-in-one suite of apps.”