Barlow Research Associates is an analyst firm that works with banks to help them better understand the needs of small businesses.
According to one of their recent surveys, small business owners turn to a number of sources for advice and as the chart below shows, accountants are their first choice.
We were somewhat fascinated that the survey asked about Google. Surveys have traditionally asked about turning to the Internet for advice.
Kudos to Google for developing their brand to the point where people think of turning to Google for advice instead of what they really do - pointing to places where people can get advice.
As we pointed out in the Intuit Future of Accountancy report, accountants will increasingly:
... take on new roles as consultants and advisors, providing performance management, decision support, IT advice and similar services, with less emphasis on nuts-and-bolts functions such as computation and tax preparation.
Barlow's research shows they are well positioned as trusted advisors, making this shift easier.