Fifty-two percent of consumers believe their financial prospects will improve over the next 12 months, and 61 percent of small business owners are expressing similar optimism about their businesses' potential growth, according to a new survey by Intuit’s Digital Insights division.

Sixty-four percent of small business owners say they are optimistic to highly optimistic about the future of their business. Forty percent of small businesses want a local institution that understands their business needs and/or has an impact on their community. Only 24 percent look to the big banks.

Digital Insight’s Second Annual Online Financial Management Survey also found:

• Eighty-eight percent of consumers now pay bills and transfer funds online, but 62 percent would like a single place to manage their complete financial picture, no matter where the information originates.

• Nearly half of consumers would like online help with tracking expenses and budgeting.

• Approximately 80 percent of consumers and small businesses named their bank or credit union as their most trusted online destination to manage their finances − an increase from 68 percent of respondents last year.

• Seventeen percent of small business owners have increased their use of online financial management tools in the past year.

• The top five tasks small business owners would like to manage online are: processing credit card and automated clearinghouse payments; invoicing; making remote deposits; planning and filing taxes; and learning about new products and services.

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