San Francisco (Sept. 3, 2002) -- Accountants headed a list of outside advisors that small business owners consulted for advice on critical business decisions during the past year, according to a poll by the National Federation of Independent Business and Wells Fargo.


During the past year, 84 percent of small businesses surveyed said they sought advice from one or more counselors (persons not in the firm and not the firm's customers) before making a critical business decision. Of those who wanted outside advice, 59 percent said they consulted an accountant. The next most solicited advisors were family members (by 44 percent), lawyers (by 39 percent), other business owners (by 34 percent), suppliers (by 31 percent), and insurance agents and brokers (by 30 percent).


The average number of advisors solicited was three and one-half, who were asked to provide advice on an average of five topics, according to poll results.


"Small-business owners, regardless of the size of their enterprise, seek trusted advisors to help them manage their businesses," said Rebecca Macieira-Kaufmann, Wells Fargo executive vice president in business banking. "This trend shows that small-business owners ask for advice from a variety of sources when they need it -- both inside and outside their firms. They're seeking counsel more often as they continually search for ways to improve and grow their businesses."


-- Electronic Accountant Newswire staff

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