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An overwhelming majority – 78% – of small business owners would consider changing their accountant to one who uses the latest technology, according to a new survey.

The survey, by cloud-based practice management software provider Canopy, questioned 1,001 small businesses and found that 63% admitted their current accountant does not offer an online portal, while 56 % said they consider an online portal an important feature. More than two-thirds of respondents (70%) said they would be interested in switching to an accountant that allows them to take photos of their documents for easy sharing.

Accountants have long used technology to make their jobs more efficient, but the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated businesses’ reliance on technology as many of their employees continue to work remotely from the office and deal with clients for a long time. their home.

“There is a clear desire from accounting customers at all levels for streamlined communications and easy access to upload, share and sign documents online,” said Larry Furr, chief product officer at Canopy, in a statement. statement Thursday. “While this trend is not new, we have seen a significant increase in customer technology expectations over the past 18 months. This survey shows that with the latest technology, accountants will definitely have a competitive edge.

The survey, conducted for Canopy by Atomik Research, found that 95% of finance industry respondents would consider changing their accountant to one with an online portal, and 96% of finance industry respondents would consider changing their accountant to an accountant who uses the latest technology.

Additionally, 70% of respondents from manufacturing and 63% from energy, oil and gas would consider changing to a more tech-savvy accountant, and 96% of respondents from distribution and transportation want to be able to use their phone to download documents.

The survey also indicated that when it comes to sending documents online, only 29% of companies with between one and five employees have accountants who allow documents to be uploaded and viewed securely online. This proportion rises to 40% of companies with 6 to 10 people, 68% of companies with 11 to 50 people and 69% of companies with 51 to 100 people.