The pressure of paperwork

According to a Canadian small business survey conducted by Ipsos Reid and sponsored by Intuit Canada, more knowledge workers are feeling the pressure of paperwork than last year.

Barb Anderson, group marketing manager for the small business division at Intuit, says the amount of businesses that spend time on paperwork has increased over the numbers seen last year.

“Small businesses are still being bogged down and mired by paperwork and back office work,” Anderson said. “This is up 32 per cent versus it being 25 per cent in 2006.”

A total of 1,100 small businesses were surveyed from across Canada. Anderson says the survey group was composed of a random sampling of businesses that range between one and 50 employees.

More than half of the respondents (67 per cent) said that small business accounting software gives them the confidence and know-how when it comes to being able to build and/or manage a business.

“Technology really empowers small businesses,” Anderson said. “Being small doesn’t mean you still can’t compete with larger businesses. We’re happy to see that small businesses [in Canada] continue to be optimistic when they’re using technology.”

But even still, Anderson says there are quite a few small businesses who are not using accounting software and are still doing things manually. She goes on to say that these are the customers Intuit Canada hopes to target with its products and solutions.

“Our big opportunity is to look at the companies who are not using the software and to figure out how we can get to them,” Anderson said.

She points to Intuit Canada’s QuickBooks line up of products, that help businesses and home users keep better track of their finances and accounting activities.

Gary Mirsky, director of sales at Intuit Canada, says the company focuses on the retail channel because it finds it’s the most successful vehicle to tap into the Canadian small business market.

“We do seminars, trade shows and webinars to help the retail channel with product knowledge and key features and benefits that are needed to sell our products,” Mirsky said. “Moving forward, we’re also looking to try to partner with the large ‘Dells’ of the world. It’s all about continuing to develop and invest in the channels we’re in now to grow and focus on them.”

Edmonton-based Intuit, a developer of e-finance, personal finance, small business, tax and Web-based software, conducts an annual small business survey to help identify the most current pain points among knowledge workers in companies with 100 employees or less. Once the data is gathered, the company then works to design and develop products and services to help solve these issues.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Maxine Cheung
Maxine Cheung
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