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Sage Financial Literacy Survey Shows Canadian Small Businesses

Sage Financial Literacy Survey Shows Canadian Small Businesses Are
Embracing Mobile Technology, but Continue to Struggle to Identify Key
Sage Global Business Index Finds That Small Businesses Believe Their
Financial Performance Has Worsened Since the Economic Downturn 
RICHMOND, BC -- (Marketwire) -- 11/06/12 --  Coinciding with
Financial Literacy Month in Canada, Sage released today findings of a
survey of 300 Canadian small business owners to determine "financial
literacy," by gauging the overall perceptions, knowledge and habits
of small business owners with regard to financial management,
resources and compliance. Sage, a leading provider of business
management software and services to more than 6 million small and
midsized businesses worldwide, conducted the survey in early October,
which succeeds a 2011 study also focusing on financial literacy in
Canadian small businesses. 
The 21-question survey reveals that while most small businesses have
identified the cost that affects their business the most, nearly
one-fifth (17%) continue to struggle to recognize it. Among the study
participants nationwide, smaller businesses are the most susceptible
to this issue. The results also show the financial performance of 46
per cent of small businesses remained stable since the economic
downturn. However, more than a quarter (28%) believe it worsened. 
"Our recent Sage Global Business Index survey revealed that Canadian
small business owners are slowly regaining confidence in the economy
and their business prospects but continue to struggle with certain
aspects of the financial management and performance of their
business, especially businesses with five or fewer employees as our
financial literacy survey indicates," said Nancy Harris, vice
president and general manager at Sage 50 Accounting -- Canadian
Edition. "Sage is focused on helping small businesses continue to
regain their confidence after the economic downturn by providing
easy-to-use tools and solutions, such as the recently launched Sage
50 Accounting 2013 -- Canadian Edition, that support them to better
manage their business and streamline their processes, so they can
concentrate on growing their business." 
The financial literacy survey found that small business owners are
relying on mobile technology to manage business-related activities.
In fact, respondents reported using their mobile devices to handle
emails (52%), online banking (30%) and managing their calendar (25%).
However, Quebec small businesses are the least likely to use their
device for business email communication, with only 38 per cent using
mobile technology to do it. The devices most used are laptops (67%)
and smartphones (58%), while only 18 per cent of respondents use
tablets for business purposes. 
Although small businesses recognize the need to know more about
financial planning (67%), tax payments (65%) and cash flow (58%),
they are becoming slightly more comfortable with the business
activities they reported being a weakness last year. In fact,
respondents are less likely to find dealing with taxes (34% versus
53%), managing sales and marketing (19% versus 27%) and managing
business finances (15% versus 26%) as an area of weakness.  
Other highlights of the financial literacy survey include: 

--  Small business owners cited employee compensation (22%), marketing and
    advertising (12%) and capital expenditures (12%) as the costs with the
    largest impact on their businesses. Interestingly, however, the most
    impactful cost for Alberta businesses is capital expenditures (31%).
--  Forty-nine per cent of respondents reported cash flow as the most
    important aspect of the financial management of their business,
    followed by invoicing (47%) and managing costs (35%). Invoicing has
    increased in importance over the last year, when 37 per cent of small
    business owners cited it as one of the most important aspects of their
    business' success.
--  Surprisingly, as opposed to 2011, when smaller businesses were more
    likely to point to managing costs as an important task, this year
    larger businesses are more likely to report the importance of that
--  The majority of respondents said they perform their business'
    financial management tasks themselves, including invoicing (78%),
    payroll (58%), inventory management (55%) and accounting (52%).
    Accounting, followed by payroll, is the financial task most likely to
    be outsourced (34% and 9%).
--  An overwhelming majority of respondents (71%) rely on accountants or
    consultants for advice, followed by government information (31%) and
    other people in the same industry (30%).
--  When it comes to learning to manage business finances, 73 per cent of
    respondents are self-taught; 41 per cent learned from an accountant, a
    consultant or a bookkeeper; 29 per cent received formal full time
    education. Quebec business owners are less likely to have learned from
    a professional (29%).
--  Small business owners who use accounting software are more likely to
    be more financially literate than those who do not (90% versus 72%).

The survey was conducted October 1-4, 2012, and its results have a
margin of error of plus or minus 5%, 19 times out of 20. 
About Sage
 Sage is a leading global supplier of business management
software and services for small and midsized businesses. The Sage
Group plc, formed in 1981, was floated on the London Stock Exchange
in 1989 and now employs more than 12,600 people and supports more
than 6 million customers worldwide. For more information about Sage
in North America, please visit the company website at
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Copyright2012 Sage Software Canada, Inc. All rights reserved. Sage,
the Sage logos, and the Sage product and service names mentioned
herein are registered trademarks or trademarks of Sage Software, Inc.
or its affiliated entities. All other trademarks are the property of
their respective owners. 
Press Contact:
Yvonne Yuen
Sage North America
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