SMEs “unsure” of where to get financial advice

Nearly ten per cent of small businesses do not know where to get financial advice, research shows.

While 13 per cent of entrepreneurs would go to their peers for financial advice, only one in twenty would visit their bank or building society. 

Perhaps surprisingly, only five per cent of UK entrepreneurs say they would use the internet and seek financial advice online, though this figure was double in Scotland. Four per cent of Scottish entrepreneurs also say that they’d turn to their family and friends for financial advice.

John White, head of financial management at accountants RSM Tenon, says the results are worrying.

“These results show advice is being sought from non-professional sources, which may mean that businesses aren’t getting the credible advice they need,” he explains. “People don’t necessarily want to seek financial advice through traditional methods.”

Just over half of all the entrepreneurs that took part in the survey say that they’d visit their accountant or financial adviser for advice.

As the economic downturn places increased pressures on companies, these results are worrying. The need for business owners to seek sound financial advice has never been greater ? what is holding entrepreneurs back from wanting to speak to professionals?

White says the financial services industry needs to be more flexible in the way that it offers advice: “There is a good opportunity here for the industry to look at a variety of different ways of communicating advice. Making this process easier may encourage more business owners to seek professional advice from the outset.”

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