Intuit Finds Small Business Owners Understand the Importance of
Financial Literacy, but Want More Help and Tools
MISSISSAUGA, ON, Jan. 16, 2013 /CNW/ - When it comes to finance, most
Canadian small businesses know they need help. Those are among the
results of a new survey and financial literacy quiz conducted on behalf
of Intuit Canada, which reveals that 83 per cent of Canadian small
businesses face a serious financial literacy skills gap.
To learn more about the financial literacy levels of Canadian small
businesses, Intuit Canada commissioned Angus Reid Public Opinion to
conduct a 10-question quiz among entrepreneurs. Among the questions:
What is the role of the balance sheet? How can short-term cash-flow be
Only a few scored highly:
Two per cent achieved a score of great: (9 - 10 correct).
16 per cent achieved a score of good: (7 - 8).
39 per cent achieved a score of basic: (5 - 6).
44 per cent achieved a score of below basic: (0 - 4).
"A large number of small business owners (83%) scored either basic or
below basic on the quiz. At the same time, a majority (50%) also
understand that financial management is important," said Jeff Cates,
managing director of Intuit Canada. "This reveals both a serious skills
gap - and a lack of access to the tools and resources that can help."
"We believe that the single most important thing we can do to help more
small businesses succeed is to increase awareness about financial
literacy, and make more tools and resources available," said Cates.
The failure rate for small businesses in Canada is alarmingly high,
according to Statistics Canada. While 85 per cent make it through their first year of business, only
51 per cent survive through year five. Starting a business on sound
financial footing is essential to reversing this trend.
Closing the Gap
The survey results show that Canadian small business owners know what
needs to be done to start closing the knowledge and skills gap. It
asked participants which activities would give them a better grasp of
42 per cent said they wanted to spend more time with an accountant.
24 per cent said they would benefit from information sessions with other
small business owners.
22 per cent said they would benefit from online tutorials.
The survey also found that small business owners recognize the benefits
from using financial literacy tools, resources, and support. In fact,
small business owners who identify as having an advanced understanding
of financial management are five times more likely to use software (or
a solution provided by an accountant) instead of manual methods, such
as pen and paper:
76 per cent of small businesses using financial software, or a solution
provided by their accountant, feel confident that they have an advanced
knowledge of accounting principles.
Only 16 per cent of small businesses using outdated manual methods, such
as pen and paper, feel that same level of confidence.
A Shared Responsibility
"By working together, we can boost financial literacy and make more
small business success possible," said Cates. "The federal government's
efforts, including last November's Financial Literacy Month and the
legislation to create the Financial Literacy Leader, will bring a new
focus to this issue. This will help to better coordinate the efforts of
government, business and non-governmental organizations to raise the
level of financial literacy among small businesses and entrepreneurs -
an objective that Intuit strongly supports."
The survey results also drew support from third party groups:
"Thousands of Canadians go into business each year, not because they are
financial gurus, but because of other talents or opportunities," said
Dan Kelly, president of the Canadian Federation of Independent
Business. "Many quickly learn of the massive demands on their time and
attention - particularly in dealing with red tape, taxation and
finance. While many entrepreneurs have terrific business instincts,
they can become even more successful if they take the time to improve
their financial literacy."
"Entrepreneurs, and high-growth businesses are the engine of growth and
the backbone of the Canadian economy - they create value and jobs that
sustain our quality of life," said Victoria Lennox, Co-founder and CEO
of Startup Canada. "As an entrepreneur-led grassroots network of
entrepreneurs across Canada, Startup Canada welcomes the results of
Intuit's study. If we are to support our entrepreneurs in building
bigger, better businesses, faster, then we must address this gap and
ensure that Canadian entrepreneurs have access to tools and support to
enhance their financial literacy for success."
"Intuit's findings underscore just how vital it is to foster financial
literacy among entrepreneurs to ensure that more small businesses can
survive and succeed in Canada," said Tessa Mintz, vice president,
volunteers and programs for the Canadian Youth Business Foundation
"We know first-hand how valuable it is for young and emerging
entrepreneurs to seek the support they need to be successful in the
long run, especially in the vulnerable start-up stage. The good news is
that support is available through organizations like CYBF, including
access to pre-launch coaching, business resources, start-up financing
and mentoring to help them launch and sustain a successful business,"
For more information, including a report and infographic, please visit: blog.intuit.ca
About the Financial Literacy Survey and Quiz
From Nov. 27 -29, Angus Reid Public Opinion conducted an online survey
and quiz on behalf of Intuit Canada. All respondents were small
business owners with 100 or fewer employees and have been in business
for at least one year. Participants were recruited through the Angus
Reid Forum Small Business Panel. A national sample of 501 small
business owners completed the survey and quiz. For the survey, the
margin of error on a sample of this size is plus or minus 4.4 per cent,
19 times out of 20.
About Intuit Canada
Intuit Canada ULC is a leading provider of business, financial and tax
management solutions for small- and mid-sized businesses, consumers and
accounting professionals. Its flagship products and services, including
Quicken®, QuickBooks®, QuickBooks® Enterprise Solutions, SuccèsPME,
TurboTax, and ImpôtRapideMC, simplify personal finance, accounting
software and tax preparation and filing.
Additional offerings include ProFile®, a professional tax preparation
software suite, the QuickBooks ProAdvisor Program and the Intuit
Developer Network for professional users and developers. All are
provided by Intuit Canada or through its partners. Intuit Canada has
employees across Canada and offices in Edmonton, AB, and Mississauga,
ON. Intuit Canada is an affiliate of Intuit Inc., which trades on the
Nasdaq market under the symbol INTU.
Stay up to speed with QuickBooks in Canada on Twitter (@quickbooksCa), or like us on Facebook (facebook/QuickBooksCanada).
About Angus Reid Public Opinion
Angus Reid Public Opinion - the public affairs practice of Vision
Critical - is a North American full-service polling and market research
firm which is a leader in the use of the Internet and rich media
technology to collect high-quality, in-depth insights for a wide array
of clients. Dr. Angus Reid and the Angus Reid Public Opinion team are
pioneers in online research methodologies, and have been conducting
online surveys since 1995. With offices in Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa,
San Francisco, Chicago, New York, London, Paris and Sydney, its team of
specialists provide solutions across every type and sector of research.