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Diversification of external accountants serving small and medium-sized enterprises: evidence from Belgium

Gerrit Sarens (UGent) , Patricia Everaert (UGent) , Frederik Verplancke (UGent) and Ignace De Beelde (UGent)
(2015) AUSTRALIAN ACCOUNTING REVIEW. 25(2). p.155-174
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Abstract
The purpose of this study is: (1) to discover which services are offered by external accountants serving small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs); (2) to study the factors that are associated with the degree of diversification of the services offered by these accountants; and (3) to investigate if there are differences between self-employed accountants and accounting firms on the previous two points. This study has some interesting conclusions: (1) the heterogeneity of internal staff is not significantly associated with the degree of diversification; (2) a homogeneous internal staff with an accounting background is particularly important for accounting firms that diversify their services in the accounting and tax area; (3) collaboration with other service providers is an important factor associated with more diversification of the services; (4) marketing is only important for self-employed accountants; (5) accounting firms offer fewer non-accounting-related services if they serve more micro clients (fewer than 10 employees), whereas self-employed accountants offer more accounting and tax services if they serve more micro clients (fewer than 10 employees); and (6) accounting firms that diversify in accounting and tax services mainly serve more micro clients (fewer than 10 employees), whereas accounting firms that diversify in non-accounting areas serve more larger clients (more than 10 employees).
Keywords
accountant, services, SME, diversification, accounting firms

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Chicago
Sarens, Gerrit, Patricia Everaert, Frederik Verplancke, and Ignace De Beelde. 2015. “Diversification of External Accountants Serving Small and Medium-sized Enterprises: Evidence from Belgium.” Australian Accounting Review 25 (2): 155–174.
APA
Sarens, Gerrit, Everaert, P., Verplancke, F., & De Beelde, I. (2015). Diversification of external accountants serving small and medium-sized enterprises: evidence from Belgium. AUSTRALIAN ACCOUNTING REVIEW, 25(2), 155–174.
Vancouver
1.
Sarens G, Everaert P, Verplancke F, De Beelde I. Diversification of external accountants serving small and medium-sized enterprises: evidence from Belgium. AUSTRALIAN ACCOUNTING REVIEW. Wiley; 2015;25(2):155–74.
MLA
Sarens, Gerrit, Patricia Everaert, Frederik Verplancke, et al. “Diversification of External Accountants Serving Small and Medium-sized Enterprises: Evidence from Belgium.” AUSTRALIAN ACCOUNTING REVIEW 25.2 (2015): 155–174. Print.
@article{6816822,
  abstract     = {The purpose of this study is: (1) to discover which services are offered by external accountants serving small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs); (2) to study the factors that are associated with the degree of diversification of the services offered by these accountants; and (3) to investigate if there are differences between self-employed accountants and accounting firms on the previous two points. This study has some interesting conclusions:
(1) the heterogeneity of internal staff is not significantly associated with the degree of diversification; (2) a homogeneous internal staff with an accounting background is particularly important for accounting firms
that diversify their services in the accounting and tax area; (3) collaboration with other service providers is
an important factor associated with more diversification of the services; (4) marketing is only important for self-employed accountants; (5) accounting firms offer fewer non-accounting-related services if they serve more micro clients (fewer than 10 employees), whereas self-employed accountants offer more accounting and tax services if they serve more micro clients (fewer than 10 employees); and (6) accounting firms that diversify in accounting and tax services mainly serve more micro clients (fewer than 10 employees), whereas accounting
firms that diversify in non-accounting areas serve more larger clients (more than 10 employees).},
  author       = {Sarens, Gerrit and Everaert, Patricia and Verplancke, Frederik and De Beelde, Ignace},
  issn         = {1035-6908},
  journal      = {AUSTRALIAN ACCOUNTING REVIEW},
  keyword      = {accountant,services,SME,diversification,accounting firms},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {155--174},
  publisher    = {Wiley},
  title        = {Diversification of external accountants serving small and medium-sized enterprises: evidence from Belgium},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/auar.12078},
  volume       = {25},
  year         = {2015},
}

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