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The role of external accountants as service providers for Smes : a literature review

Stefanie De Bruyckere (UGent) , Frederik Verplancke (UGent) , Patricia Everaert (UGent) , Gerrit Sarens (UGent) and Carine Coppens (UGent)
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Abstract
The role of external accountants as service providers for SMEs is tremendously changing. Accountants are no longer "bean counters" who mainly fulfil legal requirements, but act as business advisors who are able to create added value for their SME-clients. However, the potential of accountants is not always exploited to its full extent. It seems that accountants could be more alert for problems their clients face, whereas owner-managers on the other hand might not always be aware of the benefits their accountant is able to offer. This paper provides an overview of different determinants in asking business advice from an external accountant. Furthermore, several opportunities and challenges for accountants within their role as a business advisor are identified. These findings might further improve their service provision and strengthen the relationship with their clients, which in turn might benefit the long-term survival of SMEs.
Keywords
accountant, business advisor, service provision, SME

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MLA
De Bruyckere, Stefanie, et al. “The Role of External Accountants as Service Providers for Smes : A Literature Review.” ACCOUNTANCY & BEDRIJFSKUNDE, no. 4, 2017, pp. 49–62.
APA
De Bruyckere, S., Verplancke, F., Everaert, P., Sarens, G., & Coppens, C. (2017). The role of external accountants as service providers for Smes : a literature review. ACCOUNTANCY & BEDRIJFSKUNDE, (4), 49–62.
Chicago author-date
De Bruyckere, Stefanie, Frederik Verplancke, Patricia Everaert, Gerrit Sarens, and Carine Coppens. 2017. “The Role of External Accountants as Service Providers for Smes : A Literature Review.” ACCOUNTANCY & BEDRIJFSKUNDE, no. 4: 49–62.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
De Bruyckere, Stefanie, Frederik Verplancke, Patricia Everaert, Gerrit Sarens, and Carine Coppens. 2017. “The Role of External Accountants as Service Providers for Smes : A Literature Review.” ACCOUNTANCY & BEDRIJFSKUNDE (4): 49–62.
Vancouver
1.
De Bruyckere S, Verplancke F, Everaert P, Sarens G, Coppens C. The role of external accountants as service providers for Smes : a literature review. ACCOUNTANCY & BEDRIJFSKUNDE. 2017;(4):49–62.
IEEE
[1]
S. De Bruyckere, F. Verplancke, P. Everaert, G. Sarens, and C. Coppens, “The role of external accountants as service providers for Smes : a literature review,” ACCOUNTANCY & BEDRIJFSKUNDE, no. 4, pp. 49–62, 2017.
@article{8551058,
  abstract     = {{The role of external accountants as service providers for SMEs is tremendously changing. Accountants are no longer "bean counters" who mainly fulfil legal requirements, but act as business advisors who are able to create added value for their SME-clients. However, the potential of accountants is not always exploited to its full extent. It seems that accountants could be more alert for problems their clients face, whereas owner-managers on the other hand might not always be aware of the benefits their accountant is able to offer. This paper provides an overview of different determinants in asking business advice from an external accountant. Furthermore, several opportunities and challenges for accountants within their role as a business advisor are identified. These findings might further improve their service provision and strengthen the relationship with their clients, which in turn might benefit the long-term survival of SMEs.}},
  author       = {{De Bruyckere, Stefanie and Verplancke, Frederik and Everaert, Patricia and Sarens, Gerrit and Coppens, Carine}},
  issn         = {{0770-7142}},
  journal      = {{ACCOUNTANCY & BEDRIJFSKUNDE}},
  keywords     = {{accountant,business advisor,service provision,SME}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  number       = {{4}},
  pages        = {{49--62}},
  title        = {{The role of external accountants as service providers for Smes : a literature review}},
  url          = {{http://tijdschriftaccountancyenbedrijfskunde.be/home#/}},
  year         = {{2017}},
}