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The Importance of Mutual Understanding Between External Accountants and Owner-Managers of SMEs

Stefanie De Bruyckere UGent, Frederik Verplancke UGent, Patricia Everaert UGent, Gerrit Sarens UGent and Carine Coppens (2018) Australian Accounting Review.
abstract
This study investigates the perspective of the owner–manager of a small or medium‐sized enterprise (SME) on the importance of mutual understanding with an external accountant. Mutual understanding means that the owner–manager understands what the accountant is saying and feels understood by the accountant. The results, based on 310 completed surveys of Belgian owner–managers, show that owner–managers who have a high level of mutual understanding use the advice of their external accountant more extensively. This is in turn positively linked to the financial health of an SME. Furthermore, several drivers that enable the establishment of a high level of mutual understanding are explored. Owner–managers with a high level of mutual understanding consider their accountant as a strategic partner, experience a high level of proactive behaviour with them, have a higher frequency of formal contact, and perceive informal contact as important. External accountants should consider these opportunities in their client management and training of internal staff. Education of clients and openness also seem very important, as the level of a client's accounting knowledge, the number of accounting topics owner–managers deal with, and transparency towards the accountant are significantly positively related to mutual understanding.
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
year
type
journalArticle
publication status
published
keyword
mutual understanding, external accountant, financial health, SME
journal title
Australian Accounting Review
pages
18 pages
publisher
Wiley
ISSN
1035-6908
DOI
10.1111/auar.12251
UGent publication?
yes
classification
U
copyright statement
I have transferred the copyright for this publication to the publisher
id
8569038
handle
http://hdl.handle.net/1854/LU-8569038
alternative location
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/auar.12251
date created
2018-07-12 07:37:05
date last changed
2018-07-12 07:38:17
@article{8569038,
  abstract     = {This study investigates the perspective of the owner--manager of a small or medium\unmatched{2010}sized enterprise (SME) on the importance of mutual understanding with an external accountant. Mutual understanding means that the owner--manager understands what the accountant is saying and feels understood by the accountant. The results, based on 310 completed surveys of Belgian owner--managers, show that owner--managers who have a high level of mutual understanding use the advice of their external accountant more extensively. This is in turn positively linked to the financial health of an SME. Furthermore, several drivers that enable the establishment of a high level of mutual understanding are explored. Owner--managers with a high level of mutual understanding consider their accountant as a strategic partner, experience a high level of proactive behaviour with them, have a higher frequency of formal contact, and perceive informal contact as important. External accountants should consider these opportunities in their client management and training of internal staff. Education of clients and openness also seem very important, as the level of a client's accounting knowledge, the number of accounting topics owner--managers deal with, and transparency towards the accountant are significantly positively related to mutual understanding. },
  author       = {De Bruyckere, Stefanie and Verplancke, Frederik and Everaert, Patricia and Sarens, Gerrit and Coppens, Carine},
  issn         = {1035-6908},
  journal      = {Australian Accounting Review},
  keyword      = {mutual understanding,external accountant,financial health,SME},
  pages        = {18},
  publisher    = {Wiley},
  title        = {The Importance of Mutual Understanding Between External Accountants and Owner-Managers of SMEs},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/auar.12251},
  year         = {2018},
}

Chicago
De Bruyckere, Stefanie, Frederik Verplancke, Patricia Everaert, Gerrit Sarens, and Carine Coppens. 2018. “The Importance of Mutual Understanding Between External Accountants and Owner-Managers of SMEs.” Australian Accounting Review.
APA
De Bruyckere, S., Verplancke, F., Everaert, P., Sarens, G., & Coppens, C. (2018). The Importance of Mutual Understanding Between External Accountants and Owner-Managers of SMEs. Australian Accounting Review.
Vancouver
1.
De Bruyckere S, Verplancke F, Everaert P, Sarens G, Coppens C. The Importance of Mutual Understanding Between External Accountants and Owner-Managers of SMEs. Australian Accounting Review. Wiley; 2018;
MLA
De Bruyckere, Stefanie, Frederik Verplancke, Patricia Everaert, et al. “The Importance of Mutual Understanding Between External Accountants and Owner-Managers of SMEs.” Australian Accounting Review (2018): n. pag. Print.