Sage Survey Finds That Canadian Accounting Professionals Work Hard, but Want to Manage Time Better to Play Harder

RICHMOND, BC - Sage released today the findings of a recent survey of more than 900 of its Sage Accountants Network members from across Canada. Conducted in February and March 2011, the survey covers a variety of topics of interest to accounting professionals, ranging from top concerns to social media usage to the resources they tap into to stay on top of trends in the profession.

Among the 947 respondents, the biggest challenge facing their firms was tied at 34 per cent for time management and work-life balance, followed by keeping up with technology at 29 per cent. This was a stark contrast to their American counterparts who reported that their biggest challenge was getting new clients (35%), tax law complexity and changes (22%) and the effect of new regulations and standards on small firms (25%).

“It is with much support of our Sage Accountants Network partners and accounting professionals that Sage ERP Accpac and Sage Simply Accounting have been the number one ranked accounting and ERP solutions in Canada for the past 30 years,” said Jennifer Warawa, senior director, partner programs at Sage. “As our survey indicates, our Canadian and American members face very different challenges. Understanding their wants, needs and challenges helps us to continually improve our products and services and provide our partners with the tools that will assist them to work more efficiently and support their clients.”

In terms of social media, the survey indicates a slower adoption rate among Canadian respondents than their U.S. counterparts with 58 per cent stating that they aren’t using any social media tools in a professional capacity compared to 43 per cent of those in the US. In fact, only 23 per cent of respondents’ firms have a website compared to 37 per cent in the U.S. For those using social media, the survey reveals that the key tools that are being used are LinkedIn (22%) and Facebook (18%).

Although there are numerous Canadian accounting professional association publications, when asked which accounting publications respondents read, 56 per cent stated that they do not read anything compared to only 19 per cent of U.S. respondents.

“We have touch points with our members several times during the year through workshops, listening tours and at our annual Simply Partnership conference, and the majority have expressed how ardently devoted they are to furthering their professional knowledge, so this is a particularly surprising finding,” said Warawa. “We know many of our partners proactively seek out opportunities to build professional knowledge, such as seminars and conferences, and as such, our survey suggests that they do not find publications to be a compelling way to augment their professional growth strategy.”

Other highlights of the survey include:

  • In terms of online accounting resources, 66 per cent of respondents stated that they do not read any, while 49 per cent of their American counterparts indicated the same.

  • Twenty-eight per cent of respondents stated that their firm did not specialize with clients in a particular industry, while 50 per cent provide services/consulting, 37 per cent focus on construction and 36 per cent specialize in retail.

    About Sage North America

    Sage North America is part of The Sage Group plc, a leading global supplier of business management software and services. Sage North America employs 4,000 people and supports 3.2 million small and midsized business customers. The Sage Group plc, formed in 1981, was floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1989 and now employs 13,400 people and supports 6.3 million customers worldwide. For more information, please visit the website at: Follow Sage North America on Facebook:, and Twitter:!/SageNAmerica.