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You and Accountant by Bradford W. Ketchum Jr. Many small businesses find public accountants somewhat intimidating, regarding them as outsiders who serve as buffers against an even more intimidating Internal Revenue Service. At best, the public accountant is considered an impartial paper-pusher who comes in periodically to wrestle with the company books at a borrowed desk. But an increasing number of small businesses view their outside accountants in a different role—as their primary business advisors, just ahead of their attorneys and bankers. Their accountants not only review the books and compute taxes, but they provide crucial advice on such matters as cash flow, credit, cost control and systems management. Most small