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.