Accountant or advisor? Role of CPAs on family SME performance
Kiessling, Timothy Scott
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Building on Knowledge Based View (KBV) this thesis investigates the formation and the effect of external Chartered Public Accountants’ (CPA) advising services on the performance of family Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SME). The results of the study show that family SMEs that utilize internal accounting professionals for basic tasks are more likely to use their external accountant (CPA) for advising tasks, which in turn results in higher performance. The theoretical contributions of this study are first, addressing a research gap in family SME research by signifying the effect of CPA’s advising role on family SME performance (Barbera & Hasso, 2013; Dyer & Ross, 2007); second, challenging the view that conceptualizes basic accounting tasks as an enabler for CPAs to provide advising services to family SMEs; and third, offering a way of combining internal and external knowledge resources to enhance the performance, which contributes a managerial implication as well. Future research can build on the results of this study that combines the perspectives of firms and CPAs simultaneously.