Global View Of SME Health

SMEs are the bedrock of many economies, not just that of the U.S. It was time to check in with small businesses across the globe. The latest statistics on SME health, optimism and finance for markets in the U.S. and beyond, including the U.K., Australia and South Africa.

84% of U.S. SMEs visit bank branches to make deposits, according to a new survey by Mercator Advisory Group that examined how small business owners interact with their banks. Their 2016 Small Business Payments and Banking Survey found that, after teller deposits, SMEs visit their physical bank branches to make ATM deposits (47 percent). And while nearly all small businesses surveyed said they visit a bank branch regularly, only about a fifth said they regularly meet with an actual bank relationship manager when they go. According to Mercator analysts, small businesses are waiting on their banks to improve their online and mobile banking services as they look to grow their own companies.

76.2% of Australian SMEs say they are confident in their prospects for the next three months, said the Bankwest Future of Business: 2017 Outlook report. Analysts found that confidence across SMEs in the finance and insurance industry is highest today. Still, less than a quarter expect the Australian economy to accelerate its rate of growth in the next quarter, while uncertain economic conditions remain a top concern for small business owners. Even more concerning, however, is cash flow management, with more than a quarter of small business survey respondents citing that challenge as their top hurdle for the three months ahead.

67% of U.K. small business accountants say better integration of software is a key focus for them this year, even more important than replacing physical paper forms with digital ones, the latest report from Exact said. A new report found that U.K. SMEs are twice as happy with their tech-savvy accountants than with their accountants that aren’t as familiar with the most cutting-edge solutions. And luckily, Exact found, U.K. SMEs are reducing their dependence on spreadsheets, with a 5 percent decline in the use of this tactic for accounting needs.

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