Title: Sourcing strategies of Belgian SME's: empirical evidence for the accounting services
Authors: Everaert, Patricia ×
Sarens, Gerrit
Rommel, Jan #
Issue Date: 2007
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Series Title: Production planning & control vol:18 issue:8 pages:716-725
Abstract: The primary objective of this paper is to examine the sourcing strategy for one business
function (accounting services), by looking at the degree of outsourcing for each task of this
function. Three research questions are addressed: (1) What sourcing strategy do SMEs use for
accounting services? (2) What are the reasons? (3) Is there a link between sourcing strategy and
company characteristics? The research design consisted of a postal survey sent out to 1200
managers of SMEs in Belgium. The main results showed that 53% use selective outsourcing,
i.e. combining both an inhouse accountant with an accounting service provider. The results
also showed that 35% use total insourcing and 12% prefer total outsourcing. Surprisingly,
cost reduction is not the main reason for outsourcing. External expertise is the main reason for
selectively outsourcing. SMEs select a total insourcing strategy because they want the
accounting information at hand. Finally, larger SMEs decide for a total insourcing strategy
and prefer to keep the accounting services internal. The conclusions show that future research
should focus on the degree of outsourcing. The practical implication of this study is that
accounting service providers should highlight their expertise and overcome the disadvantage
of remote data analysis to attract more SME-customers.
ISSN: 0953-7287
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Public Governance Institute
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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