Original Research

The impact of advisory services on Iranian SME performance: An empirical investigation of the role of professional accountants

Y. Kamyabi, S. Devi
South African Journal of Business Management | Vol 43, No 2 | a184 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajbm.v43i2.184 | © 2018 Y. Kamyabi, S. Devi | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 13 April 2018 | Published: 29 June 2012

About the author(s)

Y. Kamyabi, Department of Accounting, Ayatollah Amoli Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad Universit, Iran, Islamic Republic of
S. Devi, Faculty of Business and Accounting, University of Malaya, Malaysia

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The role of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) is recognized globally given their contribution to total productivity and job opportunities. However, the majority of SMEs tend to fail due to a lack of marketing knowledge and managerial skills or technical expertise. Professional accountants are in a unique situation to help SME owner/managers to achieve their business objectives and bridge the skills gap. Therefore, this paper aims to identify the factors that affect the decisions of owner/managers of SMEs in Iranian manufacturing sector to utilise the professional accountants’ advisory services and to examine the impact of these advisory services on SME performance using the Resource-Based View (RBV) of the firm. Based on a questionnaire survey data of 658 Iranian manufacturing SMEs, our regression analysis reveals a significant positive relationship between utilisation of professional accountants′ advisory services and three independent variables, namely, knowledge of owner/manager, competitive intensity and complexity of marketing decisions. Furthermore, we evidence that the use of advisory services is significant and positively associated with SME performance. More importantly, utilisation of professional accountants′ advisory services partially mediates the relationship between knowledge of owner/manager, competitive intensity and complexity of marketing decisions and firm performance. Therefore, we provide a specific, theoretically and empirically grounded prediction of how utilisation of professional accountants′ advisory services influences performance with implications for theory and practice.


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