The issue of management control in small and medium-sized enterprises has long been the subject of scientific debate, as well as a key point of professionals’ interest. Starting from the recognition of the role played by the latter, this paper aims to investigate the type and level of dissemination of management control tools in SMEs by adopting the perspective of external professionals, namely, Public Chartered Accountants and Accounting Experts who are called to support the entrepreneurs in implementing these tools. The analysis of prior literature allowed us to acknowledge the gaps in the diffusion of management control systems among SMEs and the weaknesses that affect the consulting services provided by small accounting practitioners. Therefore, to further deepen this area, still under investigated, we performed an exploratory survey on a territorially circumscribed sample (Central-Southern Italy) of professional accountants registered in the National Order. Findings point out a professional approach mainly focused on the provision of traditional services (i.e. accounting and tax services), despite the awareness of the need to promote a broader consulting action that includes the adoption of appropriate management control tools, thus contributing to enhance the managerial culture of SMEs.
Keywords: Management control system, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), public chartered accountants and accounting experts, small accounting practitioners.