Things To Think About When Choosing An Accountant

What small business owner has time to do their own tax accounting? Once you’ve finished all the business tasks for the day, the last thing you feel like doing is reconciling the company accounts and read up on tax matters to ensure you keep up with the latest legislative changes. So, you have decided it’s time to hire an accountant, the next step is to choose which accountant to hire.

It’s important to take the time to think carefully what it is you require in your accountant. There are a few things you’ll want to consider first. You’ll need to think about issues such as the accountant’s office location, do they do bookkeeping the type of accounting software you are using. Consider also how much you’ll have to pay the accountant, and whether they have the expertise in your industry to help to reduce your business taxes and assist with your business planning questions.

It cannot be over emphasized enough the importance of having an experienced, capable person handling one of the most important areas of your business, your finances. Taking time to select the right person will save you time and money, year after year.

So here are some things you should carefully consider when choosing an accountant:

Location

It used to be really important to have your company’s accountant located nearby. Today, more companies are operating solely online and from remote locations to keep their operating costs done. Cloud-based technology assist them do this and means that location is less of an issue.  Your accountant can view identical real-time data at the same time as you, no matter where you are.

However, you may have the requirements for someone who’s able to assist you at business meeting. If this is the case, then you’ll need to limit your search to accountants who work nearby or are willing to travel to your location from time to time.

The decision about where your accountant is located really comes down to what suits your company best. Your accountant can really be based anywhere in the world. For example, if you’re happy to collaborate via email, phone calls, video-conferences, or secure accounting software, then you could be in Sydney and they could be in Adelaide or Auckland. If your accountant can be anywhere in the world, then your pool to choose from can really be global, so long as they understand your tax obligations relating to your jurisdiction.

Wherever they happen to be based, the most important thing is to make sure they’re an expert in the tax laws that apply to your business.

Cost

Given that costs vary from practice to practice. Get estimates of what your accountant will  charge for the work to be done.

It’s important to note that it’s worth it to pay a little extra to find the accountant who will give you excellent care and one you feel has the expertise to fully understand your industry and be able to help you with all your needs.

Personal comfort

One of the most important things to consider when you are choosing an accountancy practice is whether you feel comfortable with that person who is your account manager. Do you feel comfortable enough to be able to explain matters and ask questions without feeling awkward or like you are imposing on their time? Do you feel like the accountant hears and understands your concerns? Would you feel comfortable asking them if there were alternatives to what they are proposing?

Professional Qualifications

The accountant’s reception should be able to tell you about the training, registration details and qualifications of the person who will look after you. If the staff seems uncomfortable answering these questions, or you are uncomfortable with their answers, consider finding another practice. You can also obtain information about a dentist’s qualifications from the local accounting society or Government Licensing Board who oversee the licensing of accountants.

How To Find An Accountant

Here are some suggestions on finding accountants to evaluate:

People to ask:

  • Your friends and family— Friends and family members are a great resource to learn about a trusted accountant. They can tell you about the personality of the accountantand office staff, and answer your questions. Here are some good questions to ask:
    • How well does the accountantexplain tax treatment options?
    • Was he or she kind, gentle and understanding?
    • Are phone messages followed up promptly?
    • Do you feel comfortable asking questions?
    • How does the office handle calls or enquiries?
    • How long do you have to wait for an appointment?
    • How are bills handled?
    • Are you dealing with the principal or senior member of the firm?
    • Do they do bookkeeping in Sydney
  • Your Current Lawyer— Your lawyer may be able to provide some names of trusted accountants in your area or who work remotely.
  • Local Accountant Reviews — If you are wanting a specific accountant, check Google reviews of accountantsoperating in your area that do that work for insights into past client thoughts on their experience. Then check their website to investigate the accountant’sphilosophy and scope of work they do.
  • Your Local Accounting Society —An accredited accounting society can provide names of dentists who are current and members of good standing.

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