Tips To Help You Choose The Right Accountant
An accountant might be great at what they do, but may not always be the best fit for you.
Here is a list of questions to ask when looking for the right accountant to suit your needs;
1. What Services Does The Accountant Provide?
Some accountants specialise in tax returns for individuals or companies in a particular industry, while others are experts in a particular area of tax. Whether you are starting a business, need guidance with property investment or planning, or just need help with your tax returns, ensure that your accountant has the expertise and knowledge to offer the best value to you as a customer.
Another way to determine whether the accountant is a good fit for you is to have a look at client testimonials, this often touches base on why clients are satisfied with the services they have been provided with.
2. How Long Has The Practice Been Operating For?
Generally, the longer the practice’s operation, the more experience they have had with providing the services. This impacts efficiency and effectiveness of the value they offer you.
3. How Does The Accountant Bill?
What is the basis on which fees are charged? Does the accountant charge hourly or for the value that they provide? Ensure that you and the accountant are both on the same page to avoid any surprises.
4. Is The Accountant Familiar With The Latest Technology And Software?
Is the accounting firm familiar with cloud accounting software? Keeping up with the latest software sees that accountants are able to focus on automating their clients’ business.
Additionally, does your accountant work with technology such as Skype and Team Viewer to enhance web meetings and share concepts?
5. What Are The Accountant’s Qualifications?
Make sure they have an accounting qualification and are a member of an accounting body.
Your accountant can only give you tax advice if they are a tax agent. They can only provide financial planning advice if they have an Australian Financial Services licence or are an authorised representative of such a licence.
Only registered tax agents can prepare and lodge tax returns. For your peace of mind, check if your accountant is registered on the Tax Practitioners Board Register
6. What Does Your Intuition Say?
When you meet an accountant for the first time, consider your intuition. Alongside logical evaluations such as location, pricing, experience and references, ask yourself if you could trust this person with the intimate details of your business.
If you think you could work with them for the foreseeable future then that’s great. But if your gut feeling is saying no, you should walk away. Your unconscious mind may have picked up all sorts of cues (such as verbal stresses and body language) that it doesn’t like. Intuition isn’t always correct, but when it comes to choosing something as important as an accountant for your financials, you should pay attention to it.
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