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18-Oct-2020 By - team

Picking the right accountant for the job

When selecting an accountant, it is important to search for one that will work well with either you or your company. Some accountants focus on preparing tax returns for people or businesses operating within a specific sector, while others are subject matter specialists in a specific aspect of taxation.

After you have made the decision that it is time to engage an accountant, the following step is to select the accountant that you will work with going forwards.

  1. They regularly communicate with you and return your calls quickly. ...
  2. They strategically plan throughout the year, not just for big deadlines. ...
  3. They show you how to budget. ...
  4. They are constantly learning. ...
  5. They are happy to explain things to you.

Introverted sensors, ISTJs are known as the best personality type for accounting jobs, CFO positions, or careers as auditors. This type is loyal, hardworking, and understands the importance of their roles; but the real predictor of success here is their analytical nature that enables them to work quickly and precisely.

Here are some tips on what accountants can do to ensure they enjoy a long and rising career in accounting.
  1. Don't fear technology. There is no escaping the fact that software skills are vital, says Jotkowitz. ...
  2. Learn to analyse data. ...
  3. Hone your communication skills. ...
  4. Learn how to lead. ...
  5. Seek sector-specific experience.
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It is very necessary to put in the effort required to do this task thoroughly, and before getting started, there are a few things you should think about. You will need to give some thought to matters such as the accountant’s location, the way work will be divided, and the kind of accounting software you will employ. You should think about how much you will have to pay the accountant and whether or not they can assist you lower the amount of taxes that your company owes.

One of the most important aspects of your company is the management of your finances; thus, it is in the best interest of your company to delegate this responsibility to a knowledgeable and skilled individual. Finding the correct individual may save you both time and money over the course of several years. The following is a list of items you must consider when selecting an accountant for your business.

When it comes to conducting business, we do not believe that a more accurate statement has ever been made.

The business cannot function without accounting as a core component.

Furthermore, being accountants ourselves, we at EWM Accountants cannot stress enough how essential it is to have a competent accounting team supporting you.

We’ve got you covered: here’s a summary of all the crucial criteria you need to consider when picking the best accountant in Melbourne to help you develop a lucrative and successful business. We’ve got you covered.

When the time comes to file taxes, roughly seventieth of the population looks to the assistance of experts to handle their returns. This is typically done for the sake of convenience, guidance, improved reimbursements, or simply the peace of mind that comes from knowing that everything was done correctly the first time with no problems. Unfortunately, however, not everyone in Australia knows tax accountants’ services.

Why You Need a Tax Agent?

If you want to get the most out of your tax return each year, it is in your best interest to have your taxes handled by a qualified tax professional. Because not everyone is aware of the exact tax deductions they are eligible to claim or the correct amount of taxes that they should be paying, this might cause them to overpay or underpay their taxes, which could lead to major problems.

In addition to ensuring that you file your annual tax return in the correct manner, specialists are able to assist you in the event that your financial situation has gotten more complicated. Our helpful tax accountants are here to provide you with tax and budgeting guidance in order to assist you in better managing your finances.

How can you ensure that you hire the most qualified accountant for your company?

Financial Charts And Graphs


Help with your business.

If you are the sole proprietor of your company, hiring an accountant to assist you in establishing and maintaining your company’s financial records is highly recommended. They can also assist you in meeting your financial commitments, such as tax duties.

As your company expands, the competent accountant will also be able to provide you with advise and direction about your financial records.

They are able to assist with the following: 

  • the installation of accounting and bookkeeping software
  • setting up the legal framework of your firm, such as a company, corporation, partnership, or sole trader; filing for an ABN or ACN
  • dealing with the ATO on your behalf; 
  • paying employees or contractors; 
  • calculating profits and losses; and so on.

Things you need to consider when choosing a Melbourne accountant

Start by checking their qualifications.

When it comes to your accounting requirements, you need to be certain that the team you collaborate with have the necessary knowledge, abilities, and experience and can verify that they have it.

You must get an competent accountant to complete the next task, regardless of how challenging or hectic it may become.

If you are considering expanding your company, you will need the assistance of a person who can help you make the most of your potential.

When discussing qualifications, it is essential to have a solid understanding of each qualification’s meaning.

There is some duplication, however, various certifying bodies have distinct priorities and requirements for membership. This has a direct bearing on the kinds of services that your accountant in Melbourne is able to provide.

In Australia, three accounting organisations are known and respected throughout the country:

Certified Public Accountant (CA)

  • geared at more complex auditing and tax issues
  • Greater in both its scope and its duties for strategy
  • a skill set that is more suited for difficult problems, large corporations, and accounting companies

Certified Practicing Accountant (CPA)

  • The course introduces students to a wide variety of general accounting, financial, and business skills. 
  • Personal and business accounting are both covered.

Institute of Public Accountants (IPA)

  • geared towards the needs of less complicated and larger businesses, respectively

In addition to registering with a recognised industry group, several subfields of accounting also have their own professional organisations that accountants can join. These are not required, but they provide information on your accountant’s areas of expertise.

Location matters

The practice of accounting may be challenging, and there are times when you won’t be able to make sense of the data and statistics you’re looking at.

There will be instances when you will need someone to explain the meaning of the reports to you. And in this regard, there is nothing that can compare to the immediacy of a face-to-face interaction (whether it takes place in person or online).

You could be the sort of person who is more comfortable having a face-to-face conversation; if that’s the case, you need to think about where your possible new accountant is located.

You may also consider concentrating on a local accountant, assuming all other factors remain the same.

Location by itself is not a significant element in determining success or failure; rather, your own tastes are the most important consideration.

Verify their credentials

To get started, let’s take a look at the many different obligations that fall on the shoulders of an accountant. Because the occupation of an accountant is not regulated in either Australia or New Zealand, this indicates that anybody can call themselves an accountant, regardless of whether or not they have the appropriate educational or professional credentials. This is the case even if they have a bachelor’s degree in accounting.

One of the most important distinctions is whether or not the practitioner is able to prepare and file income tax returns. In order to practise as an accountant, one needs to be a member of the Institute of Public Accountants (IPA), Certified Practising Accountants Australia (CPAA), the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Australia (ICAA), or the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants. In addition, one needs to be a Registered Tax Agent (NZICA).

Look at your accountant’s priorities

Nobody wants to be someone else’s secondary concern for very long.

And given the amount of customers an accountant services, how can you be certain that your small business, tax return, or retirement savings account will receive the attention it merits?

When looking for an accountant, this is definitely something that you should keep in mind and take into consideration. But unfortunately, it’s hard to get an accurate reading on it.

Do you feel as though you are not getting the necessary amount of attention? That they place a lower importance on you than other things? Is it difficult for your accountant to supply you with the numbers, and do they forget important details?

It is essential to choose a bookkeeper who not only watches out for your best interests but also takes time for you and your specific accounting requirements when selecting.

Due to the fact that accounting may be hard and sophisticated, you need someone who is willing to take the time to familiarise themselves with your circumstance. In addition, you need an accountant that interacts with you and keeps you informed about what’s going on with your finances.

Are they familiar with your industry or individual situation?

Ask a potential accounting company about their existing customers when you have a conversation with them. Have they worked with companies (or individuals) comparable to what you did in the past? Your best bet is to look for an accounting firm that has experience in your particular field or circumstance; this ensures that they have the knowledge and expertise required to give you sound guidance.

For instance, the’standards’ that each industry adheres to in terms of what deductions and credits may be claimed on a tax return are not the same. Therefore, your accountant has a greater chance of being able to maximise your return on investment if they have a solid grasp of the sector.

Not only tax reporting but also analysis

In addition to reviewing and approving year-end reports and preparing tax returns, accountants may also be required to complete a substantial amount of additional work. According to Triffit, the company provides assistance to businesses with a variety of issues, some of which include the analysis of cash flow, the utilisation of money, and succession planning.

Your accountant may be able to be involved in all of the financial aspects of your company on a real-time basis thanks to real-time reporting and access to software that is now available via cloud-based apps.

Look for an accountant with relevant expertise.

You will need the assistance of someone with previous experience producing tax returns and financial documentation for businesses with a size and income comparable to yours. In addition, if the majority of your company’s operations are performed using cloud-based software, you will most likely want the services of a cloud computing expert.

It is even better if they have worked with organisations that operate in market sectors that are comparable to your own since this will assist them to grasp the specific requirements that your company has. You could wish to look into whether or if they serve customers of a greater scale. If they do, it is a good indicator since you will know that they should be able to accommodate your expanding demands over time. If they don’t, that is not a good sign.

You might also ask them for a customer list that includes information about each firm’s gross income and the number of workers at that business. Finally, find out how their previous customers have evolved and expanded over the years to get a better idea of whether or not they will be able to meet the changing requirements of your business.

What are their fees like?

Fees are a vital aspect to consider; after all, your accountant’s fees should be affordable for your company or your personal finances.

The majority of businesses compute their revenue one of two ways: either on an hourly basis or using a flat rate. Because the manner in which fees are computed and the total amount paid might vary from company to company, you should be certain that you clearly understand how much everything will cost before you consent to move on.

Do background checks

Before you put pen to paper to hire an accountant, you should make it a priority to speak with a few of the accountant’s previous customers. There are professional services that can assist you with this, but if the accountant is authentic, they will probably be ready to provide you with a selection of connections that you may use as references.

This will assist in confirming some of the information that has been supplied to you by the accountant. You will also get the opportunity to obtain first-hand information on the accountant’s relationship with their other customers.

When you are contacting referees, use caution. Avoid burdening them with a large number of written queries that need to be answered. You may learn much more about your potential accountant through a ten-minute phone call instead of filling out a three-page form consisting of generic written responses.

accountant bookkeeping people


Must have technical knowledge

When it comes to ensuring that customers get the most out of their software packages, there is widespread consensus that practitioners need to possess a high degree of competence in accounting and business software. This is the case because customers are more likely to get the most value out of their software if they use it to its full potential. Conventional responsibilities, such as the input of data into a general ledger, have given way to more complicated responsibilities, such as analysis, reporting, and guidance, which has led to a rise in the amount of technical expertise required.

“It is my opinion that all accountants should have at the very least a fundamental understanding of software linked to cloud accounting and how their customers may use it. Then, in the not too distant future, the most successful accountants will be able to swiftly develop a mix of cloud accounting and business software tools and integrate them together to generate exactly what their customer need, “Munro added.

Do you feel a connection with your accountant?

Suppose you cannot build rapport with your accountant or connect with them in any way. In that case, you may find yourself at a disadvantage despite the fact that the accountant may have an excellent reputation or image.

This is due to the fact that you and your accountant are going to be working together for a considerable amount of time.

A solid connection between a customer and their accountant that can withstand the test of time involves the following:

  • Trust and respect on all sides
  • Open communication
  • Compatible personalities
  • An accountant who “understands” your needs and goals.

In reality, it is about more than just the statistics alone!

Because meeting your accounting needs is of the utmost significance, you should ensure that the person in charge of your books is somebody with whom you are comfortable working for a lengthy period.

If you often go from one accountant to another, it is possible that this may disrupt the accounting records and activities you have been maintaining.

Get someone proactive about saving you money.

Some accountants won’t do much more than handle your accounts and fill out the paperwork for your tax return, but the most effective accountants are more proactive in their approach. Therefore, before selecting an accountant for your company, you should enquire about how they could recommend cutting costs.

For instance, what percentage of your operational expenditures do they believe you are able to deduct from your taxable income? If you own your own business or work as a consultant, you may be able to deduct a portion of your monthly expenses, such as your phone bill, vehicle payments, and maybe even your rent or mortgage. What are the repercussions of acting in this manner? Your accountant has to make sure you are aware of any potential problems. For instance, if you utilise your residence as a place of business, you may have to pay more taxes when you sell the property.

Always remember that there is a significant gulf between tax avoidance, which is often within the law, and tax evasion in most nations (usually illegal). Therefore, you need an accountant who is so well-versed in the intricacies of tax law that they can lawfully save your company money while doing so. But, on the other hand, you don’t want an accountant who goes too far with things and puts your company at risk of operating illegally.

Be extremely cautious in this regard, as the final person responsible for paying the fine if the law is breached will be you, the owner of the company.

Hiring the Right Tax Professional for You

If you find the correct tax agent to work with, completing your tax return in Australia while working with a tax expert might be a great option. Because of the intricacy and nature of the work, it is essential to locate a representative who can be relied upon and has relevant knowledge. You are in luck since you just need to ask the appropriate questions to accomplish this goal.

  1. Ask them for their tax agent number, and then check to see if it shows on the website of the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) as the number of a registered tax agent. A company’s level of skill may be gauged by the level of recognition it receives in its field.
  2. Take into consideration how long they’ve been working in the tax industry. Companies operating for a considerable amount of time are more likely to have dealt with a multitude of tax return disputes, which indicates that they are less likely to make an error compared to companies that have only recently begun operations.
  3. Ask them what tax difficulties they specialise in, as not all tax businesses have the necessary resources to handle many tax claims.
  4. When money is tight, the temptation to go with the option that costs the least might be hard to resist. However, there is a standard price associated with the preparation of a tax return, and this amount is often collected on an hourly basis. Therefore, it is in your best interest to go elsewhere if you come across a person who bases their fees on the amount of the return they will receive or who makes the claim that they may obtain a larger refund.
  5. Check to see whether they are willing to sign. Professional agents must sign their clients’ tax returns to comply with the law. If you sign a tax form that is blank, your accountant has the opportunity to forge your signature and put their own bank account number, so stealing your refund. Under no circumstances should you sign a tax return that is blank or incomplete.
  6. Think twice before hiring an accountant who doesn’t use electronic filing. Generally speaking, the ATO mandates that all tax agents enter their returns online. It is conceivable that they are not performing as much work as they claim or that they are more likely to make errors since they do not have the software to double-check their work and validate any probable problems. If they do not offer to lodge online, this might signify any of these things.


When hiring an accountant, it is important to remember that the individual will have access to private information regarding your money. As a result, you have no choice but to collaborate with one of the most reliable accounting businesses Melbourne offers.

Instinct also plays a role; you ought to go with someone you feel comfortable with. When it comes to money, things are already dry enough as they are; the last thing you need is an accountant who can’t even muster a grin.

There is a very solid explanation for why the nature of our working relationship feels more like a marriage than a commercial transaction. It is not a decision that should be made flippantly because your accountant will get deeply involved in the day-to-day operations of your business. You will require someone in whom you can place your faith, possess the appropriate experience, and be there for you whenever you require their assistance.

Accountants skilled at managing complex financial work and advising on practical business concerns are invaluable to the growth of their clients’ businesses. This will absolutely result in cost savings for you, both immediately and over the course of time. As long as you make an informed decision, there is no way that you will make a mistake. The best ones will be your partner in all except name.


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