Finance And Insurance
15-Aug-2020 By - Anna Eydlish
Here are the top things you need to look out for.
  1. Top tips for choosing an accountant.
  2. Ask yourself if location matters.
  3. Choose a certified or chartered accountant.
  4. Look for an accountant with relevant expertise.
  5. Talk to government and business associations.
  6. Tap into your social networks.
  7. Make use of your connections online.

Though different professional accounting sources may divide accounting careers into different categories, the four types listed here reflect the accounting roles commonly available throughout the profession. These four branches include corporate, public, government, and forensic accounting.

Questions to ask an accountant
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  • How should I prepare for tax season? ...
  • What business expenses can I deduct? ...
  • When should I pay estimated taxes? ...
  • How can I better manage my cash flow? ...
  • What is my break-even point? ...
  • How can you help me grow my business?
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Not sure what to look for when choosing an accountant?

View our Top Accountant Choosing Advice

After you decide that it is time to engage an accountant, the following step is to select the accountant that you will work with going forward.

It is in your company’s best interest to assign the management of one of the most important areas of your business, which is your finances, to a person who possesses both the essential experience and skill in this area. This will allow your company to maximise its potential for success. Finding the right person could end up saving you both time and money over the course of a few years. When looking for an accountant for your company, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind, which I have outlined below.

It is impossible to overstate the importance of hiring a qualified accountant for a small business, regardless of the company’s sector. In addition, you can hire a bookkeeper for more fundamental accounting services, an accountant with a degree in accounting for more involved accounting and payroll services, or a certified public accountant for assistance with tax planning and tax preparation. All of these individuals have valuable insights to offer in terms of business expansion strategies.

If you own or run a small business, you definitely need to find a reliable accountant for your firm as soon as possible. You will, however, need to do out the essential research in order to locate a solution that is suitable for your circumstances.

The selection of a new accountant is analogous to that of a new business partner. Finding the correct accountant will allow you to develop a reliable working relationship with a colleague you can rely on for sound advice and direction as your small business expands. So what would you say are the most important things for you to keep an eye out for?

Following your conclusion that it is now the appropriate time to seek the services of an accountant, the next step is to choose an accountant who will serve as your partner going forwards.

It is essential to set aside sufficient time to do this task methodically, and before you do so, there are a few things you should give some thought to. You will need to give some thought to issues such as the division of workload, the type of accounting software you will use, and the location of the accountant (for example, are you looking for an accountant in Oakleigh or an accountant in South Perth?). You will also need to consider the location of the accountant. Finally, you should consider how much you will have to pay the accountant and whether or not they can assist you lower the amount of taxes your company owes.

It is in your company’s best advantage to delegate the management of one of the most crucial aspects of your business – your finances – to an individual who possesses both the necessary experience and expertise. Finding the appropriate individual to handle your taxes will save you both time and money year after year while also ensuring that you remain in good standing with the Australian Taxation Office. The following is a list of items you must consider when selecting an accountant for your business.

Ato Taxation Return

Consider whether location matters

In the past, it was very necessary for companies to ensure that their accountants worked in close proximity to their offices. However, in the modern world, a rising number of firms are managing their operations by utilising cloud computing and online collaboration. This trend is expected to continue in the foreseeable future. This would seem to imply that geography is not nearly as essential of a factor in decision-making as it once was. Accounting in the cloud enables you and your accountant to examine the same up-to-date information at the same time, regardless of where either of you may be physically located at the moment. This is possible regardless of whether or not you are using the same device to access the information.

Your company’s needs should be carefully considered before deciding where to seek for an accountant, as this will help you make the most informed decision possible. Depending on how you plan to manage the financial aspects of the company, your accountant might live pretty much anywhere in the world. This all depends on how you set up the company’s accounting system. There is a good chance that someone who is knowledgeable with the particulars of your firm or industry is readily available.

On the other hand, you might prefer interpersonal interaction and think that it would be good to have someone who can attend business meetings with you. In this case, you might consider bringing a companion. In this particular instance, you might want to think about bringing a friend along with you. Additionally, it would be useful for you to have someone else with you who is able to accompany you in this circumstance. Having someone else with you who is able to do so would be helpful. If this is the case, you will need to narrow your search for an accountant to those who are either geographically close to the area in which your business is located or who are willing to make regular trips to the area in which your business is located.

Regardless of the geographic region in which they conduct business, you must ensure that they have a solid understanding of the financial rules that are relevant to your organisation.

Select a Chartered or Certified Accountant

In many countries, the practise of accounting is governed by professional groups that oversee accounting qualifications and work to uphold high professional standards. This is the case in the United States. Certified Public Accountants or Chartered Accountants are two names that are used to refer to professional accountants. Chartered Accountants (CAs) are highly trained individuals who have not only earned a bachelor’s degree but also have years of work experience and have participated in a professional development programme.

Because certified and chartered accountants have higher levels of experience and expertise than other types of accountants, you may anticipate that they will be able to contribute to the success of your business right from the start of their collaboration with you. It is in your best interest to start looking for a qualified accountant as soon as possible rather than waiting until a later stage if you plan to grow your company in the foreseeable future. It is also in your best interest to do so if you anticipate that your company will be acquired by another company.

Employing accountants who aren’t qualified, chartered, or registered is without a doubt a choice that can be made; nonetheless, it’s possible that doing so could not be the most effective course of action for a company to follow. There are several accounting-related tasks, including as bookkeeping, the creation of tax returns, and general financial management, that do not necessarily require the services of a licenced or chartered accountant. On the other hand, if your company grows to the point that you need a loan to fund the expansion, or if you are ever subject to an audit, you will very certainly be forced to have one.

Whether you are searching for Business Accounting Services or a start-up business accountant, you can rely on us to help set up your accounts. We are available for you whenever you have either of these needs.

Choose an accountant with the necessary experience

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 most of your company’s operations are performed using cloud-based software, you will most likely want the services of an employee proficient in cloud computing.

It is even better if they have worked with companies that operate in market sectors that are comparable to your own because this will help them understand the specific requirements that your company has. If they have worked with companies that operate in market sectors that are comparable to your own, it is even better. You may want to investigate whether or whether they service clients on a larger scale. You may do this by asking them directly. If they do, this is a good indicator because you will know that they should be able to handle your rising expectations over time. If they do not, this is not a good indicator. It is not a good sign if they do not comply with your request.

You might also ask them for a customer list that details the overall revenue of each company as well as some of the employees that they have on staff. Find out how their prior customers have changed and grown over the years to get a better understanding of whether or not they will be able to satisfy the shifting requirements of your company. This is the final step in the evaluation process.

Business Bookeeper

Consult with government and corporate organisations

The prosperity of a great number of nations’ local communities of small businesses is vitally important to those nations’ economies. Because of this, governments frequently seek opportunities to encourage the growth of these industries whenever it is feasible.

As the owner of a small business, you should use the many networks of business consultants available to assist you in making decisions, such as selecting the appropriate accountant. They may also be beneficial venues to network and engage in conversation with other proprietors of businesses. If you repeat this process a few times, you will likely discover that other people who operate businesses will recommend an accountant to you. If nothing else, this should make it easier for you to narrow the pool of potential interviewees down to a more manageable size.

Check out the variety of Business Planning Services we offer so that you may work towards your company’s success.

Utilise your social media accounts

When you’re on the market for a new accountant, the best candidate can be standing right in front of you the whole time. To begin things rolling, your first step should be to enquire with any close friends or family members who are already operating their own small businesses as to whether or not they can recommend their accountant. Why would you say that if it’s the case? If not, what are the possible explanations for this? The answers that you provide to both questions may come in handy at a later stage of the procedure when you are conducting interviews with prospective job applicants.

It is important to keep in mind that selecting an accountant is a personal decision; therefore, what may be appropriate for the public relations firm owned by your closest buddy may not be appropriate for your manufacturing company. Also, take into account the various organisational structures of businesses. For example, it’s possible that the greatest accountant for a firm with 10 workers won’t be the finest accountant for a sole proprietorship.

Utilise your online contacts

Even if Facebook is not the worst place to post a request for suggestions on an accountant, it’s possible that a network that is more focused on business might be more beneficial. For example, if you already have a profile on LinkedIn, you may use the site to look for accountants who other people have suggested. LinkedIn is one of the largest social networking sites in the world.

Determine the division of the accounting work

Bookkeeping and the accounting requirements of smaller companies fall squarely within the purview and capabilities of accountants. In the vast majority of cases, you need only compile all of your bills and invoices into a single package, send it over to them, and they will handle everything else. On the other hand, it is probable that this tactic will not always be the one that is the most successful.

Because accountants typically charge by the hour, it is not the best use of their time to ask them to undertake menial tasks like data entry. This is time that you are paying for, so it is important to make the most efficient use of their time. As a result, you need to take responsibility for the situation and become more involved in the accounting procedure (if you can). This will provide you with a better grasp of your spending and income in the here and now, as well as a heads-up on any potential problems that may come up in the future.

For instance, you may make the decision to enter the fundamental accounting data internally before passing the task off to your accountant. After that, they will be able to take care of the more difficult responsibilities, such as reconciling bank accounts, filling out tax return forms, handling payroll, and calculating capital depreciation.

If you utilise accounting software of a good enough quality, you will find that participating in the accounting process is much simpler for you to do. It will make tasks easier to do, such as invoicing, by automatically delivering the invoice while concurrently gathering its information. This will make it possible to finish jobs more quickly. On addition, if the accounting software is housed in the cloud, you may allow your accountant secure access to your financial records with the simple click of a mouse. This is an advantage that comes with having cloud-based accounting software.

man using calculator with coffee and laptop

Hire a person who takes initiative to save 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, in determining the amount of your deductible operational expenses that you can deduct from your taxable income, what percentage of those expenses do they estimate you are entitled to deduct? If you own your own company or are self-employed as a consultant, you could be able to deduct a portion of your monthly outlays, such as your cell phone bill, the payments you make on your vehicles, and possibly even your rent or mortgage payment. What kind of consequences could result from behaving in such a way? Your accountant is obligated to check in with you to ensure that you are aware of any potential issues. If you run a business out of your home, for instance, you may have to pay higher taxes when you want to sell the property because the government considers this to be a commercial use.

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. 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.

We cater to micro- to medium-size organisations and offer a comprehensive selection of Virtual CFO services.

Ask the accountant about the software they use

It’s not unusual for accountants to have their own own prefered piece of accounting software on their computers. As a consequence of this, there is a significant chance that they have been working for the organisation for a lengthy amount of time and have been accustomed to making use of a particular brand of software.

This may provide a challenge. In the event that your organisation makes use of a different programme, there is a possibility that there may be problems exchanging data. Although it may be feasible to export and import data using a format that is appropriate, doing so may take a considerable amount of time and frequently result in mistakes. Email is approximately as safe as sending information on a postcard, therefore, there is a possibility that very sensitive financial information you transmit back and forth might be intercepted and viewed by a third party.

As a result, you should look for an accountant who utilises the same software that you do in order to streamline the process. Or, if that is not an option, someone who is willing to carry out the task on your behalf. When catering to their myriad of clients, they should not be prevented from making use of multiple distinct kinds of accounting software for any reason that can be rationally justified. This is especially true in the event that the application may be easily comprehended and utilised by the user.

It is in everyone’s best interest if you can reach an agreement to utilise user-friendly, industry-leading accounting software and to only trade files that have been appropriately secured. Choosing collaborative accounting software hosted in the cloud and has built-in encryption is an even more appealing alternative. Because of this, you won’t have to worry about the dangers that are associated with trading information back and forth. MYOBXero, and Quickbooks are all excellent choices in this regard.

Interview a number of prospects before making a choice

Do not fall into the trap of immediately accepting the first offer that comes your way, just as you would not agree to the first offer that comes your way with anything else in life. Instead, arrange things in such a way that you can compare and contrast a number of various accountants by putting them side by side. This will make it much easier to make a decision. After that, it will be a lot simpler to select the alternative that will be most useful to your corporation.

An interview is a great tool that may help you determine how effectively you are likely to be able to collaborate with another individual. And by conducting a series of interviews, you will be able to better identify the sort of accountant you want, and you will also receive access to free advice that is of great value. It’s possible that doing so will help you assess the needs of your own company more precisely.

Self Managed Super Funds

Recognise the cost schedule

There is no one system that all accountants adhere to when determining fees to charge clients. Some would charge you by the hour, others might want a monthly retainer payment, and yet others might demand a certain proportion of your total revenue. The ability to negotiate should already be a part of your skill set if you are the owner of a small firm. If it isn’t, you’ll need to figure it out and then apply it here.

After ensuring that all of the accountants you meet with supply you with written quotations, you should step away from the situation and carefully evaluate how each one stacks up against the others. Think about a range of various options; one pricing plan might make sense for your firm while it is just getting started, but as it grows, it might become less tempting.

In this world, there is no such thing as an absolute. You have the option of requesting a pricing scale that fluctuates according to the quantity of business that is transacted with you, a combination pricing method, or any other of a wide number of other arrangements that are feasible. If you don’t ask the accountant about their thoughts on the proposed fee structure, you won’t find out whether or not they approve it until it’s too late.

Develop the ability to trust your gut feeling

You’re running your own company, you have experienced, and you’ve got a pretty good idea of what you’re doing. Because having positive relationships with coworkers is essential to achieving success in business, it’s safe to assume that you’re good with people.

Consequently, make effective use of such capabilities. Intuition is a term that is used to describe the information processing that happens automatically in the backdrop of our thoughts. It is not magic; rather, it is simply cognition that occurs under the level of our waking consciousness. In and of itself, it is a powerful instrument for conducting business, provided that it is utilised in the suitable manner.

When seeing an accountant for the first time, it’s crucial to pay attention to your first impressions of them. In addition to logical considerations such as location, pricing, experience, and references, you should ask yourself if you are comfortable entrusting this individual with the most sensitive aspects of your company. The good news is that if you believe that you will be able to work together with them in the not-too-distant future, this is a fantastic development.

On the other hand, if you have the feeling that you shouldn’t proceed, it’s generally preferable to back away from the situation. It’s possible that your mind’s subconscious has picked up on a number of signs (such as voice stresses and body language) that it finds unappealing. When it comes to making a decision on something as major as choosing an accountant for your company, you shouldn’t ignore your intuition simply because it isn’t always accurate.

Choosing the Right Accountant: When Is It Time?

The number of financial transactions handled by most small firms is insufficient to warrant the employment of a full-time or even a part-time bookkeeper or accountant on the premises. However, the current state of their company’s finances is such that they would be well served by more frequent financial review and planning and accurate and up-to-date accounting. Rather than waiting until the end of the fiscal year to give the tax preparer every invoice, receipt, and ledger, they should perform these tasks throughout the year.

An excellent initial step for a company that is expanding is to engage the services of an external accountant or accounting firm on a consultancy basis. When you hire an outside firm, it may end up costing you less than you would pay for a full-time employee’s salary and benefits, and at the same time, you may end up receiving higher-quality advice from a certified public accountant (CPA) or a tax accountant, the latter of whom is typically both a licenced CPA and a lawyer who specialises in tax law. Even with the most up-to-date and cutting-edge accounting and tax software, it may still be simpler to farm out your financials to a CPA firm that can manage your books online through secure software-as-a-service programmes rather than maintain those in-house. This is true even if you have the most recent and greatest versions of those programmes.

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.

Guest post by : Anna Eydlish Form -

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