Whatever type of accountant is required, (chartered, tax, etc.); most people don’t really know what they should be looking out for in their search. Generally decisions are based on the locality, an advert found in the phonebook or recommendations from friends and colleagues. Taking the time to find out something about the company you select will make all the difference between an accountant who is just doing their job and one who will be loyal and enterprising.
If you are running your own company or if you are self-employed, hiring an accountant can be priceless. A few of the services they offer include completing tax returns, keeping company accounts, financial planning, auditing and book-keeping. Most of the professionals also advice on anything from buying new company cars to selling shares.
If you already have your own business or are in the process of setting one up then you will know how important the accountant can be. They should know the rules and regulations concerning any financial activities and be aware of any changes in the law that might affect your business. With the right accountant you can be sure your business is in capable hands.
Accountants can save you from spending your valuable time by maintaining all the essential paperwork for you and they even advice you on ways to cut costs. For example, because a dependable accountant will be up to date on tax laws and legislation, they will save your business quit a lot of money. It’s crucial to select an accountant fitted to your company as they will not only keep the records and finances updated and in order but can also smooth the progress of expansion.
To find the right accountant is the difficult part. The first place to start is on the internet. Preferably you want an accountant in your local area that has been established for a number of years, this will enable you to meet them face to face to discuss your needs and requirements and check out their reputation and qualifications. Ask around colleagues and business owners in similar industries for their recommendations and opinion. You could also ask your financial planner, bank and insurance agent for their advice.
If you worry about the costs of an accountant then keep the following in mind. Large accountancy firms might have the advantage of offering their services at more competitive rates, whereas a smaller company could provide a more personable service and commit more time to your account. Thus the question is; do you want quality or quantity? Don’t hold back on contacting a firm to ask questions and advice before making that decision. Chew over the area you need advice or help in as companies often specialize in particular fields, for example if you are setting up a small clothing company, the accountancy firm you select should be clued-up and have some clients and thus experience in this sector.
Always check for accreditation from an officially recognized body, especially if you are thinking of selecting an individual accountant. Only registered agents are allowed to charge for preparing or lodging a tax return.
There are only a few companies in Australia which offer an accounting firm referral service. These firms can find you professional help in your local area for free. Make sure that the members of their network are fully qualified Chartered Accountants or Certified Practicing Accountants. If you are searching for a general chartered accountant or require a specialist, they should be able to help you locate one in a location of your choice. They can provide a range of accountancy services, from financial planning to trust accounting, from setting up a company and auditing to superannuation.
Handing your financial records over to someone you don’t know involves a lot of trust and co-operation. Choose an accountant firm that responds quickly to your questions and has an understanding of your business. Also ask for their pricing policies and see if it is within your budget. An accountant is not only there to complete your tax returns but to offer advice and guidance that can lead your business in the right direction and into the future.