Choosing a business accountant 101


How to choose a business accountant 101, by 542 Partners

Q: What’s the definition of an accountant?
A: Someone who solves a problem you didn’t know you had in a way you don’t understand.

We think this joke is funny. But unfortunately for some business owners – it’s a reality.

Often the relationship you have with your accountant can be a once a year, burn a hole in your pocket, blink and you miss it experience.

Certainly in the past, that used to be the case. But thanks to advancements in technology The Accountant is morphing into the trusted business advisor you always wanted.

Choosing an accountant: what to look out for

So how can you ensure you get that warm and fuzzy business advisor and not the old dinosaur that only sees you at tax time? Use the below check list to make sure that your accountant measures up:

Does your accountant communicate with you regularly? Not only about your account but with information relevant to you and your business? Thanks to social media, many accountants have blogs (just like this one!) and social media that provide a platform for communication of up-to-date information effecting business owners.  The style in which your accountant communicates is also important: an accountant that communicates in plain language, not financial jargon.

Customer service
Do they provide a good service that is convenient to you? To have an accountant that regularly takes phone calls and answers emails on a timely basis is a must for small business owners.

What technology and systems do they use themselves and for clients? Can they implement any business processes to benefit you and your business time? The advancements in accounting technology in the last decade have changed the way in which accounting-as-a-service is delivered. Your accountant should use the most up-to-date technology to offer complete transparency and valuable insight into your business.

What will you be charged, and when? Many accountants now offer a flat rate fee structure with payment options that don’t provide a shock (or a massive bill) at the end of the year. A flexible approach to payment eases the burden at tax time on small business owners.

If they are going to do your tax return (only one of the many services they should offer) make sure your accountant is registered at the online tax and BAS agent register.

Are the degree qualified and are they a member of any of the below professional associations?

  • Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia
  • Certified Practicing Accountants Australia
  • Institute of Public Accountants.

If they are, you can rest assured that they have to meet the standards of the association. It also means you can contact the relevant association if you’re not happy with your accountant for any reason.

When all’s said and done a good accountant helps you grow your money. Take some time to shop around and choose an accountant that meets your needs. A small investment to pick the right accountant can save you a lot of heart ache in the long run.

Does your current accountant cut the mustard?
We know how we stack up. Give us a call to see how we can help you.

What do you think?
We would love to hear your thoughts! Feel free to submit your comments below or comment on our Facebook Page or Twitter. If you think you are ready for the Cloud free to give us a shout, we can guide you in the right direction.