Choosing the right accountant for your personal and professional needs may seem daunting but it’s a necessary step for you to maximise your current financial position and proactively plan for your future. The right accountant can do a lot more for you besides preparing your annual tax return. This important relationship should benefit you financially, provide support for increasing your wealth, and offer strategies for retaining the highest percentage of your earnings. Yes, we mean pay as little tax as possible! Your accountant should understand where you’re at right now and where you want to be in five, ten, or twenty years down the track.
The right accountant can support you to reach your goals by partnering with you and advising you ahead of time the steps to take, what receipts to keep, and what is happening with regards to tax legislation that may impact you or your industry in the near future. No one wants to find out that their accountant did not provide timely or up to date information which results in being unable to claim additional deductions and/or offset gains in the previous financial year.
So how do you go about finding the right accountant? Here are some important points to consider before making your choice.
- Are they a registered tax agent? To check go here
- Can you phone them during business hours and they answer? If not, do they respond promptly to your messages?
- Do they appear professional, courteous, helpful?
- Do they have stable, qualified staff that can provide regular, ongoing support each year?
- Can they provide services within specific timeframes?
- Is their fee structure transparent and does it meet your budget?
- Do they offer more than tax return services?
- Do they offer financial strategies to increase wealth and reduce tax?
- Are they willing to give you a financial ‘health check’ in their initial consultation?
- Do they have good information available via their website and social media?
- Do you like their communication style? Their business philosophy and direction?
- Do they have excellent reviews?
- Is their business established? If so, how is it performing, ie. has it grown?
- Are they well connected? Do they have a good referral network whose services are tried and tested?
- Can you book appointments online?
- Will they schedule appointments outside of business hours?
- Is there somewhere to park if you’re driving to their office?
If you have a business…
- Does their experience cover individuals and businesses? Great accountants will have experience in both areas and be able to advise a business owner both personally and professionally.
- Do they have client experience with a business of your size?
- Are they specialists in your industry?
- Do they have proven success in helping their clients businesses grow?
Ultimately, you want an accountant who will make the world of deductions and record keeping easy to understand and implement and help you minimise your tax and maximise your earnings. They should easily grasp what action is required right now and confidently advise you on what steps to take in the near and distant future to get the most beneficial financial return. They should actively provide support not only when everything is going great but especially when times get rough, as this is when you need their expertise and advice the most.