Pricing Strategies

How to find the Right Accountant

With the End of Financial Year (EOFY) quickly approaching, you’re probably starting to think about who you need to assist with processing and lodging your tax returns. If you are looking for an accountant for your new business or are unhappy with your current advisor, now is a good time to be looking for one that fits your needs.  No matter the industry you are in lawyer, tradie, service or hairdresser, you’ll know it’s important to choose the person you outsource work to carefully. Here are some good questions to ask an accountant before you hire them to insure that you find the right accountant for your business.

1. What services do you provide?

You need to ensure that your accountant will provide all the services that you need assistance with. For example, you could require an accountant to work on your annual tax documents, app advisor, tax advisory, business reporting, structure planning or auditing services. Make a list of all your needs as there is no point in hiring someone who is only willing to work on one or two of the areas you need help with.

2. How does your fee structure work?

Asking about fees is important however ensure you get all the info about different charges and not just their general charges. You need to know if they have any potential ‘hidden’ fees you should be aware of. This could include things like additional charges for getting work done in a short timeframe, fees for photocopying or postage, costs for working with a particular type of accounting software, and so on. Learn as much as you can so that when you compare fees for different accountants you’re doing so fairly and accurately. See if they do a fixed price agreement that covers all of your fees for the year. This can be a great way to manage cashflow with a regular monthly payment.

3. What kinds of clients/industries do you work with?

This question is a great one because you need to find out if an accountant has enough experience working with your type of business. Some industries have to follow certain criteria on how income and expenses are recorded and it may take some time to find the right accountant that has up to date experience in specific industries.

4. What accounting software do you support?

Not all accountants use online software, I have seen many accountants pull figures from xero and put them into a desktop based software. If you want your file to be accurate and up to date make sure your accountant will be completing your accounts in your software. If you don’t have a system yet now is a great time to see what is available and hear some different opinions on what is best for you.

5. How do you communicate?

A good relationship comes down to communication so make sure you are happy with the communication methods the accountants use. If you want a meeting each year to sign off your accounts and go through the figures or regular face-to-face meetings check that they will do this.

6. Will I always deal with you?

This can be important to some people to only deal with one person at a firm, the person you meet with will typically be a partner and they most likely will not be completing your accounts. You will need to ask if this will be the case or if you will have a different person completing your work each year. Some firms will allocate work to specific accountants and you are just their client however larger firms may have several accountants working on your accounts depending on the size.  This may help you answer the question of scalability within your company. If you intend on growing your business will the firm be able to handle the company becoming larger and more complex. A smaller firm may not be able to handle to workload if your business grows.

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