Not all accountants are the same. There are many different reasons why you should choose an accountant that is right for your needs and will suit your specific requirements. These could include whether you’re a sole trader, a company or partnership or just an individual wanting to maximise your tax return for the year.
You could also find that some accountants specialise in certain areas. A good example of this might be specific investment types or foreign income as part of your regular turnover.
Here are some things to look for before you choose an accountant:
Qualifications and Accreditations
Always check the qualifications of the accountant you’re considering. A tax agent isn’t always going to be the same as a fully qualified CPA. In fact, there are several official accounting bodies within Australia. Be sure the accountant you’re considering is a member of either CPA Australia or ICAA.
This can be an important step, as accountants who are members of these professional bodies are required to meet minimum standards of education. They are also required to keep their knowledge up to date and must also hold professional indemnity insurance.
However, only agents registered with the Tax Agent’s Board are allowed to charge a fee for preparing a tax return for you. Be sure you understand what accreditations with which officially recognised bodies the agent holds.
Where possible, try to ask other people in similar financial situations to your own to recommend an accountant they use. Asking for referrals is a good way to locate accountants who may have experience dealing with your specific needs. A sole trader working on sub-contract for one or more companies is going to have very different accountancy needs to that of a larger exporting company.
Some accountants specialise in certain areas. If your own income is a little different to a normal income from an employer, you might want to consider finding a specialist accountant who understands your particular needs.
Will you need additional services on top of just tax preparation? Some accountants are able to offer extra services for such things like incorporating your business, financial planning advice, expanding your current business operations, retirement advice, estate planning, risk management, wealth creation or investing advice.
Finding the right accountant can help you add considerable value to your business and can also help you manage your own financial future much better. It’s worth taking the time to be sure you find the right one to suit your particular needs