Why an accountant is necessary for your business

Key points in this article

  • Accountants are excellent advisors
  • Look for an accountant who’s experienced in small business
  • It’s worth taking the time to thoroughly check out the accountants on your shortlist

An accountant can help you prepare your end of year accounts. It goes without saying that the major reason for hiring an accountant is for help in filing your taxes and preparing your year-end reports, including creating an asset register. Accountants know what needs to be done, and they ensure that you comply with all of your obligations.

Moving beyond taxes, an accountant is one of your most trusted advisors. When you choose the right one, your accountant becomes a valuable asset, assisting with various aspects of your business.

Accountants not only take the stress out of tax time and managing finances, they’re also an excellent source of advice.

What to look for in an accountant

To maximise benefits of working with an accountant, you’ll want to choose wisely. First and foremost, you’ll want an experienced and capable accountant who can help you prepare a thorough and accurate tax return. Should you ever face an audit by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), using an accountant increases the chances you haven’t overlooked anything by mistake. And, his or her support during an audit will reduce your stress.

In addition to experience and a professional accounting background, look for an accountant who understands your industry and will be able to add value throughout the year as discussed below.

Help with accounting software

Today’s accounting systems take advantage of technology, making it crucial to find an accountant who can help you choose and set up an online accounting system.

If you don’t have accounting software, ask the accountant to suggest an appropriate online accounting system that allows you to work in unison.

A desire to form a long-term relationship

While year-end comes just once per year, you’re not looking for one-off service. You’re looking for an accountant with whom you can build a long-term professional relationship – someone you can approach for advice throughout the year and whose opinion you can rely on.

A focus on tax strategies

Helping you to prepare your taxes is important, as is helping you to minimise the amount of tax your business may have to pay under the law. A valuable accountant will be able to recommend tax strategies that comply with the law while also minimising taxes, saving your business money as a result.

This input can mean the difference between paying too much tax, paying too little tax, or making a regrettable mistake.

The offer of advisory services

Many accountants offer advisory services to their clients, and that support can be extremely beneficial to small businesses. Whether it’s advice on tax deductions, separating personal and business expenses, depreciation, goodwill, or an extra opinion on leasing versus buying, your accountant will prove his or her worth repeatedly.

As well as keeping the above in mind, look for someone who’s experienced in small business and has a vested interest in seeing their clients succeed.

How to choose the right accountant

Now that you know what to look for in an accountant, where are you going to start your search? It’s a wise idea to tap into your networks for recommendations – and ask any advisors for their opinions.

  • Are your accountancy candidates reliable?
  • Has someone you trust referred them to you?
  • Are they certified with a recognised accounting certification body such as the Certified Practicing Accountants of Australia?

Once you have a few candidates, interview them. You’ll probably want someone who’s proactive about saving your business money, so ask probing questions to get a sense of each accountant’s approach

Make sure you do your due diligence before selecting an accountant. Word of mouth is one of the best methods.

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