How To Choose a New Accountant

By August 15, 2019Blog

Advivo Explains The Top Tips for Choosing an Accountant

So, you’ve decided it’s time to choose a new accountant. It’s never an easy decision, especially if you have been with your current accountant for some time. Making the switch can have an impact on the long-term success of your business and is not a decision to be made lightly.

Factors in Choosing an Accountant For Your Business

Some of the things you need to consider first are, what exactly do I want from my accountant,  where you want your accountant to be, how much of the job do you want them to handle and what sort of budget you have. The budget question is an interesting one as sometimes a CBD based, total solution accountant may seem expensive on the surface, however, the long term impacts their skills and support can have on your business can be massive. The right company can save you money each year and show you ways of managing aspects of your business you didn’t know possible, sometimes all you need to do is ask for help and keep them in the loop when making major decisions.

So, consider these important factors:

Does Location Matter?

Is it important for your accountant to be nearby? Are you using cloud-based technology to manage your business? With online systems such as Xero and MYOB you and your accountant can view identical real-time data at the same time, so you can be anywhere and so can they. However, getting together and reviewing the progress of the business, is important, making plans, exploring options and gaining a different perspective is so important, as is discussion on budgets and progress to date with objectives. Face-to-face contact is an important aspect of feeling supported, so decide how often you are likely to need this type of contact however these days that can be supplemented with Zoom and Skype discussions which are becoming increasingly popular as they allow screen sharing and video call are better than voice.

Make Sure They Have Relevant Expertise

Do they understand your market and your type of business? Do they understand how to use the software you have chosen, or can they recommend cloud-based software and help you implement it and integrate it with everything else that makes your business tick?

Do your research and see if they have worked with companies in similar market sectors to yours, as that will help them understand the unique needs of your business. Can they handle the growth of your business? Do they have a track record of taking businesses like yours on the growth journey?

Do they have a wide range of skills in house providing everything your business will need now and in the future? These days there are far more need for specialist services beyond the basic bookkeeping accounting and taxation services do they have these skills?

Decide Who Will Do What

Some accountants can handle every aspect of your accounting, from the bookkeeping to the strategic business structuring and planning. This is what you need if you want to grow the business. You need to focus on what you’re good at and find an accountant who can be your partner in getting to the next level. You may decide to start small and handle the book-keeping yourself, but make sure they have the capacity to handle everything once you need it. Ideally, they will help educate you along the ways growing your skills, making you more independent whilst reducing your base accounting costs.

Find Someone Who’s Proactive, Not Reactive

Some accountants will do little more than manage your accounts and complete your tax returns, but the best accountants are more proactive, providing insights, education and guidance. They predict when issues may happen and steer you in the right direction before they do, they stay abreast of the latest changes in policy and tax laws and keep you informed every step of the way.  Find an accountant who knows the finer details of tax, corporate and superfund laws and will point out potential pitfalls so you avoid making costly mistakes.

Interview Your Potential Accountant Before You Decide

Arrange a few interviews with your favourite candidates. A face to face meeting can reveal a lot, especially if it is at their offices. The way they treat you from day one counts. Look for great customer service, proactivity in following up and flexibility in looking at how best to service your business.

You may also want to interview some of their current clients. Certainly, ask for testimonials and look around the internet to see what people are saying about them.

Flexible Ways Of Charging Fees

Some accountants only charge by the hour, some charge a monthly retainer, or a fixed fee. Make sure it works for you and you understand how you will be charged. Having a fixed fee certainly helps with managing cash flow, but make sure you can use the time you pay for and there are no hidden extras.

Good Accountants Will Help Your Company Grow and Take You to the Next Level

Your accountant will become your partner for the next few years if not longer. They will become intimately involved in your company, so you must be able to trust them. If you have done all your homework and you have two or three final candidates who tick all the boxes, go with your gut, your instinct will lead the way. Be brave make sure you choose an accountant that is prepared to challenge and make you accountable, not just go with the flow.

Advivo Accountants and Advisors never shy from scrutiny and can offer multiple testimonials and case studies showing where they have taken a business to the next level and beyond. If you’re looking for a new accountant, especially one based in Brisbane, look no further. ENQUIRE HERE

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