Good accountants can help you grow your money and achieve business success. Take time to choose an accountant that meets your needs.

Much like choosing any other services provider, such as a lawyer or plumber, the key is to find out about their specialisation, service, fees and whether they are qualified and registered. The most important thing is whether you can trust your accountant to look after the financial needs of your business.

For most people, the word ‘accountant’ makes us think of tax time, but a good accountant can offer a range of business services and advice on more complex business issues throughout the year, not just tax compliance and tax returns.

Specialisation   

Do they offer the services you need? Will they be able to look after your business as it progresses? Do they regularly deal with businesses that are similar to yours?  Also check that they:

  • have a team of people with depth of experience and exposure to various issues and industries
  • have specialists and experience in certain areas such as tax law and your specific industry
  • are across the latest technology and accounting software
  • are able to tailor their service to your unique circumstances
  • can help you to develop your business, rather than just provide tax compliance

Customer service
Make sure your accountant responds to email and phone calls promptly, and can communicate in everyday language, not financial jargon.

Fees
Find out their payment terms; what you will be charged for and when.

Trust
You must have faith that the information provided to you is true and correct.  Look for an accountant that is registered as a tax agent and a member of professional accounting associations, as they must meet the standards of the association. This can give you peace of mind that they are bound by professional ethics and meet the stringent training requirements.

First impressions are often the best. You must feel comfortable with your accountant and trust them as they will be providing you with information that can make or break your business.

If you’re happy with the specialisation, service, fees and qualifications and you feel confident about working with the accountant, use your Bendigo network and ask other business owners who they would recommend and why.

A good accountant should be an extension of your business. Take the time to research, just as you would a business partner or employee.

By: Damien Palmer, Partner, AFS & Associates http://www.afsbendigo.com.au