To find the right accountant for your personal or business needs, you need to ask the right questions. This will allow you to make informed decisions as to who is the best accountant for your specific needs. Below are some of the questions you should be asking.
How long have you been in practice?
The answer to this question will give you a good idea of the maturity of the accountants practice, and his or her level of experience. However, the answer to this question should also give you an idea whether the accountant or firm has a succession plan in place. This is important because you would not want to hire an accountant that is about to retire or sell the company and leave you hanging.
What type of clients do you work with?
If you are looking for a personal accountant, you do not want one who specialises in business. Additionally, if you want a business accountant, you want one who has experience dealing with your specific type of business. This is because each business type has its own set of rules on how finances and revenue are reported.
What other services do you offer?
Most people hire an accountant for help with taxes and bookkeeping however, he or she may offer other services that you could benefit from. Common services include things like cash flow management, business planning and budgeting. You may already have a good idea of what services your business can take advantage of, but your accountants other skills may help you come up with other ways to grow.
What is your approach towards tax deductions?
Accountants often have different approaches when it comes to applying for tax deductions. While some are very cautious and avoid setting off any warning flags that might attract unwanted attention from the ATO, others try to maximise refunds and claim everything they can. Obviously, it is important that the claims are accurate, but it is equally important that you agree with their approach.
What tax software do you use?
While this should not be your only basis for choosing an accountant, it is important information. Knowing the type of software used will help you anticipate any issues when transferring information. For example, MYOB’s tax software is widely used so exporting data between accountants is easy. However, if the accountant uses proprietary software that is not well-known, you may have problems in the future if you ever need to hire a new accountant.
How do you bill for your services?
Most accountants either use a flat fee system or charge by the hour. Asking for this information beforehand allows you to choose the billing method you are most comfortable with. Additionally, ask for a quote so that you can estimate how much you will be charged.
If you are looking for a reliable accountant in North Sydney, you can also try one from our Tradebusters Connect local North Sydney business directory. The details of our pick of the top 3 local accountants in North Sydney are listed and you can contact them directly today.