How to find the right accountant in Perth
Last week we looked at the benefits of having a good accountant on your side when it comes to growing and improving your business. How do you know you are choosing a good one? Comparing accountants can be difficult. How do you know what questions you should be asking and what information you need to collect to be able to find the right accountant in Perth?
Don’t just go with your gut instinct, ask the right questions and find someone you can work with over the long term to deliver ongoing business improvement. We have put together a list of questions you should consider. Once you have the answers it will be easier to make an informed decision.
1. Are you comfortable chatting with them?
Firstly you need to choose an accountant you’re comfortable with. This is someone you will be working closely with to maximise your business success. You must feel comfortable asking any question no matter how trivial it may seem and not be afraid to broach any topic with them.
Then you need to ensure that you understand what they are telling you so that you gain the benefits you desire.
Many accountants are great with numbers but their “jargon” can be difficult to understand. Make sure you choose someone who explains things to you in plain English. Also ensure that they take the time to review your business, explain your position and what you can do to improve it in the long term, if necessary.
2. What level of service do you need?
Another important consideration is the level of support and service you want to receive from your accountant. If you just want “cheap and cheerful”, you’re not going to get much in the way of service or added benefits. If you want someone who takes a proactive approach by monitoring your business affairs and advising where improvements can be made, you will need to ensure the accountant is able to offer you this level of service.
If you want someone who will help you to drive your business forward, look for an accountant who is accessible and will provide regular communication and advice.
Location is also a big factor. Many cheap services are run off shore and there is not always the opportunity to communicate with an accountant directly. Make sure you choose someone local who is easily contactable.
3. How much are you prepared to pay?
Some accountants will charge you a fixed fee for the work they do. While this means that you will know from the start how much the service will cost you, you must consider whether you want just the basics or a high level of service. Accountants who provide the latter offer more comprehensive professional services. They usually charge by the hour – this may cost a bit more, but it’s worth it in the long run.
4. What payment options are available?
Some accountants offer fixed price monthly billing that will allow you to spread the cost over the course of a year. This can make budgeting a bit easier, so make sure you ask about payment options.
5. Is the accountant fully qualified?
If you are looking to find the right accountant in Perth, be sure to check that they are qualified. Anyone can hang up a shingle but professional bodies guarantee quality. Ensure that your accountant is either a Chartered Accountant (CA) or Certified Practicing Accountant (CPA) – both are regulated and are required to undergo ongoing professional development to ensure their knowledge remains up to date.
6. What are your needs?
Start by compiling a list of your requirements and find an accountant who has the appropriate expertise to assist you in these areas.
7. Where do I find the right accountant in Perth?
It’s very easy to find a long list of accountants on the Internet, but be wary. Money can buy a fancy website, but this isn’t necessarily an indication of the service you will receive. A personal referral is still the best way to find reputable and reliable accountants. Failing this, make sure you meet with several accountants, ask questions and look at the range of services and benefits each one can offer you.
8. What is the size of the practice?
As a general rule of thumb, large accounting firms deal with large companies, mainly because their accounts are large and complex. Smaller accounting firms understand the needs of small businesses, so you are more likely to receive the level of attention you require.
9. What questions should I ask?
- Which professional bodies are you and your firm associated with?
- What are your accounting qualifications?
- Who will be preparing my accounting and taxation work?
- How do you charge for your work?
- Do you specialise in any specific field?
- Do you have any clients I could speak with regarding your services?
- What can you offer me and my business?
- Why should I choose your accounting services?
So, in summary, the “DOs” and “DON’Ts” of choosing an accountant are:
- Ask lots of questions.
- Request a meeting with clients.
- Look for testimonials on the firm’s website.
- Ask friends about their accountants – perhaps they can recommend one.
- Ask what the accountant can do for you and why you should entrust them with your work.
- Shortlist potential accountants and meet with them to confirm if their services meet your needs.
- Look for an accountant whose charges and payment options suit you.
- Look for an accountant who will take the time to explain your financials to you. To be successful in business, it is essential that you understand your numbers.
- Use price as the only deciding factor. Quality service is an investment, not a cost. Cheap service may cost you far more in the long run.
- Leave finding an accountant until the last minute. This causes delays in required lodgements and penalties may be applied by the ATO.
- Choose the first accountant you meet. It is an important decision, so take your time and weigh up your options.
- Misrepresent your business position.
We hope this helps you find the right accountant in Perth to suit your needs. If you would like an obligation-free appointment, we can explain how BSN & Co have helped other businesses and individuals get the service they deserve.
If you make the switch to BSN & Co, we are offering 20% off your last accountancy fee*, CLICK HERE to find out more.