Whether you’re running a major company or a small business just starting out, having an accountant to manage your books is an essential step.
This selection process is not just about picking the first Google Search that comes up. You need to find an experienced individual or business that you can trust with your money and your business.
While many smaller businesses choose to carry out these financial duties in-house, the process is quite complex, especially for an individual or business who is not familiar with it or for those looking to grow and expand and to also implement tax planning strategies.
You want a good accountant to support your business as they take care of the accounting/tax side of things whilst you focus 100% on your business.
What is an Accountant?
An accountant is a trusted advisor whose role is to advise, evaluate and assist with the financial aspects of your business. They are qualified and skilled to perform tasks such as analysis, auditing, forecasting, financial reporting and tax returns, in accordance with ethical and professional standards set by the governing body.
In Australia, there are three major accounting bodies from which accountants gain their accreditation from:
While you can simply use search engines to find your nearest provider, you should rather vet your options in-depth to ensure that you’re making the right decision.
5 Tips on How to Choose an Accountant for your Small Business
1. Ask for recommendations from peers
By using your network, you can gain insight into different financial companies by learning through others experiences. You can choose to speak to someone you know or ask on an online forum as a way to start.
Alternatively, Google My Business Reviews offer honest testimonials from customers/clients.
2. Know the difference between CAs vs. CPA
It’s important to know that whether you choose a CA or a CPA, both are qualified in accounting.
A Chartered Accountant is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand (ICCA) which is a top tier qualification recognised worldwide and requires extra tuition.
A Certified Practising Accountant (CPA) is also a qualified accountant, however, the course/qualifications aren’t as technical and extensive in duration as the CA.
All COADS Partners accountants are fully qualified Chartered Accountants, therefore are internationally recognised and have graduated to the highest standard in accordance with the international accounting board.
3. Modern Accounting vs. Traditional
Companies have preferred methods of working and this includes the choice of technology and software that they use.
With cloud storage and modern apps, accounting firms like COADS use the latest software to streamline and automate several processes. COADS is a Xero premium partner. Xero is a comprehensive, accounting program specifically designed for accountants to manage, track, automate and collaborate with clients on their compliance.
In addition, to ensure faster and more efficient service, COADS uses other digital software such as:
- DocuSign – For legal, digital agreements, electronic signature documents including tax returns and all is saved on the cloud
- Practice Ignition – Review, agree and pay for services, from one proposal.
If you’re used to an ‘old school’ or more manual approach and prefer to keep it that way, ensure that your company of choice operates in line with that.
4. Ask yourself these questions
Once you have a selection of accounting firms to choose from, narrow your search by asking yourself –
- Are you happy to virtually meet with your accountant or do you prefer face to face?
- Are you comfortable working with cloud software or do you have other options?
- Do you want some control over your accounting/bookkeeping in-house or do you want your accountant to handle everything?
5. Make sure your values align
Can you sleep comfortably at night, knowing that the firm of choice is handling your businesses and taxes?
A good accountant should become a trusted advisor to your business and leave you with no worries.
Whether it’s about how to minimise your tax bill or a review of your current entity structure, your business objectives should coincide and align with your accountant’s advice.
COADS Partners is a dynamic business and tax advisory firm that supports small to medium-sized businesses.
We offer integral, high-quality services to ensure that your business remains compliant and strategies remain in place.
Our services include:
- Business and Taxation Advisory – From in-house bookkeeping to accounting compliance, our service enables you to focus on your business and let us keep your records up to date and accurate.
- Self-Managed Super Funds – As a highly regulated industry, we develop effective strategies for individuals to support their future retirement. Our service includes SMSF compliance preparation, as well as tax planning strategies.
- Succession and Estate Planning – We plan ahead to identify estate planning tax issues which include developing methods for transitions into retirement, selling or applying capital gains tax concession rules.
- Property Tax Advisory and Consulting – Our tax advice provides clients with tax minimisation strategies, including depreciation for capital expenditure and other expenses.
- Accounting Management Software – We offer tailored, specialised software solutions for a variety of industries to manage cost and stock, which include freight distribution controls, job costs and hospitality sectors.
At COADS Partners, our clients are our number one priority and we strive to deliver excellence in a timely, concise manner.
We are equipped to advise businesses that are just starting out or well-established small to larger businesses.
Contact us today to see if we’re a match for your business.