As a business owner, it’s essential that you partner with service providers that help you achieve your business goals. Part of that is selecting a business accountant who really understands your needs.
When you search online, there are thousands of accountants who are no doubt capable of doing your BAS and annual tax return… but that doesn’t mean that they are the best match for your business.
You want an accountant who will not only save you time – and hopefully money – but someone who will be able to support your business growth with expert advice and become a true professional partner for many years to come.
It can be difficult to determine whether someone will be the right fit for your business, so to help we’ve compiled a short list of attributes that we think a good business accountant should possess. When you meet a potential new accountant, keep these in mind.
Business accounting is so much more than just completing quarterly business activity statements, producing end of financial year reports and processing tax returns.
A standout accountant will have excellent record keeping skills and be able to analyse and interpret data in order to provide you with insightful advice.
This advice is central to you feeling confident and empowered to make critical business decisions.
It is essential that your chosen accountant have the correct qualifications and be suitably experienced to ensure they can provide you with the level of service you require. Ideally, they should also be a member of a professional association, such as the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand. This provides you with the added confidence that they regularly meet and update their education according to industry standards.
It is also worthwhile determining where their strengths lie… what types of businesses do they regularly work with and are they familiar with your specific industry? Before you engage their services, ask questions about their current customers to make sure they align with your needs.
As your relationship with your business accountant grows, you will find yourself communicating with them more frequently.
As part of their service, they should provide you with regular updates on your financial position. When you do talk with them, you need to make sure that you understand the information they give you… this is where first-rate communication skills are essential.
Your accountant needs to remove complexity when discussing financial topics with you.
Using jargon or industry terminology can be confusing and make complicated concepts even more difficult to understand. It’s best if you can find someone who takes the time to talk to you clearly and makes sure that all your questions are answered.
Don’t forget that communication also involves active listening… your accountant needs to ask you questions too, so that they can gain a comprehensive understanding of your business and identify any fundamental issues they should focus on.
You started your business because you have a passion, and the same should be said for your accountant. If they are driven and motivated to succeed then you can feel assured that they will be a dedicated partner.
Their passion will reflect in the level of service they deliver and consequently create a positive experience for you as their client. If they are focused on their own professional success then they will go above and beyond to support your business in achieving its goals.
It is imperative that you trust your business accountant. They oversee some of the most critical parts of your business and you need to be assured that they are acting with integrity at all times.
As your business adviser, their responsibility will extend past day-to-day transactional accounting. They may help you navigate issues such as tax minimisation, asset and wealth management and could also provide information about tax effective superannuation strategies. This is where you want to make sure they are always honest and have your best interests at heart.
Here at Alliance Accounting, we know that you need a business accountant who is proactive and ready to meet your complex business needs. When you work in partnership with us, you can be confident that we are always looking to the future to find ways to improve your financial outcomes.