Selecting an Accountant

By: John Szabo & Associates Pty Ltd - Accounting & Taxation Services   27-Mar-2012
Keywords: Accounting Services, Accountant, Accountancy Services

Don’t put off consulting your accountant

Accountants are an important part of an SME’s operations, but like the dentist, if business owners leave consulting an accountant until it’s too late, the pain can be excruciating. John Szabo, CEO of John Szabo & Associates Pty Ltd, recommends you regularly consult your accountant.

For new businesses, select an accountant that best suits the company’s needs. The best accountant or bookkeeper depends primarily on the volume of transactions, and thus the amount of time they will take to process.
Public accountants (IPA/CPA/CA) are readily available and both can meet the needs of just about every small and medium-sized business.
Accountants are there to help, not hinder, so business owners should work to build rapport early to facilitate smoother operations throughout the financial year. Keep your accountant informed. Supply the necessary accounting records in good order, consult prior to major business transactions and maintain clear channels of communication.
Ongoing and regular compliance tasks such as business activity statements, annual financial statements and income returns can be lengthy endeavours if not prepared correctly. By taking the time to correctly compile as much of this information as possible business owners can reduce the time their accountant spends on it, minimising costs and both the downtime and disruption to your daily company operations in answering the accountant’s queries.

Common Accounting Mistakes

Where business owners hurt themselves most is by not consulting their accountant prior to major, usually infrequent transactions.
All can have significant impacts on the business financials. By failing to consult your accountant, they can have serious consequences on capital gains tax, GST, income tax and even stamp duty that could well have been avoided if handled or structured differently at the outset. Some transactions, particularly those involving a superannuation fund, may even be illegal and could risk the fund’s existence as well as incurring substantial taxation penalties.

Accounting Fees

Controlling costs is vital for SMEs and there may be concerns that accounting fees are an unnecessary overhead to be cut to the bone. Accountants usually charge by the hour but business owners should not assume that the meter is running as soon as the accountant answers the phone. Understand the basis of an accountant’s fees and establish estimates before work is performed.
To stay within a budget, request a capped quote. Here, the accountant, after considering the assignment, agrees to charge no more than a quoted ceiling.

Technology has expedited the accounting process by enabling a faster transfer of information and communication between business owners and accountants. Accounting software, such as the latest versions of MYOB or Xero facilitate the transfer of data files between accountants and business owners over the internet. This does not mean, however, that face-to-face meetings should be abandoned. By walking the property, accountants can get a better appreciation of the capital, staff and other resource requirements that make up a business.
The effective combination of electronic and in-person communication enables business owners to realise greater value for their accounting dollars and lessen the burden come tax time. In so doing, they can look forward to engaging their accountants, not postponing a meeting until the financial pain becomes too great.

Keywords: Accountancy, Accountancy Services, Accountant, Accountants for Small Business, Accounting & Taxation, Accounting & Taxation Services, Accounting Services, Accounting Software, Business Activity Statement, Business Taxation, Gst Compliance, Management Accounting, Myob Consultant, Myob Consultants, Professional Accounting, Registered Tax Agent, Small Business Accounting Services, Small Business Owners, Small Business Services, Small Business Taxation Consulting, Small Business Taxation Services, Tax Accounting, Tax Advice, Tax Agent, Tax Agent Services, Tax Consultants, Tax for Small Business, Tax Return Lodgement, Tax Return Preparation Service, Tax Returns, Taxation, Taxation Advice, Taxation and Accounting, Taxation Returns, Taxation Services,

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