Hiring a Business Tax Accountant
Business Tax Accountant is the most important team member for your business since he or she is responsible to advise the financial and tax affairs (ATO) of your business and in simple terms tell you whether you are making money or not.
As per Warren Buffet “Accounting is the language of the business” and if you do not have an accounting background, a business tax accountant speaks this language for you in simple layman terms and helps you stay focus towards your business goals. Business Tax Accountant also guides you with streamlining and automating business processes and systems and create strategies on how to continuously grow a business.
Hiring or selecting the best business tax accountant for your business can be a challenging exercise because this relationship is no different from husband/wife or finding the best business partner. Once formed, however, it can last for many years and you can get a significant advantage in terms of continuous business growth and sustainability.
Following are the 6 Things to Consider before Hiring a Business Tax Accountant
Qualifications and Experience
Before choosing a tax accountant for your business, you must check their qualifications and experience. Confirm if they are Chartered Accountants or Certified Practicing Accountants and Registered Tax Agents along with further certifications for accounting software.
To check their CA or CPA qualifications, you can go onto CA or CPA Australia websites and to know whether they are registered tax agents, you can verify this by going onto www.tpb.gov.au website.
Along with tax qualifications, you should also confirm if they have firm knowledge with bookkeeping software and have Xero advisor certification or any other accounting software.
The more qualifications and experience they have, the better it will be for your business. Along with their qualifications and experience, you must also ask their achievements in the past and how they have assisted clients with difficult tax situations.
Experience in your industry
Not only it is important to know how many years of experience business tax accountant has in his or her life, but also how many years of experience they have in your industry. Generally speaking, tax laws are similar all around Australia, but every industry has its own tax complications and different rules and regulations.
It is ideal for your business tax accountant to be a specialist in your industry, for example, if you are a grocery shop owner, there are specific GST methods advised by ATO and if an accountant has worked with grocery shops, he or she must be aware of this GST methods and can help you simplify your bookkeeping and save you tax.
If you are in real estate, it is good to look for an accountant who is a specialist in real estate because real estate again has very detailed and specific laws on capital gains/losses tax.
Technically this should be on the top of the list, you cannot work with someone if you don’t trust them. As mentioned above, an accountant relationship is no different from husband/wife and in marriage, if there is no trust, it cannot last long.
Trust is developed by having similarities, for example, do you share the same mindsets and do you enjoy working and being with them. I believe as human beings, we love working with other humans but if humans sound like a robot simple applying laws from the book, we don’t like dealing with them.
In my experience servicing customers for many years, I have had many clients come to me saying that they were not happy with their business accountant because they have not heard from them for 1 year or so. Or I have had many clients complain they feel like they are not important customers and just another number.
It doesn’t matter how big or small your business tax accountant is if they are not servicing you in a timely manner and if they are not representing you on behalf of ATO, I don’t think the business tax accountant is right for you and its time to change.
From my point of view, a business tax accountant should take full responsibility with clients’ ato related matters, guide them with understanding business financials and plan towards building and growing business and personal wealth.
Another view is if your business tax accountant is taking your ato related affairs personal as if they have to pay tax or receive a refund in their own pockets.
For example, last year my team and I were working on the uber driver tax return and my staff member asked me to review and sign his tax return. While reviewing, I realised it was $8,000 payable by the client to ato. I referred back to a staff member and said imagine if you are driving uber and have to pay ato 8k. I asked him to re-check everything and do his level best to help the client.
Two days later, a staff member came back to me with a payable of 2.5k for uber driver and he realised that there was more deductions client could claim.
I believe every business tax accountant should use this approach and fall in love with their clients and do every possible thing to solve problems and add more value.
Business Mentor Relationship
In modern days of cloud technology where we have software like Xero, MYOB, Quickbooks and many more, it is easy to extract live and up to date business financial information.
If your business tax accountant is taking a proactive approach, he or she should also act as a business mentor and offer excellent business advisory services to help you know your business sales, gross profits, cash flow position and how and what you should forecast for the future.
A business cannot grow and sustain for longer without goals and if no goals, means no direction for the business.
Business Tax Accountant can play an important role as a business mentor or advisor and helps you know your point A which is your existing situation and in deciding what is your point B which is where you want to be.
Depending upon your price consciousness and budget, you may decide to hire a very cheap or expensive business tax accountant, but my suggestion is not to make the price as your decision criteria but rather focus on the quality of service and business tax accountant experience in your industry.
But having said that, I also suggest getting quotes from multiple accountants as you also do not want to pay too much for something which can be done at a reasonable price.
I hope you enjoyed this article and please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1300 751 700 if you have any questions.