Choosing the right tax, accounting & audit professional
The team at Simeoni has developed a guideline which aims to assist you in choosing the right tax, accounting and audit professional. Below are some tips for finding the right professional for your needs.
You will find that most accountants have the same skills and expertise. The difference is how they do business, their customer service practices and the extras that set them apart from other accounting firms. Some accountants will only complete jobs for which you ask for, but being a good accountant is more than just getting the jobs done. A good accountant will be proactive and be willing to spend time educating their clients, ensuring that you are in compliance with the legislations and you are informed of all relevant legislative changes and developments. Choose an accountant who will always go that extra yard for you, someone who will conduct regular financial reviews to ensure that your business is on the right track to achieve its business goals and provide advice and recommendations as to how your business can improve and grow when necessary.
Understanding what you need
It is crucial that before you start looking for the right tax, accounting and audit professional, you spend some time focusing on what it is that you need them to do. E.g. You may need assistance with your tax obligations or advice and tips on how to better understand your tax situation, tax planning or even solve a tax issue. If you are snowed under in keeping your books up to date then you may require assistance with your BAS or book keeping.
Before engaging an accounting practice, find out what specific areas they specialize in to see if they are right for your needs. There are practices such as Simeoni that specialize in businesses and can provide services for particular industries. It is recommended to choose an accountant who has a demonstrated experience in dealing with tax and accounting situations similar to yours, there is no harm to ask what tax accounting issues they specialize in.
It is always a good idea to understand what other services the practice provides as you may have different requirement in the future such as financial planning advice, retirement advice or help with your business plan.
The right accountant can help a business with not only tax returns, but with longer term tax planning, business planning, networking, and even personal tax planning if you’re still the major stakeholder in your business. "It is an absolutely critical decision," the financial situation of your business is such that you could benefit from regular reviews, planning and up-to-date accounting - instead of leaving every invoice, receipt, and ledger to hand off to the tax preparer at the close of the fiscal year where it is too late to make any decisions or tax savings.
When is it time to hire an accounting firm on a consulting basis?
Hiring an accounting firm on a consulting basis is a good first step for a growing business. This can often cost less than the salary and benefits of a full-time employee and, at the same time, you may be getting a higher level of advice from a CPA or a tax accountant. Even with the latest and greatest accounting and tax software, it still may be easier to farm out your financials to a CPA firm such as Simeoni that can manage your books online through secure accounting software than to maintain those software programs in-house.
Is it better to have an accountant who is a CPA or CA?
CPA (Certified Public Accountants) and CA (Chartered Accountants) are official certifications which attest more varied and higher levels of expertise. There are some accountants offering services they are not qualified for, so always check for accreditations from an officially recognized body.
When looking for an accountant, don't just consider someone merely based on a geographically convenient position; instead ask around and get referred to a good one, determine their reputation by looking for reviews, assessing their website and the kind of services they provide. It is also a good idea to understand how long they have been operating for.
Look for recommendations from someone you admire like a successful person in business because, if you know that his/her accountant did improve their financial wellbeing, then he will mostly likely apply the same commitment to you.
Be cautious of accountants who promise big refunds or that states that you can deduct everything!
Find an accounting firm who will have a team that always has time for you!
Prior to giving the go-ahead to the service you require, It is a good idea to confirm the expected total cost for the assignment, at Simeoni we strictly operate under fixed price agreements and proposals and we provide up-front costs so there are no surprises!
Contact us now to see how our accounting experts can help.