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Top 10 Questions to Ask an Accountant

 

tips to ask an accountant

As you move towards financial security, whether through investing in property or other methods, it becomes increasing important to seek financial advice. Having regular, professional advice about your finances is essential, and for this reason it is important to hire a great accountant. Here are our top 10 tips for questions to ask your accountant.

  1. Are you electronic or paper-based? Some accountants prefer to work electronically, through emails and online or virtual documents, whereas others deal in physical paperwork. Depending on your preference, you’ll want to find someone who works the same way you do.
  2. Do you have your own investment properties? Accountants who have their own investment properties have an intimate personal knowledge of the deductions, risks and advantages of investing in property. They don’t need to own their own property to have this knowledge, of course, but it certainly helps.
  3. How big is your accountancy practice? What is your role? There is not necessarily a right or wrong answer to this, as it is largely personal preference. You may prefer to work with a bigger firm and the resources that involves, or you could look for a sole practitioner or a smaller firm where your accountant is the partner, so you will receive personal service and attention. Either way, you should find this out in advance to make the right decision.

    tips to ask an accountant

  4. What services does your practice offer? The scope and breadth of services accountants offer can vary widely, so this will depend on what you’re looking for. You may only need assistance with your end of year tax return, or may want year-round advice and consultations.
  5. Do I like this person? This of course is a question for yourself rather than your accountant, but it is an important one. Your relationship with your accountant is important, so you need to make sure you click with them on a personal level. Likewise, they need to have a thorough understanding of your business, goals and vision in order to give you the best advice.
  6. How do you charge for your services? Accountants may charge an hourly rate, or they may charge on the basis of the tasks to be completed. Usually the latter is the better option from the client’s perspective.

    tips to ask an accountant

  7. Do you regularly undertake professional training? Because relevant laws and regulations are constantly changing, you should look for an accountant who keeps their knowledge up to date through regularly attending courses and seminars.
  8. What are the scope of your services? Some accountants will purely focus on subjects relevant to tax, whereas others can give you advice on a range of issues from insurance, wills and even budgeting.You may or may not want this, but it’s good to find out.
  9. Can you help with a Self Managed Super Fund? If you are looking to invest in a property with a SMSF, or may wish to in the future, you should check whether the accountant can help you with this (or if they agree it is a good idea).
  10. What licenses to you have? Check what degree and subsequent qualifications they have, such as a CPA or similar. You can also verify this online at www.tpb.gov.au.

 

 

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