Four questions to ask an accountant before you hire them

May 8, 2019

 

With End of Financial Year (EOFY) right around the corner, you’re probably starting to think about who to get onboard to assist with processing and lodging your tax. Here are the top questions to ask an accountant before you hire them.

 

If you don’t have an accountant yet, or if you’re not happy with your current tax advisor and want to move to someone new, now is the time to look for the right fit for your needs.

 

Whether you’re a busy marketer, lawyer, architect, writer, consultant or other professional services worker, you’ll know it’s important to choose the person you outsource work to carefully.

 

What services do you provide?

 

You need to ask about the services accountants provide so you can be sure they can handle the different tasks you need assistance with.

 

For example, you could require an accountant to work on your annual tax documents, business reporting, online accounting, auditing services or to provide certain types of business advice.

 

How do your fees work?

 

While you will of course ask about the fees an accountant asks, don’t just learn about their general charges.

 

Really delve into their fee structure to discover if there are any potential ‘hidden’ fees you should be aware of.

 

This could include things like additional charges for getting work done in a short timeframe, fees for photocopying or postage, costs for working with a particular type of accounting software, and so on.

Learn as much as you can so that when you compare fees for different accountants you’re doing so fairly and accurately.

 

What kind of clients do you work with?

 

This question is a good one because you need to find out if an accountant has enough experience working with your type of business.

 

While a lot of the fundamentals will be the same no matter the industry or niche, there are certain elements which are specialised, which it helps to have your accountant be up to date on.

 

An individual consultant or writer may be able to claim different expenses to that of a legal firm, for instance, while another type of professional services company may have to follow certain criteria related to how income is reported or how wages are calculated.

 

How do you communicate?

 

To get the best possible results out of accountancy services, it helps to develop a solid working relationship with your accountant. Much of this comes down to communication.

 

As such, ask any accountant you’re interested in using about what their communication style is like, and how often they want to be in touch.

 

If they prefer to have regular face-to-face meetings but you are more interested in occasional email correspondence, only for urgent requests, the fit likely isn’t going to be right.

 

Contact AGC Advisory today.

 

Our services include, but are not limited to, bookkeeping, payroll tax, cash flow, financial planning, reporting and much more.  It is our mission is to help clients achieve their professional and personal goals by effectively combining two elements; strategic planning and a flexible approach.  Contact us today to see how we can help you.

 

Article: Adapted from MYOB Blog News

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