Choosing the right accountant is important for your business’s financial future and long-term success. Whether your business operates in e-commerce retail, property, health, hospitality or another industry, managing your firm’s finances and tax can be overwhelming. Yet, you might not be at the stage where hiring an in-house accountant or chief financial officer is justifiable. This is where an accountant outside of your business can help. The right accountant will save you time and money through strategic advice. They can assist in setting up systems for you and identifying growth opportunities for your business. So what should you look for when choosing an accountant?
We’ve developed a checklist for you:
Select someone you feel comfortable with
It’s important that you don’t rush to hire the first accountant you come across. It’s a decision that shouldn’t be made lightly or in haste. Take the time to meet in person or via video call and discuss what you need and what they can do for your business. The right accountant will become a trusted advisor for you and your business, helping it grow and prosper long-term. Choose someone who you feel comfortable with and can explain financial information and accounting jargon in a way you understand. You want to make sure you feel at ease picking up the phone and asking for their advice when you need to.
Look for an accountant with the right expertise and experience
Finding an accountant who is certified is the first step. Ensure they are a member of The Tax Practitioners Board – the independent regulatory body responsible for the registration and regulation of tax agents and BAS agents in Australia. You could also find out if they are a member of one of the professional bodies. For example, at Inline Partners we are members of Chartered Accountants, The Tax Institute of Australia, and Institute of Certified Bookkeepers. Next, ask them if they have worked with a business similar to yours before. Working with an accountant who has experience managing a similar sized company and those in the same industry will ensure that they understand the challenges you face. At Inline Partners we have experience with small-to-medium sized businesses across a range of different industries, including retail and e-commerce, software, hospitality, professional services, building, construction, property development and tradespeople.
Ask for referrals
When searching for an accountant for your business, one of the best places to start is by asking family and friends who also own a business. They might recommend their own accountant or know of someone who is well-suited to your business. Be mindful that the best accountant for your friend who is a plumbing sole trader might not be the best fit for your retail company with five employees.
Determine what the accountant will manage
Some accountants specialise in particular areas of finance and tax, while others manage every aspect such as bookkeeping and payroll, tax and accounting. Have an open and honest conversation about your needs and objectives to decide how the work will be divided. At Inline Partners we tailor our support to meet the specific needs of your business at any point in time, recognising that your needs may shift as your business grows or circumstances change.
Understand their fees and decide what works best for the business
Accountants charge in different ways – some charge by the hour, others charge a monthly retainer, while some take a percentage of your turnover. Be sure to understand the fee structure and see which one works best for your business.
At Inline Partners, we believe in providing expert and tailored advice so you can focus on what matters in your business. If you are looking for an accountant for your small business, please book a free consultation with us.