Finding a Good accountant

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From: The Wife


I was told last night in the chat room, how perplexing it can be to find a good accountant, I was asked for my tips, they are below, I'm sure forum people can add more to it, also, there are some very fine accountants that visit this forum.

Cheers, TW

FINDING A GOOD ACCOUNTANT:
The best way to find a good accountant is via word of mouth; ask your likeminded friends and business associates for recommendations. Look for someone with experience in your specific industry.

ACCOUNTANTS ADD A POSITIVE FIRST IMPRESSION;
When looking for an accountant, assemble a list of potential candidates and ask each office to send you a company brochure. Check wether their material is clear and well presented. A positive first impression is important because they are representing you to the ATO and business world.

LITTLE ONE OR BIG SIX:

Many entrepreneurs prefer to work with small accounting firms because they are more likely to work directly with a partner or principal. But if your business or property portfolio requires a big company with international offices, dont be afraid to go with a big Six firm.

GETTING TO KNOW YOU FOR FREE;
When choosing a new accountant, schedule an hour for an initial visit. If the person says they plan to charge you for the get-acquainted meeting, cancel it. A reputable accountant will meet with prospective clients at no charge.

UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL;

Make a list of questions you want to ask during your interview with a prospective accountant. Sit back and listen to what they say. Ask yourself if you feel comfortable talking with the person. Remember, you will be sharing very personal financial information.

A MAJOR RED FLAG;
When choosing an accountant ask for a short list of other clients you can call for references. If the person is reluctant to provide such a list, this is a major red flag.

QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR PROSPECTIVE ACCOUNTANT;

What is the charge for specific projects and services?

Who specifically will do the hands-on accounting and tax preparation?

Is information to be provided by fax, on disk, in person or via e-mail?

When specifically, does the firm need the information?

How does the firm expect to be paid?

A CHOICE OF THOUSANDS;

If things dont work out, dont be afraid to change accountants. There are thousands out there who would be happy to have your business.

What do ya think? sounds fair?

TW
~Life is a daring adventure, or nothing at all~
 
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Reply: 1
From: Duncan M


Hi TW,

Great topic!

Can I suggest an alternative strategy is also to grow with an Accountant.. Find someone young, help them grow their professional knowledge and their knowledge of you..

I've moved with my Accountant thru 3 different firms and helped him grow his understanding of my property strategy. I also email him lots of URL's and have regular discussions, not just a tax-time relationship.

Duncan.
 
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Reply: 1.1
From: Steve B


Could someone please recommend a good accountant in the Fairfield, Liverpool, Campbelltown region
Thanks
Steve
 
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Reply: 1.1.1
From: Neil Iffland


I'm an accountant/ tax agent but I've been working in the public sector (boring !!) for a few years.

With the intention of buying an investment property I've been reading up on & researching IPs for the last year, & have sort of fallen in love with the whole IP thing.

I'm thinking about going back to private practice but I really only want to do IP clients. However I'm not sure if it's realistic to think I could build a decent practice being so specialised.

Do any of you know of any accountants that do this ? Or do they all do small business etc as well ?
 
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Reply: 1.1.1.1
From: Robert Forward


Hi Neil

If you are wanting to specialize in property my point of view is that I'd want you to be extremely good in structures. This being placing the property in right structure, be it trust-company-personal name etc, as I intend on owning over 100 properties over the next few years.

With this I'd want to keep expenditures such as land tax and etc to a minimum.

Plus to be able to provide the best solutions to company structures and other investments too.

But this is me, I invest in all these type of ventures and need an accountant that can handle all of it.

Hope it helps you with your decision.

Cheers
Robert

The Sydney "Freestylers" Group Leader.

PS: "Be Not Afraid Of Growing Slowly, Be Afraid Of Only Standing Still."
 
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