Choosing an accountant can be one of the most important decisions in your life. If you are thinking about starting a business; or 3 years behind on your personal income tax returns; or planning to build your wealth for retirement – choosing the right accountant can have a huge impact on your success!
Deciding on who to trust with your finances and your future can be quite a daunting task. It’s not as simple as minimising the amount of tax you have to pay in any one year – and even this can be complex – it’s more about building a relationship and helping you get the best financial outcomes over a longer period of time.
|A BAD accountant will:|
A GOOD accountant will:
|Think short term and transactional||Build a relationship for the long haul|
|Put their business first||Put your financial future first|
|Talk to you when it suits them||Be proactive and treat you as important|
|Claim they can do everything||Be expert in their specialty area|
|Have a hidden agenda||Provide transparent advice|
That’s all well and good, but how can you actually tell that an accountant is good?
Luckily, there are some good indicators that will help you figure this out:
- Are they accredited? IPA, CA and CPA symbols indicate that the accountant is well accredited and has expertise
- What is their specialty? If their website says they do everything, then you’ll probably just be a number, but if the firm specialises in particular things, then you will be getting great tailored advice
- Are they active in the community? Professionals who spend time and effort in the community, give to charity, etc. are generally concerned about their clients’ well-being and success
- What do other customers say? Reading customer reviews and client testimonials will let you hear what other people have to say
Above all else, when making such an important decision you should Try Before You Buy. A good accountant will offer you a free initial consultation to make sure that you are right for each other. So for the cost of a coffee, it pays to make the best long term decision.