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How do you Get the Best Value from Your Accountant

Paying an accountant to handle all of your financial reporting can be expensive, but if you have several different sources and deductions or if you own a small business, it can be worth it.  Accountants know many little tricks to saving you money that you might not, plus they understand the tax codes and the paperwork that has to be filed.  If you’re still not certain about the expense, here are some ways you can get the best value from your accountant.

  • Explain what you need from your accountant.  He can’t give you the service you want if he doesn’t know what that is.  Let him know how often you expect to need his services, how quickly you’ll need answers to your questions, and other requirements.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions.  Your accountant is an expert on taxes, so why wouldn’t you take advantage of that?  If you have any question about your finances, a quick phone call may be all it takes to get the answer.
  • Ask what other services your accountant offers.  Some may do more than just your taxes.  They may be able to give you investment advice or review loan applications.  A good accountant may also be able to help you put together your business plan or with selling your business.
  • Keep excellent records.  How does doing this work yourself get you more value from your accountant?  If you can give him clear, easy to read records, he doesn’t have to spend much time trying to figure out your finances.  That translates to less time working on your books, which means less time billed to you.
  • Likewise, do the easy work yourself if you’re comfortable doing it.  This way, your accountant can focus on the more difficult aspects of your taxes and you save a little money.
  • Ask your accountant for referrals.  He probably has a good number of contacts in other areas, so make use of that.  Your accountant may be able to point you to a lawyer or supplier, for example, or even a great doctor.
  • Keep your accountant up to date on what you’re doing with your business.  This way, there are no surprises when it comes time to file your taxes.  Let him know if you plan on diversifying, adding a new partner, or significantly increasing your income.  You may even want to meet with your accountant once every quarter or six months.

Dinesh Aggarwal CPA, CA, CMA, FTI
Managing Director
Fortuna Accountants & Business Advisors
+61 8 9300 3040 / www.fortunaadvisors.com.au
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