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What to look for in an accountant

What to look for in an accountant

Choosing the right accountant can be tricky, but the right accountant can not only help you with your financial records and tax obligations, they can offer advice and guidance as your business grows.

The Australian Government’s moneysmart.gov.au advises, when looking for an accountant, to seek out those who specialise in business within the same industry.

For sole traders, contractors or freelances, tax professionals will help with your BAS (business activity statements) and PAYG (pay as you go) instalments. They can also tell you what deductions you can claim and give advice on super contributions and tax.

For businesses, an accountant can help set up and maintain your financial records while assisting businesses in meeting their tax obligations.

As your business grows, the right accountant will provide advice and guidance that will assist with:

  • setting up accounting and bookkeeping software
  • setting up the legal structure of your business — for example, as a company, corporation, partnership or sole trader
  • applying for an ABN or ACN
  • dealing with the ATO on your behalf
  • profit, loss and forecasting
  • paying staff or contractors.

So where to start when looking for the right accountant?

moneysmart.gov.au recommends asking like-minded businesses for referrals on professionals they know and trust. Businesses should also check the accountant is:

  • a member of a professional body – members of these bodies have an accredited tertiary qualification and must comply with professional standards
  • are registered on the Tax Practitioners Board Register – only registered tax agents can prepare and lodge tax returns.

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