Good vs great: How to pick a tax accountant

As a small business owner who is based in Sunshine Coast, Caboolture, Brisbane or surrounding areas, you will no doubt realise fairly quickly that it makes sense to have a good tax accounting. And while there are plenty of them around, it can be hard to figure out how to pick a tax accountant who will provide real value for money.

Take a look at some of our tips for choosing a tax accountant and the difference between a good one and a great one.

How to pick a tax accountant

Here are five quick things a great accountant will do:

1. Meet with you more than once or twice per year

A good small business tax accountant will prepare and lodge your tax statement each year and hopefully help you get a return.

A great tax accountant, however, will touch base with you quarterly or even monthly to help you keep your finances on track.

The best small business accountants make sure you have a good idea of how much tax you will need to pay so you’re not hit with a bill you’re not prepared for at tax time.

2. Identify ways you can save

While paying tax is unavoidable for small businesses, paying too much tax definitely is. When you pick a tax accountant, ask a few questions about how they will make sure you are managing your business finances in a way that will minimise tax. This should be something they help you with throughout the year.

3. Be ethical

Your small business is obligated to comply with tax regulations by law. While it may sound counterproductive, you do need an accountant who will say ‘No’ when it comes to pushing the boundaries of what’s acceptable. They need to have a clear and in-depth understanding of current legislation and you need to trust that they are maintaining the right standards on your behalf.

Check your small business tax accountant has credentials with an organisation like CPA Australia and look at what other people are saying about them on Google Reviews or other platforms.

4. Care about your business

If you’re wondering how to pick a tax accountant, it makes sense to look for a practitioner who will act as an extension of your business rather than simply emailing you when your taxes are due.

When they are interested in the success of your business rather than simply collecting their fees, they will be in regular contact with suggestions and recommendations that have the potential to help your business grow.

You will know you have a great accountant who really cares if he or she is highly responsive and there when you need them, even during unusually busy times like the ones caused by COVID. Ideally, this person will be reaching out to you and will be a couple of steps ahead so you don’t have to waste time chasing them down.

5. Provide specialist services

Sometimes one-size-fits-all isn’t actually the right fit for your small business.

Look for an accountant who specialises in small business and tax if you want help in this area. This will make a difference as they will be able to provide advice that’s highly suitable for you and be up to date with the latest trends and best practices. Often a boutique tax accountant firm will be ideal if you’re a small business owner who is trying to choose a tax accountant. As the saying goes, they should be ‘big enough to know and small enough to care’.

How to be a great client

Tax accountants offer a service and often the value they provide will be boosted if you match their enthusiasm for good accounting with your own.

This means using a cloud-based accounting system and ensuring that all your expenses and payments are recorded by the system. When you do this, your tax accountant will be able to spend less time shifting through receipts and more time focusing on how to help your business grow.

As a ‘great’ client, you’ll make time for your accountant and work with them to make sure you’re aware of your business’s current status and its break-even points. By being proactive and keeping your accountant in the loop, you’ll be able to build a really beneficial working relationship.

See more: Top tax tips for small business owners in Queensland

Mobbs & Company are small business tax accountants with offices on the Sunshine Coast, in Brisbane and Caboolture. Contact us for a free initial appointment.

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