How to make life easier for your tax accountant (so you get more for your money)

This tax advice blog will show you how to be your tax accountant’s best client and why this will always work in your favour.

Does your tax accountant love you or do you suspect they are reluctant to answer the phone when you call?

If you’re leaning towards the latter, you could be missing out on money and opportunities.

Take a look at this tax advice on how to make life easier for your accountant and why this will pay off for you.

Learn the lingo

In Australia, anybody can start a business, even if they have very little financial literacy.

While this tax advice blog isn’t telling you to rush out and get an accounting degree, it really doesn’t hurt to familiarise yourself with the ‘language’ of accounting and some of the terms you accountant uses.

This includes:

  • – Profit & Loss
  • – Balance Sheet
  • – Cash Flow
  • – Arrears
  • – BAS
  • – Equity
  • – Accounts receivable/accounts payable

When you understand what the common terms mean, your tax accountant will be able to explain what’s going on ‘under the hood’ of your business and you will find it easier to have clarity about where you stand financially.

From there, you can start working together to figure out ways to maximise revenue, minimise your tax bill and increase your profit margins.

Keep beautiful books

Nothing makes a tax accountant happier than an organised, fully reconciled cloud-based accounting system which has an itemised record of every dollar that has entered and left your business and what the purpose of it was.

If this is done, all your tax accountant needs to do is cross-reference with your bank statements and ask a few follow-up questions about anything that has fallen through the cracks. You won’t both need to spend hours figuring out where money has gone or come from.

Too busy to keep beautiful books? A bookkeeper can do this for you full-time or for a few hours per month. You can even outsource to someone offshore who will reconcile your accounts daily (just make sure you work with a reputable organisation and sign a contract to protect you from things going wrong).

If you want to do your own books, you will make it easier on yourself by learning to use a cloud-based accounting system. Most are reasonably priced and very user-friendly.

Read more: Tax time countdown: are you ready??

Separate your accounts

Another thing your accountant will thank you for is keeping your business and personal bank accounts separate.

Trawling through one account to do an annual tax return can be a nightmare. It’s stressful for you because you have to account for every single expense for the last 365 days. Some may not be marked in a way that makes it easy to remember whether they were for work or for yourself.

The best thing you can do is have separate accounts and a card for each. If you don’t want to add a credit card, attach a VISA debit or something similar to your business account. This will let you make credit-style payments without going into debt.

Tax accountants see business-only accounts and feel very happy! It makes them look forward to working with you and more likely to make your jobs a priority.

Be a friendly, helpful client

Everybody prefers to work with people they like. If you are responsive, organised and have a decent understanding of the ins and outs of taxes and accounting (tip: read a few tax advice blogs), you will start to become one of your accountant’s preferred clients.

What’s more, people like to do nice things for the people they like. Treat your accountant well and they will be motivated to give you tips, show you clever ways to minimise your tax bill, and offer advice to help you improve your business.

Even if your accounts are in a mess right now, if you can demonstrate that you’re willing to learn and improve, and you have a smile on your face, your accountant is more likely to go the extra mile for you.

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

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