8 Things To Ask An Accountant Before Hiring Them

Do you need a tax accountant for your business, or perhaps your personal investment portfolio? If so, you’ll want to know how to find the perfect accountant for your needs.

To help you find the right tax accountant in the Sydney CBD or in your local area, here are a few questions you should ask.

1.    Do they have the relevant expertise?

You want to ensure that your tax accountant has worked with plenty of other clients in your field of work. Even better, make sure the accountant has worked with clients in senior positions.

2.    How many years of experience do they have?

The right tax accountant will have at least five years of experience with individual tax returns. It’s even better if he or she has experience with a large firm, which means broader exposure to a wide range of issues.

3.    Can they represent you should you be audited?

A professional tax accountant will stand by their tax return and represent you should you be audited. Take it as a red flag if he or she is reluctant to even bring up the issue.

4.    Will they review your past tax returns?

An excellent accountant will be happy to spend a few minutes reviewing your past tax returns at no additional charge. This helps him or her determine if they are comfortable preparing your return. In fact, a reputable accountant will ask you to send your past returns in advance of meeting you.

5.    What can you do to keep costs down?

The better organised you are, the less time the tax accountant will have to spend looking for information, and this translates to lower fees for you. If you own your own business, for example, send a spreadsheet or file over with all your expenses and income as opposed to all the invoices. Give the accountant a list of charities your business supports and try to provide everything at one time rather than in bits and pieces.

6.    Are you comfortable with the accountant?

You may have to face a few difficult tax decisions, so you need to be comfortable asking the accountant any questions you have. There aren’t any stupid questions when it comes to tax, so make sure you choose a professional you can ask anything and someone you are willing to share everything with.

7.    Who will work on your tax returns?

If you choose an accountant who works in a large firm, you will need to figure out who will actually do your taxes and who your point of contact will be. Again, you need to be comfortable with the person who will be giving you advice, so make sure you’re not passed on to a junior when you have questions or concerns.

8.    Should the accountant be local?

This is more of a question for you. Your accountant doesn’t necessarily have to be local, since you can send documents over the internet. It all depends on whether you actually need to see the accountant in person or not.

The answers to these questions depends, of course, on your personal needs and situation.