You can find dozens of accounting firms by simply searching "tax accountants near me", but finding the right tax accountant for your business takes careful consideration. Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to finding the right tax accountant. Depending on your preferences and the specific tax requirements of your business, your criteria will likely change. However, there are still a few great guidelines that any business can use when making their decision.
Here are some of the key considerations that every business needs to make in order to choose the right tax accountant.
Do they have the relevant expertise?
Most tax accountants can offer a wide range of tax preparation, tax compliance, and tax planning services, but what often sets them apart is their knowledge and expertise in these specific areas. Whether you need assistance with lodging your end-of-year tax return or advice on how to restructure your business to minimise your tax liability, the tax accountant you choose should have experience in these areas, particularly with businesses of a similar size to yours.
When making your decision, you should also check if your tax accountant has been successful in supporting companies that are larger than yours. In addition to showcasing their expertise, this is a good indication that they will have the capacity to handle the needs of your business as it continues to grow over time.
How will they communicate with you?
Communication is the key to a healthy working relationship. It is important to know that when you have a burning question regarding your tax position or how it may be affected by new legislation, your tax accountant will be able to assist you in a timely manner. As a business owner, it is critical that you are able to make informed financial decisions, and you need to know that you can depend on your tax accountant.
If you are considering a large business accounting firm, check to make sure that you will have a dedicated point of contact to address your tax queries or concerns rather than a general support team. No one likes to be met with an automated answering system or an overseas call centre when they are in need of assistance, which is why it is always better to deal with a dedicated tax accountant who knows your business inside and out where possible.
Where are they located?
Over the last few years, the mass integration of digital communication channels and advances in cloud-computing technology has given businesses the ability to access accounting services no matter where they are. However, the benefit of accessibility can come with some downsides, such as a lack of understanding of local tax requirements or a difference in time zones, which can cause scheduling conflicts or limit availability,
Face-to-face contact is still important to a lot of businesses, and it goes a long way in building the foundations of a solid working relationship. If you would prefer to have a tax accountant who can come into your office and attend in-person meetings with you, you should carefully consider where your tax accountant is located.
What software do they use?
Business accounting firms will often have their own preferred software for managing data, exchanging files, and collaborating with their clients. The main purpose of this software is to protect the exchange of highly sensitive financial information, however, some programs can be overly complex and difficult to navigate.
While it is important that your accountant uses up-to-date accounting software, it is also important that it is easy for you to use. Consider choosing a tax accountant that uses collaborative and user-friendly accounting software, or one that can assist you with implementing the software into your business.
What are their clients saying about them?
If you have an accounting firm in mind, the best way to learn more about them is to learn more about a past or present customer via Google reviews. Businesses can give you a comprehensive overview of their services, but customer reviews can give you greater insights into the actual experience of working with the firm, how they approach specific challenges, and how they were able to meet expectations. They serve as transparent proof of a business's credibility, allowing them to prove themselves to potential customers.
Take note of how customers talk about their relationship with the accounting firm. They may mention the length of time they have partnered with the firm or name specific tax accountants that they have worked with — both of which can be indicative of a strong and healthy working relationship. It is also worth noting whether customers mention any specific services that may be relevant to your business, allowing you to confirm that the accounting firm has the expertise to handle your tax requirements.
Do they meet the needs of your business?
Above all else, it is essential that your tax accountant has the expertise to meet the needs of your business. If your business engages in research and development activities, consider whether any tax accountants have the expertise to help you access the R&D tax incentive. If you are considering expanding your workforce, you may need a tax accountant that can help you manage complex payroll functions.
When considering the future needs of your business, it is a great advantage to know that your chosen tax accountant is backed by a firm that has capabilities in other areas that are relevant for you in your business lifecycle. For example, your tax accountant may lack the commercial acumen to steer your business on a day-to-day basis. However, within their firm, they will have the ability to connect you with their commercial team, who can work with you in a CFO advisory capacity. Whilst the relationship you have with your tax accountant is critical, just as important is the people that surround them in delivering a range of services for your business.
Related: How to get the most out of your Accountant
Our tax team
Azure Group has a dedicated Tax Team that understands the significance tax plays on our clients’ wealth and place an enormous emphasis on tax planning to manage our clients’ overall position. They specialise in delivering high-level tax advice to help businesses of all sizes and across different industries navigate tax issues and optimise their tax position.
If you are in need of a tax accountant, contact us today to see how our team of tax experts can provide value to your business.
Have you noticed our #FridayExpertTips... here's one that relates to Taxation
“Stay organised this Financial Year: A monthly or quarterly planner can be incredibly helpful to your business, mapping out the due dates of your tax obligations and allowing you to save for larger contributions."