As a small business owner, you soon realise that starting, building and running a business requires more support than you think. Whether you’re looking for a Cairns accountant, lawyer, HR advisor or business coach, who you choose to work with can greatly impact your success.

Finding someone who compliments you, your personality, and your ambition is crucial. Just like dating, finding the perfect match takes a little bit of trial and error. But we’ve put together some tips to help you quickly choose the right accountant for your business.

Identify your needs

You may think, “An accountant, is an accountant” or “I just need someone to help me with my tax returns“. That might be your immediate need, but in order to find the right fit for you, you may need to dig a little deeper.

From the basic day-to-day bookkeeping and financial statements to strategic tax advice, planning and minimisation. There are many options in Cairns for accounting, but there is a huge difference in what each provider can do.

What are your future goals?

While some accountants focus on the day-to-day requirements, the best accountants will support your future goals. By providing financial advice that helps you make strategic decisions, or by advising you on investment opportunities, we work with our clients to build a profitable future.

Even if at this stage, you just have some notes on the back of a beer mat, define where you want to be in the future. With your future goals in place, you can discuss these with potential candidates to see if they are a good fit.

Key questions to ask an accountant

The most pressing question any business owner wants to know, is “How much is this going to cost me?”. While costs and budgeting are important (just ask an accountant), you may need to ask a few more questions.

Do you know what types of clients they work with? Working with an accountant who enjoys helping small businesses, tradies, or sole traders, is essential if that’s who you are. Similarly, if you are an NGO or large enterprise you need an accountant with exposure to those structures.

Do you know what software they use? QuickBooks, Xero, MYOB and Cashflow are all quite common these days. However, you don’t want to get caught out by an accountant forcing you to use software you don’t like or know how to use.

Qualifications and experience

Naturally, it is rather important (read ‘compulsory’) to find an accountant that has the right qualifications and licences.

Ensure that you check that your accountant is a registered tax agent and holds certification from the CPA. And ask about their other training and qualifications to ensure they are also knowledgeable about current laws and regulations.

If you are considering a Cairns accounting practice where a team will handle your business, check their credentials too.

Referrals and reviews

Finally, taking a quick look online to read their reviews may save you a few headaches down the track. See what their customers or clients have to say about them or even how they’ve handled complaints in the past.

If someone recommended that accountant, they might meet some requirements. However, make sure to ask additional questions to ensure they are a good match for you, not just your friend.

If you are seeking an accountant to support your business and ambition, we’d love to talk to you.

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