There is so much to take into consideration once the decision has been made to use an accountant for your business. After all, whoever you choose will have access to the heart of your business and direct knowledge of your private financial records. They must meet a range of requirements before you can safely trust someone with the important information you’ll need to hand over. Here are our top five tips for choosing an accountant that will suit you and your business.
In a post-Covid-19 world location has become a little fluid. However, for some it’s still something to think about. Knowing that your accountant can visit to pick through those receipts might be something that’s useful to you. Of course, everyone has learned the value of online conversations and the power of Zoom. Many of us hadn’t even heard of this until the arrival of Covid-19, yet how we have learned to adapt and pick up new skills.
Having said all that, location and actually knowing where and who your accountant is carries value. You might be able to cut some corners and save a few cents by using one of the new online offerings available from big data companies, but can you really get value for money and real expertise from a nameless upload on a website? Who is looking at those accounts? Worse, if something goes wrong and you need to speak to someone, how do you get through?
Human Accounting is just that. Real, flesh and blood human. Keitha is perfectly placed in Hutt City, Wellington, allowing her to travel easily across Wellington and the Greater Wellington region if required. As you’d expect, she’s also available via phone, email and keeping up to speed with things, the eponymous Zoom. She also has a host of other online options, including good, old-fashioned real life meetings.
Did you know that in New Zealand anyone can set themselves up as an accountant? Horrifying, isn’t it? Especially when you consider the type of information these people are dealing with. You wouldn’t learn to drive a car from someone that had only read a book, so why use an unqualified book-keeper or faux accountant?
Chartered Accountants (CA) have studied their craft well. It takes seven years to become a fully qualified CA. It helps to know that they are bound by professional ethics and a code of conduct from the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CAANZ). Not only that, but once qualified, there are continuing education courses and staying up to date with current laws and legislation.
Why would anyone take the risk of handing over vital financial records to someone off the street who thinks they’re good with numbers and call themselves an accountant?
Keitha from Human Accounting is, of course, a fully trained and qualified Chartered Accountant meeting all relevant requirements and industry standards. You can be sure that she fully understands all aspect of handling your data safely, securely, and has the highest regard for the importance of ethics and confidentiality.
Proactive Not Reactive
Some accountants will just take your records and ‘do your books’. However, a really good CA will be able to suggest improvements to how you operate. This in turn helps save you additional monies, and avoid pitfalls that you might otherwise stumble into!
Do they understand the difference between tax avoidance and tax evasion? It’s one thing to make recommendations on how to reduce your tax bill, yet do they understand how to help you save as much as you can without falling foul of the law? It’s all very well knowing you can offset some home costs if you are running your business from the spare room, but are you aware of all the fine print, rules and checks you should make before making that claim?
Naturally Human Accounting are adept at understanding New Zealand law and will help you navigate the waters of your tax records whilst offering useful advice to help you stay on track.
Find the Right Software
It might sound like a small matter, but does your accountant use up to date, leading-edge software? Many modern software packages integrate directly into the Inland Revenue, making the lives of everyone easier.
If they don’t use the same package as you, is it something that they would consider? Of course, anything that is transferring files must be secure and encrypt the files properly. This will help remove the fear of losing data when its exchanged.
Human Accounting prides itself on using only the very best computer software and fully understands the safest way of getting your data to Inland Revenue.
Trust your instincts
t Finally of course, meet your accountant in person for a friendly chat or coffee. This will really help you gain a ‘feel’ of their personality, which will in turn enable you to know if you would be able to work with them. Anyone looking after your accounts has access to so much personal information, and it’s often a long-term commitment. It’s therefore easy to understand why it’s so important that you can hold a long-term enduring business relationship.
Perhaps they can offer references from existing customers that can independently answer any questions that you may have? Are they happy for you to contact their clients to ask what their service is like?
It goes without saying that Keitha McClure at Human Accounting leaves no stone unturned when checking details. She’s keen on detail, yet approachable and friendly. After all, that’s what real Human Accounting is all about!
The Human Touch
Of course we expect you may still have questions and we’re only too happy to help answer them. There is no such thing as a ‘silly’ question, and we will endeavour to help you understand the whole process from beginning to end.
We want you to be comfortable with your accounting process. After all, why else would you return? We have a long list of happy clients from the past decade that wouldn’t look anywhere else, so why don’t you join them?
Contact Keitha McClure at Human Accounting today. It’s a sound business decision you won’t regret.