Choosing the right accountant for your business is important, and there are many factors you need to consider. One of the most important considerations for small businesses is the cost of accounting services.
We've put together this handy guide to help you understand what you can expect to pay for small business accounting as well as the kind of services and advice you should receive. Ultimately, you need to choose an account who will provide good value for money, not just a low price.
Accountant fees for a small business
The cost of small business accounting depends on the complexity of your business and your specific needs. It's important to ask accountants about their pricing in order to find out what it will cost for your business. Some important questions include:
- Do they charge an hourly rate or an agreed price for the service they provide?
- Will they charge you in the event of an audit from the ATO?
- Do they charge you for ad-hoc phone calls?
- Will you know the cost of a project upfront?
- Can you pay monthly, quarterly, or yearly?
Once an accountant knows what kind of services you require, they should be able to provide you with a quote for your business.
The risks of using a cheap business accountant
As a business owner, keeping costs under control is a priority. And accountant fees for a small business can be significant. But choosing your accountant solely on price is risky since your goal should be to get good value for money instead of the lowest price.
In most cases, low-cost business accountants will just lodge your tax returns for you, using the information you provide. If they don't do in-depth reconciliations and cross-check your numbers, they could very well miss errors which could put you at risk of being audited.
You also need to consider the level of business and financial advice you need. A low-cost accountant won't be able to give you advice on your business structure or long-term business goals. They may not be up to date with the latest legislation, and they might miss opportunities to minimise tax for your business.
When choosing a business accountant, it's worth considering:
- How complex your business needs are
- Whether you need business structure advice
- Whether you need advice on succession and exit planning
Depending on your answers, low-cost business accountants may not be the best fit for your business. It's therefore worth investing in a business accountant who can help you achieve your business goals.
Choose a business accountant who can help you achieve your goals
A good business accountant can provide a great deal of value for your business beyond simply lodging your tax return. At Liston Newton Advisory, we can help you achieve your long-term business and personal wealth goals.
We don't just lodge your tax return; we ensure all your financial information is accurate by performing detailed reconciliations and cross-checking all the numbers, protecting you from ATO audits. We're so confident in the accuracy of our work that we provide an audit guarantee.
We also provide a number of accounting and financial services, which can give your business the best the best possible chance of success. We're able to:
- Advise you on the best structure for your business
- Grow your personal wealth with self-managed superannuation
- Help you minimise your tax and plan your tax appropriately
- Help you plan and achieve your business goals
Case study: When you're not a sole trader any more
We had a new client approach us in dire need of effective business and financial advice.
Their business was turning over $1,5 million in revenue, and they were employing six staff members. But their business was still structured as a sole trader by a low-cost accountant. This meant the client was losing about half of their $400,000 profit in tax because all of the business income was being paid to the owner. Their personal assets were also exposed to any lawsuits that could have arisen for the business.
We changed the structure of the client's business and also implemented a number of tax minimisation strategies, while ensuring ASIC and tax compliance. The result was that we reduced their annual tax bill by more than half.
The Liston Newton advantage
At Liston Newton Advisory, we provide in-depth accounting services to ensure all your financial statements are correct. We can also give you expert advice on achieving your business and personal wealth goals.
We are upfront about all our fees and pricing. Our accountant fees for a small business are agreed on in advance, so you'll never be surprised by an invoice that's higher than you were expecting.