Understanding what your accountant can do for you is crucial to making smarter business decisions. So it’s critical that you choose the right accountant. It’s just as important to know what your accountant can do as it is to understand what they can’t do for you.
In this article we discuss what a Certified Accountant can do for your business, when you should engage them, and when it’s best to engage another professional instead.
At Liston Newton Advisory our Certified Accountants can give you comprehensive business accounting support. Contact us today to find out how a Certified Accountant can help your business thrive.
What is a Certified Accountant?
A Certified Accountant is an accountant who has completed their specialised Certified Practicing Accountant qualification. They have studied and trained to have in-depth knowledge of a wide range of business management goals and outcomes, and are therefore well-placed to help small businesses with their accounting needs.
Read more: Do you need a CPA? Our expert team of award-winning CPAs can give you advice on your business and financial goals.
What can a Certified Accountant do?
A Certified Accountant has undergone extensive training to be able to offer advice to business owners and managers. They’re your go-to specialist when you need:
- Accounting support. They can ensure that your financial record keeping is correct, and that your business complies with all standardised accounting principles.
- Financial reporting. They’ll work with you to make sure you’ve completed the correct financial reporting of your profit and loss, and balance sheet, so you’re able make key business decisions based on accurate financial reports. Basically, they’ll keep you out of trouble with the ATO and ASIC.
- Strategic management advice. A Certified Accountant can gather and interpret all the key financial data you need to make critical business decisions, and to help you gain insights from your numbers.
- Business valuations. If you're starting to think about succession and exit planning, a Certified Accountant can help you determine the true value of your business.
- Small business management support. If you’re unsure of how to set up your business’ income structure, they can help you determine your marketing goals, work out your product costing, and provide advice and support on your business planning. A good Certified Accountant is there to ensure you’re making the right decisions in how to sell your product—and your business.
- Tax compliance services. A Certified Accountant has you covered at tax time. They can ensure you stay compliant with the ATO, and also provide advice on tax minimisation and tax strategies so you can maximise your wealth. They’ll be your first point of call for any tax questions, and keep you up to date with the latest tax legislation.
- Corporate governance advice. They can assist your business in complying with corporate governance standards, and make sure that you understand the responsibilities associated with running and owning a company under the ASIC guidelines.
What can't a Certified Accountant do? (and who should you use instead?)
Your Certified Accountant can help you with a wide range of matters, but there are also some areas where they can’t be of service. These include:
- Legal matters. For any legal matters, no matter how big or small, it’s best to engage a lawyer or solicitor. You need advice from a professional—and any advice that’s from not a legal specialise can end up getting you in trouble.
- Investment and insurance advice. When it comes to managing your wealth, it’s best to consult a licenced financial adviser.
- Lending. Any lending matters should be directed to a licenced Mortgage Broker for their consultation.
When should you work with a Certified Accountant?
Engaging the services of a Certified Accountant should be your first point of call once you’ve decided you want to own and run a business.
By engaging a Certified Accountant you’ll be able to gain insight into the best practices for running your business, and also ensure that you’re staying complaint with the ATO and ASIC.
How to choose the right accountant for your business
It’s important to find a Certified Accountant who’s right for your needs. You need to make sure their certifications are up to date, that you trust them, and they’re experienced in your type of business.
Importantly, you need to make sure you get along with them. You’re beginning a new relationship, after all, and as you grow and scale your business there will be a number of issues and challenges that you’ll face as a business owner.
Your Certified Accountant will be able to draw upon their education and experience to guide you on the right path, and prevent you from making mistakes that can cost you money and/or put your business at risk.
The best Certified Accountants will become your adviser. They’ll be on your side, spot opportunities and risks ahead of time, and offer you advice before you realise that you need it.
What questions should you ask a Certified Accountant?
- What business structure is best for my situation?
- What are the tax minimisation strategies you most commonly use?
- What is your experience in my industry, and business of my size?
- What sort of relationship do you develop with your clients?
- How can you assist me in growing my business profits?
- How do you price and charge for your services?