There is a time in everyone’s life where the question arises, to hire an accountant or not to hire an accountant? You may be thinking that I am managing to submit my own tax returns or look after my business’s finance without the help of an accountant, therefore, what use is an accountant to me, right? Wrong! The misconception is that most accountants are simply number crunchers but really there is a whole world of benefit that is opened up to you when making use of a professional accountant’s services.
A good accountant will not only take care of all your business or personal finances, but also be an astute advisor in:
Business Consulting: An accountant will get to know your business from back to front so that they can offer you the best advice, enabling maximum growth for your business. They can offer you valuable insights on decisions such as risk management, internal controls, marketing, pricing, buying vs renting, etc. Remember that an experienced accountant will be handling many similar businesses and will know what will and won’t work in your industry, making all advice extremely relevant.
Tax Planning: A professional accountant will not only prepare income returns and tax forms, they will be alongside you throughout the year making sure your business functions with peak tax efficiency. This also means that they maintain your or your business’s relationship with SARS, ensuring everything if filed correctly and on time.
Personal Finance: Your accountant is not just there for your business’s growth but for your personal financial growth as well, always offering advice on how to improve your personal financial situation.
Imagine no longer having to worry about the financial side of your business and being able to take expert guidance and concentrate on what you do best, building your business. From the brief points above, you should now be realising how much value the correct accountant can add to you and your business. So what is the next step? How do you go about finding a suitable accountant?
Lets look at some points to consider when selecting an accountant:
Qualifications: It is always best to look at an accountants education or affiliation. In South Africa, a good indicator is whether an accountant is a member of SAIPA. This is the South African Institute of Professional Accountants. which ensures that its members are able to optimise their accountancy practices or add value to their clients in the corporate world.
Rates: The most important point is not to select your accountant on the basis of their rates only. Often you get what you pay for and if you are looking to pay next to nothing, you can be assured that the advice you will be receiving may not be sufficient quality to base your business decisions on. That said, you should find out if the accountant offers fixed rates for their services or if they charge by the hour. Generally there is more peace of mind in knowing the amount you are being charged upfront, opposed to hourly rates which may create unwanted surprises when the invoice arrives.
Line of communication: Always find out if an accountant is available should you need to get in touch with them. Do they have a fixed office where you can always call them or are they only intermittently available on their cellphone? As financial decisions may crop up at any time during the day, this is a valid consideration.
After you have singled out a few accountants that meet these criteria, the next step is to arrange a meeting. Be sure to take along your business plan as any professional accountant will want to know as much about you and your business as possible. Find out from this initial meeting what ideas they have to develop your business. Are they proactive in terms of keeping you up to date with changes in tax laws, requesting tax return information well before national deadlines, etc. If it is a large company, find out if they will personally be handling your financials opposed to a junior accountant in the firm. If you are happy with all the answers they provide then consider engaging their services. If you make the right decision you and your business will have a financial partner for life.
Cape Town Accountant Brett Dirmeik is a registered member of the SAIPA. Dirmeik Consulting offers fixed, competitive rates and as it is a boutique Cape Town accounting firm, you can be sure of the personal attention you require. A selection of the industries that Dirmeik Consulting currently serves are:
- Financial Services
- Professional Design Services
- Graphic Design
- Tourism & Hospitality
- Rental & Leasing Services
- Textile – Clothing
- Staffing/Outsourcing Services
- Advertising/Marketing – Print & Electronic
- Professional Consulting Services
- Long-Term Care Facilities
- Stationery Supplies
Contact us today on 021 421 4444.