A typical week goes something like this:
A client walks into one of our offices, wanting to switch accountants as his previous accountant let him down with a backlog of un-lodged business tax returns and isn’t responsive to enquiries or requests.
Or a client complains bitterly about paying too much taxes because her accountant didn’t advise her how to reduce taxes.
Or an otherwise astute business person decides to do his own bookkeeping instead of engaging a bookkeeper or an accountant.
Upon probing, it is usually uncovered that these clients do not respond to their accountants’ queries or requests for supporting documents (ie. invoices & receipts), are unwilling to pay for accountants’ advice, prefer to DIY just about everything or worse, haven’t paid their accountant’s bill!
When you contact an accountant, expecting not to pay for their advice, then it’s more likely than not that you will get stock answers or no advice at all. You wouldn’t pay $1 and expect to get a good cup of coffee worth $5, so why would you expect to get tax or financial advice for next to nothing?
Like you, accountants need to make a living. If your accountant spends a lot of time providing free advice, then your accountant isn’t going to stay in business for long.
What You Need to Do
Maintain open communications with your accountant throughout the year. It’s a two-way street. If you regularly ignore your accountant’s emails or requests for additional information/documents, then you can most certainly expect to wait a while for your accountant to respond to you.
Be organised. Giving documents or information to your accountant in dribs and drabs will most certainly result in more time spent on your file, which translates to higher fees.
Most importantly, if you want to get the most of your accountant, be prepared to allow your accountant the liberty to assist you with all aspects of bookkeeping, BAS returns, tax returns and so on. This will put your accountant in a good position to provide you with sound cashflow analyses, forecasts and projections, and allow your accountant to pre-empt you of any financial issues ahead, and in so doing, empower you to take the necessary action well in advance.
Not all accountants charge by the minute. At Fortiz Accountants, we certainly don’t charge extra for all business clients who are on monthly fee packages. We are always a friendly phone call away (when we are not engaged in client meetings) or contactable by text messages and emails during business hours. Make an appointment with us at either one of our offices to find out how we can assist you.