Business advisers and accountants can save you money and worry. Knowing this, though, and knowing how to choose them are two different things. Before you choose a professional service for business assistance, equip yourself with the information necessary for selection.
Accountants and business advisers handle highly sensitive information about your business. Choosing the right one is vital. In the selection process, qualifications aren’t the only thing to look for: their experience, knowledge of the electrical contracting industry and integrity are also key components to the level of service they can offer.
Is professional advice even necessary?
Many business owners rely on their own knowledge to manage the financial side of business. Accounting software allows business owners to easily keep track of accounts for themselves. Business advisers can seem like a luxury for contractors just starting out. Both, however, are required for your business to flourish.
A CPA is essential. Certified Public Accountants provide some of the perspective of an independent auditor, and their use can be helpful legally if you are audited. Beyond this, CPAs have the expertise to identify tax savings areas and handle delicate situations in which business owners may feel out of their depth.
Business advisers are also important for the long-term health of a business. It’s not enough to ensure that a profit comes in every year. Smart investment of the business’s financial assets is necessary to ensure a sound continuing financial base.
It is important to hire an accountant that understands the electrical contracting business. If you don’t have a CPA on staff, you need to do the following:
- Make sure you ask potential CPAs whether they have dealt with electrical or trade contractors before
- Test new accountants with a few key phrases to ensure they really are on the same page as you
- Ensure your CPA is able to answer complicated tax questions in a timely manner.
An ideal CPA will be able to provide you with advice on achieving maximum profit for minimal tax, and should be able to answer your questions promptly. Don’t be afraid to seek out a different CPA if you are unsatisfied.
Qualifications are just as important with business advisers as with Accountants. If you are going to entrust your finances to an adviser, check that they hold appropriate qualifications. Although business adviser qualifications vary in Australia, qualifications to look for include the Australian financial services (AFS) licence and a Diploma of Financial Services. Financial advisers in Australia are regulated by ASIC, and some CPAs choose to train to become business advisers as well.
Both business advisers and accountants should operate ethically. This is important for the long-term legal implications for your business. When interviewing accountants and advisers, present possible scenarios for your business and ask for evidence of a good track record. Your interview should be thorough and leave you with a good understanding of how the accountant or adviser operates.