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Finding the Right Accountant for Your Financial Needs

An accountant is a skilled professional who deals with financial accounts, taxation, audits. An accountant may work as an independent consultant or as an internal employee of a business entity, government agency, or non-profit organisation.

What does an accountant do?

The duties of an accountant may vary widely based on their specialisation. To name a few, here are some examples of specific areas of accounting specialisations: auditing; financial statement analysis; and tax preparation.

Accountants generally offer bookkeeping, taxation, and auditing services but there are also more specialised services such as accounting for estate planning, business advisory, management consulting, and investment management.

There are also specific certifications that accountants may hold. Professionals who use titles such as Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Chartered Accountant, or Chartered Certified Accountant are granted certain obligations by statute, such as the ability to certify financial statements of an organisation. Accountants who do not have these certifications can still work in the industry but without statutory privileges and responsibilities.

Choosing an accountant

One important thing to look for in an accountant is relevant experience. If you need advice on choosing a legal business structure, for instance, make sure the accountant you choose specialises in the relevant field or has handled similar work in the past. Also, a more experienced professional will more likely be able to work faster with minimal errors when compared to a new accountant.

You will also want to consider whether or not the work you want done has to be performed by a CPA or other certified accountant. If that is the case you'll have to make sure that your final choice has all of the necessary credentials to get the job done properly.

To find the right accountant for your needs, look up trusted local professionals or accounting firms on Oneflare and view the business profile and read customer reviews to get an idea about an accountant’s competency and work ethic. 

How much does an accountant cost?

Some accountants charge by the hour while others work on a monthly basis. An accountant’s fee often varies depending on a few factors, including:

  • If they are a Chartered Accountant or Certified Public Accountant
  • Level of expertise and years of experience
  • Whether they offer a specialised or general accounting service
  • Type of service and the intricacy of what you require

The best way to keep your accountant fees down is to keep your financial records in an organised and well-presented manner. The easier it is for an accountant to analyse your finance, the less time and fee the accountant requires.

An average cost for a simple tax return for an individual’s salary is usually around $50-$80. The average cost for an individual with property or stock portfolio can range up to $200. For small business owners, a tax return fee is around $250-$500 whilst a medium-sized business can be charged around $2,000-$4,000. However, this all depends on the complexity on the finance of a business and the specific task required.  

Before committing to any accountant you should get free quotes from a few different accountants to make sure that your final choice will give you the best value. The overall cost should not be your deciding factor. An important factor is the quality of an accountant’s services and the compatibility of their working style with yours, so you can be sure things will get done as efficiently as possible.

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