All Topics / Legal & Accounting / Choosing an Accountant

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  • Profile photo of dreamerQLDdreamerQLD
    Member
    @dreamerqld
    Join Date: 2010
    Post Count: 23

    Hi Everyone,
    I'm in the market for an accountant and have had a recommendation from my mortgage broker (who doesn't use the recommended accountant but has heard good things about them) and from the real estate agent who I bought through (who does use the recommended accountant along with the rest of his real estate agency). Should I try out both before I choose? This could be quite expensive.. Or should I just go with the real estate's recommendation as he uses this accountant himself and says the accountant specialises in tax minimisation and property investing.

    Thanks,
    Melissa

    Profile photo of AntTAntT
    Participant
    @antt
    Join Date: 2009
    Post Count: 3

    Hi Dreamer

    I think you should visit both in order to decide which one you can have a better relationship with as it is built on trust. Most accoutants should be willing to see you for 5 minutes or so free of charge for you to decide if you would like to engage their services.

    Cheers

    Profile photo of dnh83dnh83
    Member
    @dnh83
    Join Date: 2009
    Post Count: 81

    Hi All,

    I'm in a similar boat, and I don't fancy wasting too much time or money searching for the right accountant.

    Based on this, can anyone throw a few suggestions out there regarding the types of questions to ask an accountant when you meet for the first time – with the intent being to determine if they 'fit the bill' for my situation…

    Eg:
    – How many Property Investments do you own yourself
    – Have you set up your own Trusts and Companies for your investments, and do you set these up for your clients
    – What are the benefits of setting up a Trading Company when it comes to Property Investing

    These questions are specific to my situation and will be used to identify if the Accountant knows their stuff.

    Am I on the money here or are these questions Accountant wont want to answer ??

    Cheers,

    Darren

    (PS – My situation = Trading Company and Trust required with the intent to maximise profits and minimise tax through the turnover of renovated houses, sub-divided land and new houses/duplex's…)

    Profile photo of tonyy21692tonyy21692
    Member
    @tonyy21692
    Join Date: 2003
    Post Count: 128

    Hi Melissa

    Give the accountants a call.  Let the reception know you are looking for a new accountant and you were referred to them by so and so.  This ought to get you past the gate keeper (accountants and other professional service providers get a lot of timewaster calls during the day.)   If not then leave a message (as they could be on the phone or in a meeting with a client) and they should call you back.  if they don't call you back within 24 hrs don't bother.  Once you speak to them let them know about your needs.

    What you are really doing is asking "am I your target client".  The accountant ought be upfront and let you know if you are, how they can help and a ball park idea of their costs.  If they don't then just ask.  I've found over time the first thing potential new clients blurt out is "How much do you charge!!" and really they are just asking why should I do business with you.

    I've never been asked how many IP's I own but I think if I was then I would get one of my accountants in (who does my accounts and tax returns) and have have him answer the question as the last thing I would want to do is come across as a bragger.  I guess I could put a speaker phone call into my solicitor and have him say how many property transactions I have done in the last 11 years I've been with him.  You have to remember most accountants sell time, and the better ones are not going to give away their intellectual property relating to how they have made money in property/or anything for that matter for $220 + per hour.

    So, maybe another way to answer Darren's questions is , the doctor doesnt have to have cancer himself/herself to be able to treat it….

    It is hard to develope a sense of trust over the phone in 5 minutes, but if you get the right answers to your questions then take a punt and book an hour to see if they are someone you can work with.

    good luck

    tony

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