How to Find A Good Bookkeeper in Sydney

Before you can begin your search, first you need to differentiate between whether or not you need bookkeeping services, or if it’s actually accounting services that you’re after. That might sound silly to some, however, it can be easy to get the two mixed up. That said, there are some key differences between a bookkeeper and an accountant, which we will take you through shortly.

When it comes to finding the most suitable financial assistance, you have to understand exactly what it is that you need help with. This will help you significantly when it comes to narrowing down the search. You can then find a specialised service and work with a company or individual who excels in that particular area. It will also help your prospective accountant/bookkeeper get a good idea as to how they can help you and tailor a more specific deal for you and your business.

So, let’s begin by highlighting the key differences between a bookkeeper and an accountant:

The Definitions

  • Bookkeeper: Bookkeeping is related to measuring and recording financial transactions that take place within a business
  • Accountant: Accounting is the process of taking financial data, summarising it, interpreting the information and then communicating those financial transactions back to the client

Decision Making

  • Bookkeeper: A bookkeeper only records the financial information and so are unable to provide you with decision making data
  • Accountant: If you have a talented accountant, they will be able to provide you with enough information to make critical business decisions

Role Objective

  • Bookkeeper: A bookkeeper’s role is to systematically record all of the business transactions in a proper and easy to digest manner
  • Accountant: An accountant digests this information, is able to gauge the financial situation of a business and pass on the appropriate data to the relevant authorities (tax etc)

 

Which Services Do You Require?

As an accounting firm, naturally we are biased and would advise that you seek out both accounting and bookkeeping services. Then again, it’s very much dependent on you and the way that you work. You might be self-employed, or you could have a small to medium-sized business. The amount of help that you need is very much dependent on your own unique situation. And of course, where some people might be naturally talented when it comes to taking care of the books, others might struggle to keep up. It’s up to you to weigh up the situation. Would you like assistance with both? You can outsource all of your financial work and not have to worry; or alternatively you could take care of the books yourself and have an accountant digest this information on your behalf; or of course, vice versa.

 

Tips on How to Find a Good Bookkeeper in Sydney

Now, the same methods apply to find a quality accountant, however for the sake of keeping things simple we’re going to focus on how to find a good bookkeeper in Sydney. First of all, take notice of how many companies and individuals there are out there offering a bookkeeping service. Don’t allow this to overwhelm you. There are plenty of top-quality bookkeepers that can assist you.

1 – Testimonials and References

On most websites you should find a number of testimonials from clients. This is always a great way of differentiating between the noteworthy bookkeepers and the average. Get a feel for how their clients respond to their services.
It’s also worth heading onto social media and reaching out to your friends and family. First of all, do they have any recommendations? Also, ask if anyone has had any dealings with your prospective bookkeepers that you’ve shortlisted. This is the best way to get a feel for who has a solid reputation and who might be worth avoiding.

2 – You Get What You Pay For

Many people put off hiring a bookkeeper because they resent paying someone else for doing something that they can do. That’s fair enough, however how much time could you save if you passed it over to the professionals? When you pay for a bookkeeping service you will be investing in an experienced expert to take care of it for you. This will free you up with an awful lot of time to relax and to focus on other key areas of your business.

3 – Trust and Communication is Important

Your gut should give you a pretty clear indication as to which bookkeeping services you feel drawn to. The next thing to do is to make contact with a few of your shortlisted candidates and make your initial inquiry. To be honest, it shouldn’t take long for you to get a feel for how they operate. How did they handle your inquiry? Did they seem particularly friendly and enthusiastic on the phone? Did they offer to meet you to discuss how they can be of service? The most important aspect of a client/bookkeeper relationship is trust. You’re passing your sensitive information over to a stranger, so you have to feel comfortable in their company and trust that they have the knowledge, the expertise and the decency to handle your books with precision and honesty.

 

Summary

Don’t allow yourself to feel pressured or to rush into anything. Again, take your time to decide exactly what it is that you could use help with. Communicate this with your prospective bookkeepers and they will be able to advise you accordingly. Follow up any references where possible, read up on their testimonials and ask amongst friends about any dealings with them. The key to finding a good bookkeeper in Sydney is to do your research, take your time and trust your instincts. Everyone is going to claim to be the very best, there’s no escaping that. All you need is for them to demonstrate their authenticity and to offer you a genuine and honest rundown of their rates and services. You’ll know once you’ve found the perfect candidate.

Tips on How to Find a Tax Advisor That Ticks All of the Boxes

If you’re reading this then it’s likely that you’ve never had dealings with an accountant or tax advisor before. However, it’s good that you’re here because it shows that you have an interest in hiring a professional to assist you with the more complicated, tax-related dealings that can be terribly overwhelming for the inexperienced. That being said; how can you differentiate the professionals from the cowboys? Anyone can claim to be an accountant or a professional tax advisor, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are either qualified or able.

Don’t worry though, we’re here to guide you so that you can make a well-informed decision for yourself. Accepting the assistance of a tax advisor is a big step, – one that can be of huge benefit to you when done correctly. Sharing your sensitive information with someone else requires a great deal of trust, particularly when it comes to your finances. This is why trust is important above all else when it comes to the client/tax advisor relationship.

What Should You Look for in a Tax Advisor?

  • When it comes to tax advice, you will need to double check with your prospective tax advisor that they have the relevant expertise that you are looking for. Perhaps ask about current or previous clients and any experience that they might have.
  • Aim to work with a business of a similar size to your own as they will have first-hand experience of the challenges that you face. That being said; you should not write larger firms off – They will have a wealth of representatives who will have the relevant experience, in which case you should find out exactly who would be taking care of your account.
  • Would you prefer to work with someone who has experience in dealing with other clients in your industry? Understand that this isn’t an essentiality. It certainly helps to have experience in your industry, though if they have been in the game for a long time, their knowledge of other industries will certainly be helpful. Weigh up the pros and cons.
  • Do you want your accountant or tax advisor to handle everything for you? Some companies only specialise in certain areas, which means that if you require additional services, you might have to look elsewhere. Be realistic about your needs both now, and in the future.
  • Are you familiar with them? What is their reputation like? When it comes to finding out about a prospective accountant or tax advisor, ask around with friends, family and associates to see if you know anyone who has had previous dealings with them. Everyone will claim to be the best in the business, but that doesn’t necessarily make it so.
  • You must ensure that they have all of the relevant licensing and qualifications required to offer you sound and well-informed advice. Don’t be afraid to ask to see their certification, it’s a perfectly acceptable expectation. Of course, if you’re uncertain as to what you should look out for then you should pay a visit to the AASB (Australian Accounting Standards Board) website.
  • How will they keep you informed and up to date? You should aim to work with a company that has embraced current technology and is not only willing to see you face to face as often as you require; but has the means to keep you updated via different avenues.

Make Contact with Your Prospective Tax Advisors

Getting in contact with a number of short-listed candidates is a great way for you to establish an initial relationship. This will help you to get an idea as to what it would be like if you were to partner with them. How well do they communicate with you? How enthusiastic are they when the handle your query and answer your questions? Did they have many questions for you? This may seem a little trivial for an initial verbal contact, though it says a lot about the sort of company/tax advisor that you are dealing with. Simply put, you should never settle for anything less than what you deserve, – which of course, is the very best.

Feeling overwhelmed by it all? If you have any further questions or if you would like to explore our services, – please feel free to get in contact with us today. We’ll be more than happy to advise you in any way that we can.

How Much is an Accountant for Self-Employed People? Here are 10 Reasons Why It’s Worth Every Penny

One of the most frequently asked questions by self-employed people is: “How much does an accountant cost?” And of course, that’s a fair enough question to ask, – it’s important to know exactly how much something is going to cost you before making any commitments. That being said, it is also important to learn how much money an accountant can save you as well.

A troublesome and common misconception is that accountants “cost you”. Certainly, in the beginning you aren’t going to see an instant return on your investment; however, with the right approach, some hard work and careful consideration, an accountant can take your business to new heights.

Now, before going on any further we will answer your question and share our fees below. This will give you an indication as to where you stand as a self-employed individual seeking professional accounting assistance in Sydney.

Business Activity statements from $200

Income tax returns: from $300 for a sole trader, from $500 for a company or trust, from $1000 for an SMSF.

Now that we’ve established our prices, its our job to justify to you, why it’s worth every penny. Below you will find 10 reasons why we believe this to be the case:

1 – No More Stress

Life is busy and stressful enough as it is without having to sift through piles of paperwork and receipts and make zero mistakes. Tax and accounting are time-consuming and complicated processes that are best delegated to the professionals. If you work with a reputable and reliable company, you will be able to relax in the knowledge that everything is in hand.

2 – Time is Money!

As cliché as it might be, time is money. There is nothing more valuable (or finite) in life than our time. Do you really want to spend hours going through your books and trying to stay up-to-date with current tax legislation and its requirements? Let the professionals handle the nitty-gritty and you can focus your valuable time either making more money, or with your friends and family.

3 – They Know More Than You

Do you know of any legal loopholes that can save you vast amounts of money? If you did, you wouldn’t be reading this. The benefit of working with a high-class accountant is that they will be able to offer you plenty of sound, well-informed and perfectly legal financial advice to help save you money.

4 – They Can Spot Deductions Where You Might Miss Them

Tax and accounting is a very complicated business and many people miss out on a number of savings that can be made. A decent accountant will be happy and willing to look back over your books and spot any potential deductions that you might have missed. That was you’ll be able to keep an eye out in the future and get your moneys worth the next time-round!

5 – Plan for Your Future

An accountant will want to know what your plans and aspirations are both for your business and for yourself. What are your financial goals? Do you know exactly what you need to do in order to get to where you want to be? An accountant will have the expertise and the know-how to help you achieve those financial goals.

6 – Help You Get Everything in Order

You might be up to date with your books, or you may have left everything for too long and have only just decided to get your act together. Whatever the case, an accountant will be able to help you get back on top of everything and have your books in order so that you will not come into any trouble down the line. Get it done right!

7 – You’ll Never Miss Another Deadline

Again, life is stressful and there’s an awful lot to remember. Add being self-employed into the mix and you end up with yet even more tasks to stay on top of. The beauty of working closely with an accountant is that you’ll never miss another deadline again!

8 – Pay Exactly What You Owe

It’s always nice having a large tax-rebate, but that money could have been generating interest for you instead. Hire an accountant and they will be able to ensure that you pay exactly what you owe when it comes to tax, so that your hard-earned money can continue working for you!

9 – They Will Advise You on the Best Practices

As a business owner you should want to carry out the very best practices in everything that you do. A trusted and reputable accountant will advise you accordingly and ensure that you are running your business by the books. It’s easy to grow complacent and to start making silly mistakes, but with someone watching your back, you’ll have nothing to worry about. (The last thing you need is accidental criminality)

10 – You Won’t Necessarily Need Them all of the Time

Some people worry that they will be bound to spend out monthly fees indefinitely, even when they don’t need their accountants’ services. You are not bound forever. You just need to figure out how much help you need and how regularly you’d like that assistance. Iron that out with your accountant and they will tailor the most suitable possible package for you and your business.

Summary

Of course, there is going to be an element of bias in this post. An accountancy blog writing about how hiring an accountant is worth every penny. We appreciate how that might come across, but like it or not, the facts are there. When done correctly, an accountant truly can help you get the most out of your business, save you money on your taxes and free up more time for you to focus on growing your business.

If that is something you would like to explore further, then please feel free to get in contact with us today. We’re always happy to help!

10 Top Tips on How to Choose an Accountant

Hiring an accountant is one of the smartest moves a small business owner can make. Understandably, many people try to avoid it for as long as possible as they would like to save as much money as possible, where possible. That being said; you’d be surprised by how much an exceptional accountant would be able to save you, particularly when it comes to payable tax.

Then again, making the decision to hire an accountant is the easy part. It’s finding the appropriate accountant for you which can prove tricky. In this post we’re going to share with you: 10 top tips on how to choose an accountant. – And not just any accountant; the most suitable accountant for your small business and its tax-related requirements.

 

1 – You should certainly endeavour to settle on an accountant before you start your business, or indeed as soon as possible. This is because they will be able to offer you valuable advice when it comes to start-up costs and registering with the relevant tax authorities and so on.

2 – Don’t be afraid to ask what qualifications and licensing your prospective accountants have. Most people love talking about their achievements and awards, so if an accountant tries to change the subject then that should raise suspicion. If you’re unsure on what to look out for, visit the Australian Accounting Standards Board.

3 – You want to work with an accountant that has experience with dealing with other small businesses like your own. If they have experience in your industry, even better! You need to weigh up the pros and cons of working with a general accounting firm and a specialist, industry dedicated accountant. (A balanced knowledge of other industries can be beneficial as well)

4 – Make sure that you are fully aware of how a prospective accountant will charge you. What are their fees? Are they annual or monthly? Get as much information as you can so that you can budget accordingly and hire the most suitable accountant to suit your requirements.

5 – Don’t settle for the first accountant that you come across. Sure, if they come highly recommended by your associates and you’re entirely happy with everything, however it doesn’t hurt to compare. Short-list a couple of accountants at the very least. You should be able to get a good idea as to what it will be like working with them by your initial contact with a company.

6 – If a smaller accounting firms is more expensive, they tend to have a better understanding of what a small-business needs. Again, it’s about weighing up the pros and cons and trying to get the best possible partnership to suit your style of business.

7 – Be clear on the scope of services that an accountant provides. Also, be realistic about what you are going to need in the future. An accountant might tick all of the boxes now, but if they can’t help you with additional services in the future, then it might be worth looking for a company with a more balanced set of services.

8 – Always try to follow up references where possible. Any decent and reputable accountant worth their salt should have some very satisfied clients who would happily vouch for them.

9 – Communication is the key! Again, your initial contact with an accountant should demonstrate how well they’re able to communicate with you. One of the biggest problems that people face when working with an accountant is poor communication, – both between the client and the accountant; and the accountant and the relevant authorities.  The very best accountants will be up to date with the latest in technology, offering you a number of ways to stay up to date.

10 – Don’t forget that a high-quality accountant will be invaluable in all aspects of your business, – particularly if in the event that you decide to sell you business in the future.

 

Summary

Be realistic, budget accordingly and above all: be honest with yourself. You should give your gut the benefit of the doubt and go with whoever you feel that you have the strongest connection with. Trust is hugely important when it comes to a client/accountant relationship, particularly when you’re sharing sensitive information about your small business.

If you have found this piece particularly useful and would like to explore our services further, please feel free to get in touch with us today. Our team of friendly representatives and advisors will be more than happy to assist you in any way possible.

How to Find the Best Accountant to Help with Your Personal Taxes

If you’re newly self-employed or you’re considering going out on your own, then you’re going to have to handle your income tax. In terms of what you pay, it’s not so dissimilar to that of working for another company, – the only difference is that its your responsibility to take care of it.

This can be an incredibly daunting prospect to many people, particularly if they’ve been employed for their entire working career and have never had to even think about personal tax before. For more people, it’s just a number that is regrettably deducted from their wages at the end of each month. For a self-employed individual, it is something which is going to require your attention.

We cannot stress, how important it is that you take care of your personal tax responsibly and with careful consideration. This doesn’t mean that you have to go it alone though. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by it all and you’d like some assistance, there are plenty of accountants and firms out there who would gladly oblige. The question is: how to find a good accountant for personal taxes?

Of course, finding a good accountant is easy enough, though you want to find one that you can wholeheartedly rely on. Someone that instils you with confidence; someone that charges you a fair and reasonable rate; and someone that will take your finances seriously.

In this post we’re going to share a few tips on what to look for, so that you can make an informed decision when settling on which accountant to work with. As with anything, when you search for a product or a service on the internet you’ll become inundated with seemingly limitless options; all of which are ‘the very best in the business’.
Well, self-praise is certainly no recommendation. So, rather than take their word for it, have a read through this guide and find all the information you need to deduct your own estimation.

How to Choose the Appropriate Tax Accountant

The most important thing of all when it comes to a professional accounting relationship, is trust. Let’s assume that most accountants and firms are qualified to do a sufficient job with your books. Feeling comfortable in placing that sensitive information in the hands of another however, does not come easily. So, how can you establish that level of trust?

When you’re browsing the internet, you’re going to find an awful lot of companies. You may wish to work with a local firm; you might feel more comfortable with a larger, regional firm; you may even prefer to work with a freelance accountant. In any case, you need to shortlist a few potentials before you even think about making a decision.

Reputation

Reputation is an important thing to look out for when you’re shortlisting candidates. Ask around with friends and family, perhaps put a post out on social media and ask if anyone has had any dealings with ‘such & such’. This is a good way to get a feel for how other people have experienced their services. You’ll likely have heard of a number of your local firms before as well, which is a good start.

Size

Again, you need to decide what size company you’d like to work with. Some larger firms tend may offer cheaper rates, however medium to small sized firms tend to offer a more personalised service. That being said; these are just generalisations. These are the sorts of questions that you should ask in the beginning: Who will be taking care of my account? Will I be passed around between various representatives? If a firm can’t offer you the dedicated service that you’re looking for, search elsewhere.

Other Services

While you’re looking for someone to help with your personal taxes, will you want other services in the future? It’s handy to work with a company who specialise in a particular area, though offer a number of other services. The last thing you want is to rush into working with an accountant and then when needing another service later down the line, you have to start the search all over again because they can’t help you.

Qualifications

If you’re going through a firm you won’t really have to worry about this. Naturally, an established accountancy firm isn’t going to hire unqualified accountants. That being said, if you’re hiring a freelance accountant, make sure that they are able to share their qualifications with you. Most people are more than happy to talk about and show off their own achievements, so if they act coy and try to change the subject or turn you off it, bin them off and look elsewhere. When it comes to your personal taxes, you can’t take any risks by working with someone who is unqualified and unlicensed.

Testimonials / References

Most reputable websites will share a few testimonials from some of their clients. Keep an eye out for websites with testimonials. If you need further convincing, you can always ask if they have any references that they could put you in contact with. Any reputable company worth their salt will have worked with certain happy clients for a number of years who will be willing to vouch for them.

References are always a touchy one as no accountant wants to bother their clients unless they really have to. If they outright refuse to put you in contact with anyone then that should raise some suspicions, though don’t be put off if they try to alleviate your doubt in other ways. However, most people are more than happy to take a quick phone call, particularly if the service they receive is genuinely brilliant.

Go with Your Gut

Of course, don’t just rush in with the first accountant that you come across. Do some digging around, short-list some candidates and look at the facts. Once you’ve established contact with a few of your potential candidates, you’ll get a good feel for who you vibe with the most. Following that, you should be able to make an informed decision. Trust your gut! It will rarely let you down.

If you’re interested in exploring our services further, or if you have any questions for us, – please feel free to get in contact with us today. One of our friendly representatives will be more than happy to assist you with any queries that you have.

What Is the Difference Between Bookkeeping vs Accounting?

Discovering some old books that you should have returned to the school library 15 years ago does not make you a good bookkeeper! Good at keeping books perhaps, but a bookkeeper in the financial sense is something else entirely, – something of which gets mixed up with accounting all of the time. Most people believe that bookkeeping and accounting are one in the same, however, there are some key differences that you should be aware of, particularly as a new business owner.

We’ll begin by breaking down bookkeeping vs accounting in their simplest form for you. Following that, we’re going to explore their features and differences, for your convenience.

What is Bookkeeping?

Simply put: booking keeping is the process of recording all financial transactions related to a business.

What is Accounting?

Accounting is then responsible for taking this financial data, interpreting, classifying, analysing, reporting and finally, summarising this data.

So, while both disciplines are similar, their functions are designated for different outcomes. A skillful bookkeeper’s objective will be to record all of the relevant data accurately and efficiently, laying a strong foundation upon which a skilled accountant can build. A qualified accountant will then be able to gauge the current financial situation of the business and communicate the relevant information to the appropriate authorities – that is the objective.

Decision Making

Bookkeeping records the financial data, that is all. That’s not to take away from a bookkeeper and suggest that hard work and skill is not required, – however, when it comes to decision making, an accountant is required to analyse and process the data. Management will then be able to make critical business decisions based on the accountant’s findings. So, in this light, it is evident that both bookkeeper and accountant are crucial components in a businesses financial functionality.

The Importance of Synchronicity Between Bookkeeping vs Accounting

Many business owners like to handle their own bookkeeping, which is understandable, given that your business is essentially ‘your baby’. You’ve put much hard work into growing it into what it is today, and the thought of inviting an outsider to come and handle your sensitive information can be unsettling.

That being said; if you want to be able to make sound financial decisions based on the data recorded, then you must ensure that you are very efficient when it comes to keeping the books. Synchronicity between bookkeeper and accountant is vital, particularly if you want to get the best possible results.

This is why it is always advised that you hire a bookkeeper and an accountant. You can handle the books yourself, though it requires time and dedication to do so thoroughly and effectively. By outsourcing these tasks to one dedicated firm, they can work closely together without delay. This alleviates the pressure from you, allowing you to focus on other important tasks that deserve your attention.

Simply put, an accountant and bookkeeper working closely together will produce much better results, faster and with excellent efficiency.

The Other Benefits for Passing Your Bookkeeping and Accounting Responsibilities onto the Professionals

Of course, outsourcing your bookkeeping and accounting can help you and your business in many different ways. We’ve been through one in the previous section: efficiency. Now, let’s take a quick look at a few other key benefits.

1 – Time Management

Time is without a doubt, your most precious and valuable commodity as a business owner. You’ve got a million and one tasks to carry out on a daily basis and anything that you can do to lighten that load is a bonus. By outsourcing these tasks, you’ll be able to dedicate your precious time to other, profit generating tasks. Then on the flipside, your bookkeeper and accountant will be able to accurately record your financial information and find ways to help streamline your business and its earning potential.

2 – Cost Effective

Time is money, but money is money too, and a qualified bookkeeper and accountant will be crucial in helping you handle yours. Any reputable and reliable accountant will be able to analyse the books and find new and innovative ways for you to save money, cut back in areas and ultimately reduce your overall tax bill at the end of the year.

Many people worry about outsourcing their books and accounting out of fear of spending too much money, yet it should be treated as an investment, rather than expenditure. If your accountant isn’t saving you money, you’ll soon find out and can respond accordingly.

3 – Access to Technology

Any decent accounting firm will have access to the latest in technology. This means that they will be using the very best accounting software which comes with a wealth of benefits at your disposal. If on the accounting, you decided to keep the books yourself and handle all tax-related accounting, you’d be at a disadvantage, having to spend an awful lot more time and effort on doing so.

Summary

In conclusion, we can clearly see that while a bookkeeper and an accountant have similar roles to the untrained eye, there are key and evident distinctions. A bookkeeper makes accurate records of all financial transitions carried out by a business. – When done properly, this lays a strong foundation upon which a trained accountant can build. An accountant will then analyse all of the recorded data and compile reports for management to review. These reports are often accompanied with tips and suggestions on critical decisions that can affect the overall earnings and tax-related savings at the end of the financial year.

Again, when working closely together, a bookkeeper and an accountant can produce some highly beneficial results. If you really want to get the best out of your business, streamline your processes and take your company to greater heights; outsourcing such financial tasks is certainly something worth considering.

Why Should You Choose PNA?

“Why should I choose YOU to handle my business or personal accounting?” – a complicated question; one that is quite difficult to answer without the feeling of over-embellishment. It is however, an incredibly important question and one that you are well within your rights to ask us.

Why should you choose us? Particularly when there are thousands upon thousands of well-established accountancy firms all over the country (not to mention the rest of the World!) – Each and every one, claiming to be ‘the most reliable’, ‘reputable’ and of course: ‘the very best’.

So, rather than give you the whole “we’re number one” spiel, we’ll just take you through some of the qualities that we pride ourselves in and strive to uphold at all times. Here’s why we believe that you will be satisfied with our services:

1 – Trust

Trust is the very foundation on which a professional client/accountant relationship is built. Without trust, there’s no way that you could possibly feel comfortable with us taking care of yours or your businesses sensitive information.

So, how do we go about establishing that level of trust? Well, naturally it does require an element of ‘risk’ on your part. We can offer you a wealth of testimonials from reputable companies that we have developed long-lasting relationships with. We can offer you complete transparency in the way that we operate, what we can do for you and how we will handle your sensitive information. And we can offer you a friendly, attentive and personalised service from the moment you make first contact with us.

So, get in touch, speak with one of our friendly representatives and see what your gut tells you.

2 – Excellent Communication

This ties in closely with trust, as of course without proper communication there can be no trust. Again, excellent communication is something that we do take great pride in, both between ourselves and with our clients. There is great synchronicity between our employees and all departments, and this translates wonderfully into a smooth, ‘tightly run ship’. So, you can rest assured that we will keep you up to date and very much in the loop with all relevant information, at all times.

3 – Passion

There are many different forms of intelligence, – some people are great with words, their bodies, spatially, practically and of course in our case: mathematically. For anyone who is not so hot on numbers, it is very difficult to understand how anybody could be so passionate about them. Perhaps it’s not so much the numbers, but the problem-solving aspect of accounting that we enjoy. There’s nothing quite so satisfying as helping a business to streamline their finances, save money on tax and invariably make more money! Often, we’ll solve problems that you didn’t even know that you had!

It’s What We Do

So, why should you choose PNA to assist you with your accounts? Simply put, it’s what we do. We hire only the most dedicated, talented and passionate individuals who are career driven and have an unquenchable thirst for problem solving. But, you don’t have to take our word for it, – check out what some of our clients have to say.

That, and there’s no harm in booking a FREE consultation with us. If you like what you hear, great, – otherwise, we wish you the very best in your future endeavours.

How to Find A Good Tax Accountant in Sydney

Of course, Sydney being one of the most influential cities in the World, there’s certainly no shortage of business going on. There is a booming economy which has grown exponentially over recent years and continues to grow rapidly to this day. In that light, finding a good tax accountant is easy. However, if you want to identify which accountants are exceptional and which are not, then you’re going to have to delve a little deeper.

And yes, a good accountant will certainly uphold their end of the bargain and help you take care of the books and handle all of your tax related obligations. On the other hand, there are accountancy firms out there who will and do go above and beyond to deliver an impeccable level of service, – essentially functioning as a business partner, with your businesses best interest at heart.

An exceptional accountancy firm will have a significant influence on the growth and development of your business; finding new and innovative ways to help you streamline your overall earnings and tax-reduction potential.

Naturally, you’re going to come across a great number of accountancy firms, each and every one claiming to be the ‘very best’ and the ‘most reliable’. It’s difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff when they’re all so darn perfect. So, for your convenience, we’ve compiled a list of things to look out for, and tips to help you make an informed decision when selecting which accountancy firm to work with.

Here Is How to Find A Good Tax Accountant in Sydney

Shortlisting

The early stages are relatively straightforward, as first of all you’re going to want to shortlist a few potential candidates to work with. You’ll be able to tell almost instantaneously when you visit a website as to what type of business you’re dealing with. Any reputable firm will almost certainly have their house in order, which means that their website will be clear, concise and easy to navigate.

What to Look For

  • References and Testimonials: Any reputable accountancy firm worth their salt will have a number of testimonials on their website. Most of the time these are legitimate, however they’re easy enough to fabricate. To be perfectly honest, this is unavoidable and there will be no real way to tell, so you’ll have to go with your gut. That being said; any truly reputable firm will be happy and able to put you in contact with a reference or two should you need further convincing.
  • Functional Layout: If you have to spend more than a few seconds trying to find your way to where you want to be on a website, then it’s a poorly designed website. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the accountancy firm will be no good; but it’s not a very good sign. You have to ask, if they can’t streamline something as simple as their own website & its functionality, how are they going to fare with your books?
  • Website Content: What does their website content say to you? What you should look for is a company who can outline their services and specialities clearly without overly ripe embellishment. After all: “Any man who must say I am the King, is no true King”.

 

Communication

We’re already familiar with the old cliché, so you’ll appreciate the importance of first impressions. You’ve already shortlisted several companies based on their website and testimonials, now it’s time to make contact.

You should be able to get a fairly good idea about what you’re dealing with based on your initial interaction with an accountancy firm. How are you greeted on the phone? Are you kept waiting for very long? How enthusiastic is the representative when discussing your requirements? Any reputable accountancy firm worth their salt is going to be genuinely excited to hear about what you have to say, – and to present to you how they’re going to be able to help you on your journey to success.

If you experience anything short of excellence during your first encounter, then you should bin them off immediately. Though of course, if you’re dealing with a receptionist and they advise you that there are no advisors free for the moment, but they’ll be able to call you back the moment that someone is free, bear with them. The fact that they’re busy is already a very good sign! But, if they take too long or don’t bother at all, well, that speaks for itself.

Important Questions to Ask

  • How long have you been in business? – You’ll want to work with a well-established business with a record of success. Again, that’s not to say that a new start-up isn’t going to be any good to work with, you’ll just have to go with your gut in that case.
  • Do you have any references? – If they shy away from sharing any references then you should be concerned. Any truly reputable and successful accountancy firms will have plenty of satisfied clients who would be willing to testify on their behalf.
  • How and who will be handling my account? – It’s nice to know that you won’t be passed from pillar to post. Of course, many accountancy firms work together closely, ensuring that everything is double checked. However, having a dedicated accountant looking after you is important.
  • How will you intend to keep me up to date? – A truly efficient accountancy firm will be happy to give you regular courtesy phone calls as well as keeping you in the loop via email or using a CRM system.
  • Other Important Questions

 

Summary

Ultimately, in order to find the most suitable accountant for you, you’re going to have to go with your gut. You’ll come across a number of strong candidates, each coming across brilliantly on the phone with plenty of references and testimonials for you to follow up. You could try word of mouth and see if you have any friends or family that have had experience with the companies in question, – but you should trust your own judgment as well. If you get a good feeling about an accountancy firm, and the people that you have been dealing with have given off good vibes, then you might have your winner. Communication is important and if you get on well with someone then that’s good for business as well!

10 Valuable Tax Tips for SMEs

Tax, numbers & accounting, in general, can be an absolute minefield, believe us! That being said, there are simple steps that you can take to make your life an awful lot easier. In this post, we’re going to explore 10 valuable tax tips for SMEs, so that you can streamline the books and ultimately alleviate some of the pressure.

1 – Structure is Everything

Establishing the appropriate business structure which accurately reflects your circumstances is vital when taking care of your accounts. But it goes much deeper than that; a business without structure is quite simply destined to fail.

2 – Time Keeping & Synchronicity (Invoicing)

GST and income tax are largely affected by your punctuality when it comes to invoicing. Ideally, the invoice should have been issued within 30 days of receiving payment. When it needs doing, do it.

3 – Time Keeping & Synchronicity (Tax Deductibles)

The very same applies for your tax-deductible payments; your income tax and GST are very much affected by your timing. Don’t leave everything to the last minute, – if you want to minimise your losses, maximise your efficiency.

4 – Salaries & Wages

Another one for timing and efficiency; (something that plays a huge role in accounting) pay your wages & salaries on time. Juggling the variables in this area affects income tax, pay as you go, superannuation guarantee payments and payroll tax. For example, by missing a payment you’ll likely have to pay an SG charge, which can easily be avoided.

5 – Superannuation Payments

Make your superannuation charges on time and to the right fund! Contributions and transition to retirement provides a unique opportunity for tax deductions and of course, effective saving.

6 – Inventory & Stock Control

You need to know which products the real breadwinners are. Identifying and understanding which lines of stock can create the most value is paramount for your future success. Just be aware that the method you use to value your stock will have an effect on your tax outcomes as well.

7 – Know Your Balance Sheet Inside-Out

Study your balance sheet and review it well! With some careful consideration, you’ll be able to easily identify areas in which tax benefits are available to you.

8 – Property, Plant & Equipment

Your business plan should include everything related to property, plant & equipment, when they were purchased and how it reflects on the invariable depreciation of certain items over time. Whether bought outright or financed, it all has an effect on your tax and GST.

9 – Business Owners and Remuneration

If you’re a business owner, be mindful of the manner in which you pay yourself, sort your allowances, cars, loans, dividends and so on. Everything that you do is going to affect the amount of tax paid. Obviously, as a business owner, you are entitled to your slice of the pie but remember that there are ways of reducing the overall tax paid if you optimise the way that you reward yourself.

10 – Capital Gains / Losses

When it comes to your assets, holding them in the appropriate business structure, the timing of disposal and the application of tax laws are invariably going to have a significant effect on the amount of tax that you’ll be liable to pay. Simply put, get your house in order, optimise your assets well and you’ll be able to successfully reduce your outgoings.

Summary

We certainly hope that this was helpful, though of course, we completely understand if you’re now left with yet even more questions than before! Ultimately, there’s an awful lot for you to bear in mind when it comes to bookkeeping, which isn’t always possible when you’re trying to run a business and you have a million and one other things to be worrying about!

Naturally, there are many things that you can do personally to streamline your bookkeeping and reduce your overall tax payments, though of course, the most valuable commodity of all (in both business and in life) is time. So, if we can save you both time and money, – well, it might be worth booking your FREE consultation.

Putting Together a Realistic Business Budget for the New Financial Year

With each new financial year, there’s new opportunities for your business to thrive! It’s the perfect time for you to sit down and carefully consider your options. Set some new goals for your business and have something for you and your team to drive towards over the next year.

There are many ways in which you can do this, one of which is by coming up with a new business budget altogether. Think of it like a spring clean – it sounds like a lot of work, yet, but in the long run, you’ll be glad that you took the trouble to do it, that’s for certain.

So, where do you begin? Just as anything else, you should start from the ground and work your way up. Begin by establishing how much you’d like to make. Obviously, the more the merrier right? Though, it pays to be realistic, particularly when it comes to budgeting.

Following that, assess how much money you’re forking out on expenses and then try to determine (if possible) where you can cut back. From there it’s quite straightforward to get a clear image as to where you need to be – are you ready?

1 – Net Profit

You need to determine how much profit you aim to make over the next financial year, after of course, paying yourself a salary. Again, it’s easy to say X-amount, so be realistic otherwise you’ll only find yourself feeling disappointed. That being said, it’s good to aim big as it will give you all an incentive to go that extra mile and really push yourselves every single day.

2 – General Operation and Expenses

Look at absolutely everything it takes to run your business, from vehicle tax, utility bills and insurance. There are always ways to cut back and they don’t have to be all that drastic either. It could be as simple as replacing your light bulbs with energy savers or doing away with certain benefits such as company cars for employees who don’t particularly need them.

3 – Direct Service/Product Expenses

Direct expenses are the costs which are linked to the creation of your products or whatever it takes to provide your services. So, employee wages, post and packaging, materials and so on, all fall under this category. And though it’s not always easy to cut back on these kinds of expenses, you should look for ways to streamline your services and cut back, even if a little bit.

4 – Add the Above Together and Voila

When you add all of the above together you will have your target revenue. This can then be broken down into monthly targets for your employees to aim for – particularly if you’re in a sale’s driven environment.

Of course, you must consider seasonal changes and any other variations which might affect your earning potential. Following that you should review your previous targets in order to gain a realistic view on just how achievable this new target is. Provided that you follow these steps carefully, you remain consistent with your production and service delivery and your employees are incentivised and entirely on board, you shouldn’t have any problems exceeding your goals.

Feeling Overwhelmed?

If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed by the prospect of going through all of these figures by yourself, then there’s no shame in hiring a reputable accountant to assist you. This will afford you more time to focus on other areas, such as cutbacks and streamlining your service. If you want the best results, it may well be worth having some professional assistance.