Tax accounting can eat up a lot of time and is confusing if you’re not an expert. So engaging a qualified and experience tax accountant has many benefits. It can also be a great investment.
In engaging a tax accountant, choose one who will put you in the best tax position and ensure you meet all tax law requirements. That includes for individual tax and business tax.
In this article, we’ll outline the qualities to consider when choosing a tax accountant, and share where to find the best in Canberra.
What makes a great tax accountant?
Choosing the right tax accountant, who works to professional standards, will strip away your stress at tax time. It can also save you time, money and effort. A great tax accountant will also save you from worrying that you might get your tax wrong and end up paying penalties.
It can be helpful to keep the following in mind when choosing a tax accountant.
- Knowledge and expertise. Select a tax accountant who has the knowledge and expertise to save you the most tax. Look online for qualifications, experience and reviews.
- Effective communication. Your tax accountant should be able to translate complex tax money matters into plain English. They should also be there to answer your questions.
- Tailored approach. Look for a tax accountant who will assess your situation carefully and provide tailored strategies and solutions.
- Available. You’ll want a tax accountant who isn’t so busy with other clients that they can’t return your emails or calls. Ask about availability. Also ask about timeframes for getting back to you.
- Professional and personable. Choose a tax accountant who is professional yet personable. This is someone you’ll be comfortable working with.
- Tailored strategy. Engage a tax accountant who takes the time to understand your business in-depth. This way they can carefully analyse your needs, including for business growth, and tailor the right strategy.
- Reporting. In business you’ll want regular reporting from your tax accountant, not just once a year at tax time. Ask about how and when your tax accountant reports.
- Right expertise. If your business needs the full range of tax accounting expertise, choose a tax accountancy that works across several areas. This could include business planning, strategic planning, budgeting and cash flow management. It could also include filing tax returns, succession planning and estate planning.
- Eye for detail. With accurate tax accounting the devil is in the detail. Great tax accountants are meticulous in crunching numbers.
- Price. The best tax accountants are fairly priced. They offer value-for-money and don’t overcharge for services.
- Accessible. Choose a tax accountant you can contact easily; one who commits to responding to your communications promptly.
- Timely. It’s important to lodge tax requirements on time, to avoid issues with the Australian Taxation Office. Make sure your accountant is committed to this.
- Best tax results. Engage a tax accountant who commits to working hard to get you the maximum refund possible.
- Right qualifications. Select a tax accountant with the right qualifications and professional memberships. Remember that your accountant can only give you tax advice if they’re a bona fide tax agent.
Depending on your circumstances, you may need to talk to your accountant more than once a year, at tax time. You should check in at key points, such as when:
- starting, buying or selling a business
- acquiring or replacing property, plant or other assets
- planning to expand
- having problems with creditors, debtors, finance, expenses or stock.
The best tax accountants in Canberra
Riotact’s editorial team has combed through 20 years of on-site comments to compile a list of the most recommended businesses according to you.
To be listed in our Best of Canberra series, each business needs to have consistently received positive feedback on Riotact and Facebook as well as maintaining a minimum average of 4/5 stars on Google.
RSM in Canberra is a full-service chartered accountancy firm that helps individuals and businesses (small, medium and large) with all their tax needs. Its suite of services includes quality advisory, auditing, risk/recovery and financial planning services.
With RSM, clients benefit from depth of expertise and experience across all areas of tax. Its tax experts work to get clients the best results while complying with tax laws and minimising tax liabilities. RSM also provides strategic advice on whether businesses have the right structures in place and are paying the correct tax rates.
RSM's tax experts are proactive in ensuring clients stay on top of tax matters and don’t fall behind with lodgments and payments. Audit services are also available.
In addition to local, on-the-ground service, RSM's clients benefit from the vast knowledge and strength of its large national and international network. Providing personalised service and building genuine and productive relationships is critical. This way, RSM’s tax specialists can provide clients with a high degree of technical and trusted advisory services.
The majority of experts at RSM are backed by relevant qualifications with memberships in professional accountancy bodies. Each tax expert works to understand each client’s unique goals and aspirations.
Tim Benson wrote on the Riot Act, “Ever since I’ve been in business, last 20 years, RSM Canberra have been my business advisors and tax accountants. Not only does RSM help me with my business and tax, they actively support my business …”
Aero Group works with individuals and businesses that want to grow and maximise their financial potential. The firm specialises in taxation and business advisory services, aiming for “tax made simple”. Aero Group assists clients to perform at a high level across six pillars – grow, tax, wealth, protect, optimise and exit.
Aero Group has an easy-to-use client portal, streamlining the tax process and making it easier. The Group provides in-office tax services, online tax services, free tax assessments, tax checklists and an online tax return calculator.
With each client, work begins with a strong understanding of cores drivers and needs. This way, Aero Group can deliver the best outcomes and support clients to reach their true potential.
Aero Group guarantees that clients pay the least amount of tax legally possible. Each client is assigned a trusted business advisor and mentor, who offer advice in plain English and provide value-for-money and peace-of-mind. Dedicated staff are proactive in keeping clients informed and up-to-date on matters relevant to business and financial health.
Growing businesses, increasing profitability, improving cash flow, protecting assets, creating wealth, being financially organised and developing strategic planning are all part of Aero Group’s service equation. The firm offers great value and services at reasonable prices.
As Craig Shaw wrote on Google, "Justin and the Aero Accounting group are very Professional and always gets the best outcome for their clients."
DFK Everalls is a Canberra-based, multifaceted accounting and financial services firm that provides private and business clients with comprehensive financial and strategy tax advice.
What sets DFK Everalls apart is its team of experts. Crossing all financial areas, the team focuses on the big picture and then details the steps required for the best outcomes.
DFK Everalls supports clients to achieve financial goals by increasing income, increasing wealth, reducing risk levels, managing debts and estate planning.
The team helps businesses on many fronts—succession planning, wealth generation, asset protection, self-managed superannuation funds, financial planning, superannuation and finance broking. DFK Everalls’ suite of business advisory services includes profit improvement, cashflow planning, business valuations, risk assessment, and management and value improvement.
The firm provides expert advice in the international arena through its membership in DFK International, the seventh largest worldwide association of independent accounting, tax, legal and business advisory firms.
DFK Everalls’ experienced accountants, bookkeepers, financial planners, brokers and administrative support staff work cohesively for all clients, large and small.
Sandra Lauff wrote on Google, “I’ve been a client of DFK Everalls for probably 25 years. I’m extremely happy with their work ... they respond in a timely manner, and their response is extremely helpful and supportive.”
Founded in 2016, AdvisorCorp offers accounting, taxation and financial services to individuals and businesses. The team of qualified and experienced tax accountants, bookkeepers and mortgage brokers at AdvisorCorp deliver personalised, quality and practical services to clients.
AdvisorCorp’s tax professionals establish collaborative relationships with clients and provide tailored advice. Clients are never treated like numbers. Instead, they’re supported in every way to succeed in today’s complicated tax environment, including through tailored strategies.
The services AdvisorCorp provides are flexible. AdvisorCorp can receive information electronically and communicates in person or by email, phone or video conference. Tax returns can be delivered by email and signed electronically to make matters more efficient.
On Google, Melissa Ryan wrote, “As current clients of AdvisorCorp we have continually been delivered the best service and professionalism from the entire team.”
Phillip ACT 2606
Multi-award winning Rubik3 is a professional firm specialising in tax services, including compliance, reporting and planning. It also handles business services, asset protection as well as audit and assurance services. The team is proactive with its approach to tax accounting, centering it around forward planning.
Instead of waiting until after 30 June to work out how to maximise tax and prepare tax refunds, the Rubik3 team prefers to meet at the beginning of each year to work out the best strategy for paying less tax.
Rubik3 provides both professional and personalised experience. The firm is ranked 35 in The Australian Financial Review’s Top 100 accounting firms, and is the Australian Growth Company 2019 Business Services Growth Company of the Year.
Completely Taylored, established in 2016, offers clients the advantage of a team-based approach at no extra cost, making services more affordable for all bookkeeping and accounting needs. Founded on the principles of freedom, flexibility and functionality, the team of industry experts at Completely Taylored provides effective and efficient business solutions. The team-based approach ensures a level of service and care that is second to none.
On Facebook, Jodie Giugni wrote, “Completely Taylored is just that. We needed help with our bookkeeping and they created a package to suit our needs. They’ve freed up so much of our time to get on with the running of our business.”
If you’re looking for more information on managing your finances, you might like our articles on the best chartered accountants, best financial planners, best business advisors, best auditors, best bookkeepers and the best defined benefit super financial planners Canberra has to offer.
Your experience with tax accountants in Canberra
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Have you had experience with any of the tax accountants listed above? If so, share your feedback in the comments below.
Frequently Asked Questions
What exactly does a tax accountant do?
A tax accountant is a professional who handles bookkeeping and prepares financial documents like profit-and-loss statements, balance sheets and more. They can audit your books, prepare and lodge your tax return, advise on business structure, issue invoices, record sales, handle your payroll, help with profit, loss and forecasting, keep you up-to-date on tax laws and changes, create reports and handle other financial requirements. They can save you time and money.
How do I choose a tax accountant?
When choosing a tax accountant you’ll want one who meets your needs. Some accountants specialise in tax returns for individuals or businesses in a particular industry or in particular areas of tax law. Some tax accountants only work for large firms and others for small to medium businesses. Make sure your accountant is a member of a professional body, like the Institute of Public Accountants or the Certified Practising Accountants Australia. Also, only registered tax agents can prepare and lodge tax returns, so if you need this service make sure your accountant is registered on the Tax Practitioners Board Register. Finally, if you want an accountant who can provide advice about investing or planning for retirement, make sure they have an Australian financial services license.
What do tax accountants charge?
The fees tax accountants charge depends on the type and level of service you require. Some businesses let their accountant handle all of their financial needs. Some business handle certain element inhouse and only use their accountant for specific services. It’s best to talk to your accountant about their fees and payment structure so you don’t get caught off guard. Ask how much they charge and if they’ll take your fee from your tax return.
Do tax accountants need to be formally qualified?
In Australia, tax accountants must be formally qualified and registered. They should beloong to a professional body like the Institute of Public Accountants or the Certified Practising Accountants Australia.
What do I need to do to support my tax accountant to save time and money?
Talk to your accountant about what you can do yourself to save money. Certainly, gathering all required documents, and organising them is one way you can save your accountant time.