There’s no denying that proper tax accounting can take a huge amount of time. But if you choose the wrong accountant, your return can end up costing more, or contain mistakes that may incur heavy financial penalties from the ATO.
That’s why many Canberrans invest in proper tax accounting services, both for straightforward personal taxes and for more involved business taxes. Either way, sourcing a reliable accountant that charges a fair price can be a challenge.
After reading through our local readers’ feedback, we’ve come up with this list of the top accountant services in Canberra. If you’ve had experience with any of these companies, please share your story below.
Let’s get right to it.
What makes a great tax accountant?
Hiring an accountant can be pricey – but when the job is done to professional standards, it’s worth every penny. When looking for a top-quality tax accountant in the Canberra region, we suggest keeping an eye out for the following positive traits.
- Strong knowledge. If you need a tax accountant that can save you the most on tax, opt for a company with extensive knowledge.
- Effective communication. Your tax accountant should be able to translate “money speak” into plain English
- A tailored approach. Look for an accountant who is willing to answer your questions and learn about your particular situation.
- Self-awareness. Look for someone who openly discusses what they’re good at and what their flaws are – and hopefully how the rest of their team compliments and compensates for them.
- Client base. Ask them what kind of clients do they normally see, and what services do they provide. Find out if they have clients like you and experience in the services you need. You can always request to talk to a current client to see if they are happy with the services provided.
- Understanding and personalisation. Choose a tax accountant that understands your business and your needs and takes the time to analyse your situation.
- Engagement. Choose a tax accountant that gets involved in your business.
- A plan and a direction. Look for a firm who can guide your business in the right direction. If you want an accountant to help you grow your business, for example, they’ll need expertise in estate planning, business planning, strategic planning, budgeting and cash flow management.
- Access to your business data. Make sure you’ll be given full access to all your business data. Accountants can provide you with information to update your business plan or a tender document.
- Financial management. Consider working with an accounting practice that provides regular financial reports on your business, with additional commentary.
- Regular communication and education. The best tax accountants send out regular newsletters or other forms of communication to keep clients informed of issues of interest to their businesses. Find out how you’ll be informed, particularly of any changes to legislation.
- Accessibility. Choose a tax accountant that you can get in touch with easily either in person or over the phone.
- Timeliness. As with any service choose a tax accountant that has quick response times to your queries.
- Lodged on time. In tax accounting it is important that everything is lodged on time to avoid issues with the ATO – make sure you choose the most reliable companies.
- Works to get you your maximum tax refund. Make sure the firm you choose is savvy enough to make sure you get the full refund.
- The right qualifications. Your tax accountant should have an accounting qualification and be a member of an accounting body. Your accountant can only give you tax advice if they’re a tax agent. They can only provide financial planning advice if they have an Australian Financial Services licence or are an authorised representative of such a licence holder.
- Age of the business. Find out what the practices succession plan if it’s mature. You don’t want to start a relationship with an accountant and then have them leave you in the lurch if they sell or retire.
- Keep track of changes in client’s circumstances. Services should include check-ups on how any plans are going.
Don’t forget, at a minimum you should contact an accountant:
- Before starting, buying or selling a business
- Before acquiring or replacing property, plant or other assets
- Sometime between January and June 30 each year to plan for the end of the financial year – so there are no tax surprises
- If you’re planning future expansion
- If you’re having problems with creditors, debtors, finance, expenses or stock.
The top tax accountants in Canberra – according to you
RiotACT’s editorial team has combed through 19 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 maintain a minimum average of 4/5 stars on both Google and Facebook reviews.
RSM Canberra is one of Canberra’s longest serving tax accounting firms. Andrew and Rhys’ friendly team specialise in individual and business tax returns, as well as a variety of other accounting services.
As a local company, RSM Canberra prides itself on understanding your business, timeliness and making sure you get your maximum refund. Its team is available for work year-round, excluding the Christmas period.
RiotACT commenter Tim Benson shared his experience as an RSM Canberra client: “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, but they actively support my business and are still are one of my best clients. RSM Canberra really know Canberra and understand the strange and wonderful ‘bubble’ we all live in.”
Deakin ACT 2600
Global Accounting Services specialises in individual tax, investment properties, defence tax returns and small business. They also lodge taxes and provide tax advice to trusts, companies, partnerships, and self-managed super funds.
Global Accounting Services is a registered tax agent with the ATO. Its tax accountants are fully qualified.
Customer Erick shared his experience with Global Accounting Services on Google Reviews: “Ever since I stepped into Global Accounting I have always feel relieved knowing that all my tax papers were going to be handled by Buphinder in a very professional way in which I would not worry about any issues at tax time. I feel very safe with Buphinder as she has helped me with any tax related papers for the past 3 years and I would recommend Global Accounting any time.”
Jigsaw Tax and Advisory works with clients across a range of industries, from individuals and high-wealth clients to small family businesses and sole traders. It prepares financial statements and income tax returns, as well as managing ASIC compliance and providing overall business advice.
Jigsaw’s professional and experienced staff are happy to answer your questions, whether they’re in relation to individual tax returns, investments and capital gains tax, or foreign income.
Here’s what client Zeb had to say about Jigsaw Tax and Advisory on Facebook: “Friendly staff with the know how to back it up! Highly recommended.”
Mobile Tax Returns is an Australia-wide network of accounting professionals that provide a variety of taxation services. From planning and advice, to the preparation and lodgements of your tax returns, Mobile Tax Returns can help you reach your financial and business goals.
All tax accountants in Canberra that work within the Mobile Tax Returns network are fully qualified and have years of accounting and legal experience. They strive to keep up-to-date with changes in tax legislation to ensure their clients take advantage of all opportunities.
Mobile Tax Returns offer taxation services and advice to those with an individual, company, and trust financial structure.
Our commenter, Vix, recommended Bill Barlin at Mobile Tax Returns: “We find him easy to understand and on the ball with tax issues.”
Whether you’re behind on your taxes, want the maximum refund, or need your taxes done fast, Capital Tax Returns can help. The accountant you see is the accountant who lodges your tax return – no waiting for refunds or getting shuffled between staff.
Shaun from Capital Tax Returns has 15 years of accounting experience and a membership to the Tax Practitioners Board and National Tax Agents Association. He works for you – not for the ATO, and offers personalised, thorough and prompt services.
Commenter Sthain shared their experience working with Shaun from Capital Tax Returns: “He is friendly and approachable. His rates are very reasonable.”
Your experience with tax accountants in Canberra
Do you have a go-to tax accountant? Maybe you’ve recently tried working with one of the companies mentioned above.
If you believe we have got it wrong, please let us know.
Please comment below detailing your experience with Canberra tax accountants. Who would you recommend? Who would you use again?