Find an accountant: Getting the right accountancy services

Keeping your company's finances in check can require the attention of a qualified, certified accountant. Given that all businesses ideally aim to sustain a long and successful partnership with their chosen accountancy practice, it's wise to shop around and discuss your particular needs with several certified accountants before making a selection. For everything from the basics through to official accounting bodies and certified accountancy qualifications, read on for MoneyBuddy's guide to finding a qualified accountant.

Sources for finding a qualified accountant

Various sources can help you to find certified accountants (or an accountancy company) to help you with your business's finance needs. Your local bank, or any other type of trusted financial planner, should be able to set you in the right direction, as can insurance brokers or agents, who may have come into contact with trusted, reliable certified accountants. Likewise, you may know people whose judgement you trust at connected businesses, or even other types of business (as most companies will need accountancy services), and you could try asking them for a referral. Your business bank is a good source for finding financial services also, and you may feel more reassured by professional referrals.

You can visit the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia (ICAA ) for accountancy advice and information to help you find a suitable chartered accountant. All financial planning specialists on the website have been accredited by the ICAA and this is probably the easiest way to get a reliable list of quality certified accountants. You can also visit CPA Australia, the sixth largest accounting body in the world.

Certified Practising Accountants: Professional accountancy services

CPA Australia, an official source with a membership of more than 117,000 finance, accounting and business professionals across the globe, allows you to find certified qualified accountants at their website. A certified practising accountant (CPA) is a professional with specific qualifications in finance, accounting and business. For official CPA designation, a CPA member must meet certain criteria. Firstly they must have attained an undergraduate degree accredited by CPA Australia. Secondly they must have completed the CPA comprehensive postgraduate professional study program. Thirdly they must have undertaken professional development on a continual basis each year, and finally CPA members must show continual adherence to CPA Australia's strict code of conduct.

Choosing the right certified accountant

Once you have a shortlist together, it may be worthwhile contacting each of your promising leads, telling them about your business and its specific business finance needs and what services you need from your accountant. Remember that you will (hopefully) have a long and close relationship with your accountant and it's important that you can communicate with them, so don't be afraid to ask detailed questions about their service. If they are helpful and happy to talk openly about what accountancy services they offer and their fees (you don't want to end up getting a service that is more than what you can afford or more than you need), then they are almost certainly more likely to offer you an attentive, thorough service than if they appear too short on time (or interest) to answer your questions. You need to know exactly what services they are able to perform and what their fees cover; is the accountant in question experienced and qualified enough to deal with a business in your industry and of your size?

Ultimately your accountant must be able to provide reliable accountancy advice and a professional service that is personal and within your company budget.

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