Now that you've decided it would be a good idea to get a professional to help you with your finances, here are four simple points to guide you.
1. Registered member of an accounting or bookkeeping professional body
Look for this symbol.
This is what registered practitioners have on their website. It should include the registration type and registration number.
You can also go to the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) website to check. You can find registration details of all registered, suspended and deregistered tax and BAS agents and financial advisors there. Remember, only registered agents can charge a fee for providing their services. What is useful about the TPB website is it can help you to find a professional near your area. You don´t want to spend long hours commuting whenever you need a meeting with your financial professional.
2. Similar business clients that are also in your industry
It makes sense to get a financial professional who is familiar with your industry. If they have worked with similar clients, they have better experience to know what you need, the challenges you are likely to face in your business and they can recommend relevant changes you can implement in your business plans.
3. Services within budget
When you get a financial professional, it may be for a one-off situation or for a regular, long-term plan. Even when you do hire someone for a one-off service, it would work well for you to return to the same person should you require future services as this person would already know your business or personal situation.
Either way, you want to be able to afford their services comfortably.
Your financial health, like your physical or mental health is not something you want to scrimp on. These are not areas where you go for the cheapest professional, cross your fingers and hope you get a good deal. Look at their range of services, speak to them honestly and clearly about your situation and what you need. Together you can come to an agreement on which services you need most based on your budget.
Good professionals who respect their work want to do a proper job and they are happy to suggest what is possible within your budget so that both parties get the best of what they need. Remember, a good professional is interested in making your numbers work for you, so they are interested in the facts more than being judgemental about your financial situation. Being clear and honest is a good way to start a healthy relationship with your financial professional.
4. Client testimonials
We always trust the opinions of other people like us who have experienced the services or bought the products of a business. That´s why reviews and testimonials are so important.
Try to have an overall view of the reviews. Look at all of them as a whole so you don´t call after reading just the first amazing review and neither do you want to reject someone just because the first review was not exactly glowing. Read the reviews to get a feel of the experience of other clients. A type of review worth highlighting is where clients show appreciation of the service and give specific examples. It goes much further than simply labelling a service as 'good' or 'bad'.
A healthy relationship
Ultimately, the financial professional you choose to guide you in your business or personal finances may be with you for an extended period of time. When you find a relationship that works well, it can make a big difference to bringing you ease and saving you time over the years. Just imagine having someone you can turn to whenever it´s time to do your tax returns, or if you´ve noticed something´s not working with your cashflow. You no longer have to stress out on your own and spend a frustrating amount of time trying to figure out numbers, paperwork, forms and regulations.
It is a relationship that is worth spending time building. A good professional is not only well-trained, certified, and has experience and skills. It is also someone who is clear in their communication, timely, reliable, honest and genuinely respect their work as well as yours.
At CATS4TAX, our client relationships have always been a big motivator for us. We may be working with numbers but ultimately we are really working with people. And seeing how our experience and skills can help boost the confidence of our clients and help them improve their business and help them free up time to enjoy their lives makes us proud of what we do everyday.
For more financial clarity for your business, download a copy of our ebook below.