Accountants help individuals, small, medium and large size businesses keep their financials in order. An Accountant can assist with small matters such as lodging personal tax returns or large matters such as trust tax returns and business financials.
One size fits all?
In Australia, there are several types of accountants, each with its own specialisation and qualifications. Therefore it’s essential to choose an accountant with the appropriate qualifications and expertise that match your specific needs. Some of the most recognised professional qualifications to look out for in your local accountant are:-
- Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)
- Certified Practicing Accountants (CPA) Australia.
- Chartered Accountants (CA) Members of the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ).
It's important to ensure your Accountant is suitably qualified to undertake the work you require.
How much does an accountant in Melbourne cost?
In Melbourne, you can expect to hire an Accountant for anywhere between $100 to $350 per hour. If you require an accountant for complex business consultation or tax planning, you would generally pay a higher fee.
Many Accountants in Melbourne offer fixed-fees for their services, and others may offer an annual retainer for ongoing accounting and financial services. Tax returns can start at around $150 and scale up depending on the complexity of the work, whereas business accounting can start from around $1000 upwards. Bookkeeping tends to be the cheapest per hour ranging from $40 - $90 per hour.
At Word Of Mouth we have hundreds of accounting firms in Melbourne who have been rated and reviewed by real customers. Customer reviews can help you to find the best Accountants.
Personal tax returns
When undertaking your yearly personal tax returns we recommend thinking ahead. Aim to book at least 3-4 months in advance of the 30th of June. This will give you some time to do some pre-tax planning to see what deduction you can claim before the financial year ends.
Your new tax accountant will need a few things in order to get up to speed. Make sure you have handy your previous years tax return, bank statements, expense receipts (if you plan on claiming deductions) and a government issued ID. Your new Accountant may also send you an authority to act form, which gives them the authority to act as an agent on your behalf when dealing with the ATO
Hiring a bookkeeper can save you a lot of time. They can help reconcile all of your business transactions so that your books are always current, up to date and have the necessary receipts uploaded to your accounting software or stored in your systems.
If you have employees they can also help with payroll and superannuation obligations in addition to managing your accounts payable and receivable. We’d recommend finding a Bookkeeper with a high degree of attention to detail along with lots of recent positive reviews.
If you’re yet to start your business, a business Accountant can help you with setting up your business structure ( eg. company vs sole trader vs partnership) and can give advice on the different levels of personal liability that each structure entails.
They can also assist in setting up your accounting software. This can include setting up softwares like Xero and LinkMyBooks. They can also ensure that these are optimised to feed information automatically from your bank to help save time and make your internal accounting processes more efficient.
Business Accountants can also assist with quarterly BAS (business activity statement) and monthly IAS (instalment activity statement) lodgements which may arise if you are registered for GST or have employees on the payroll.
Main difference between a Bookkeeper and an Accountant
A Bookkeeper records and sorts financial data perfect for those with simple and low volume transactions. It is important to note that Bookkeeper’s are not necessarily Accountants. Accountant’s on the other hand not only record financial data but they also analyse, interpret and offer insights on their findings. In a nutshell, they offer a more in-depth service and are more highly skilled and knowledgeable when it comes to tax related matters.
Key financial statements produced by accountant’s for businesses
- Statement of Financial Position (Balance Sheet) - This is a snapshot of a business’s financial strength at a given point in time, consisting of Assets, Liabilities and Equity.
- Income Statement (Profit and Loss) - This is a snapshot of a business’s profitability over a certain period consisting of Income and expenses to derive at a profit before tax figure.
- Cash Flow Statement - This is a statement which shows all the cash inflows and outflows of a business to assist with cash management and liquidity planning.
Disclaimer: The information presented is intended for informational purposes only. It is advisable to seek advice from a qualified tax or financial advisor to assess your specific situation before engaging in any transactions.