Finding the right accountant can be tricky, especially if you are new to the world of filing your taxes. There are so many questions that need to be answered to ensure that you don't hire a dodgy accountant. So, to help you out, we have put together some of the things you need to look out for while dealing with accountants. Let's take a look!
Signs of a Dodgy Accountant
Yes, there are many non qualified accountants providing services which can get both them and yourself into trouble with the ATO. ALWAYS choose someone who has the right qualifications to get the job done correctly. Qualified accountants are covered by indemnity insurance, which provides financial protection to both parties if something goes wrong. The ATO is also able to track people submitting tax returns and statements from a single IP address a number of times. If you are not a qualified tax agent and getting paid to do this, it is illegal.
There are a few unprofessional traits you should look out for when you're hiring an accountant. For instance, if you hire a new accountant and they charge you for clearing out the work of the previous one to get up to speed, it shows a lack of professionalism on their part. Most accountants usually do this free of charge. Charging extra for re-doing someone else's work is a huge red flag. Another example of unprofessional attitude is delaying work and missing deadlines.
Lack of Experience
A good accountant will have the relevant experience that will reflect in their work. So make sure that your accountant has previously worked for someone who had similar requirements as you do to avoid issues in the future.
The Consequences of Hiring Dodgy Accountants
Bad accountants are more than willing to break the code of ethics and benefit themselves illegally. For instance, if you have your own business, a dodgy accountant can easily embezzle from it and hide the evidence. An accountant involved in criminal activities can also put you at risk of getting jail time.
Due to their disregard of the basic ethical values, a dodgy accountant can destroy a business' reputation by risking your relationship with your stakeholders and customers. It will become difficult to conduct business due to a lack of trust between all parties.
Every time your accountant misuses your financial statements for their own advantage, those statements lose their real value. Thus, it becomes difficult for end-users to make financial decisions based on those statements due to lack of trust and increased doubt.
It is fair to conclude that you should always invest in an accountant who is qualified, professional, and honest to eliminate the risk of financial loss and jail time. If you have any accounting needs that you require assistance with, please visit our website and we will be happy to help you out.