Finding the right accountant for property investors is extremely important to ensure that you are minimising your taxes and risks, maximising your returns, optimising your financial strategies, and fast-tracking the route to your investment goals.
In this article we have put together our tips on how to find the right accountant who will put you at ease with the comfort of knowing that your financial affairs are in good hands, and you are being given the very best advice available.
What to look for in your Accountant
They are an investment property specialist
Very specific knowledge is required when dealing in property investments. Finding the right accountant with specialist knowledge of the property investment market and experience in the field, will help considerably compared with one who doesn’t specialise in this area. Understanding the best ways to structure your finances around your taxes including opportunities such as negative gearing, investing in property improvements, even potentially around how to structure the ownership of the property, can make a real difference to your bottom line.
A great accountant will look holistically at your particular financial scenario. It’s important that your accountant deals not just with your property investment but with your overall financial concerns, and takes this into account when considering the optimal way to structure your investments and affairs.
Taking an active approach
A good accountant should always be up to date with new changes in the law in your local tax jurisdiction, and pro-actively inform you if and when you should look at the potential of changing your strategy or set up. A good accountant, for example, would look at asset protection and minimising your risk and liabilities around your various assets by structuring your investments in the right way. Finding an accountant who is proactive with you, and update you with new opportunities provides great peace of mind in knowing that your financial affairs are being actively and appropriately managed.
Many accountants are so busy doing the day to day tasks that come in, that they tend to react to requests rather than proactively provide new information. Good accountants may have regular newsletters at least, which can indicate changes to the law or new opportunities that could affect your set-up.
Using an accountant who is determined to do very best job with their clients means that you are dealing with someone who takes the responsibility of their very important job seriously.
When looking for an expert in any field, it’s important to find somebody like this, who takes real pride in their work, and their results – and so looking at their reviews online, their testimonials and other indicators of reliability and credibility in the marketplace – such as their LinkedIn profile – is always a good idea. Also, speaking to one or two of their clients or being recommended by a trusted friend is a good reference point. Consider also someone with good character and with proven reliability – perhaps they are involved with the local community, and are a respected and supporting member of local groups.
Credibility and Confidence
A really good accountant should be prepared to disagree with you and be able to clearly illustrate the best way to do things. This demonstrates their confidence in their craft, and knowledge around the best way to do things. Too many people will tell you what you want to hear, and do things the way that you think is best in order to keep you happy. A real professional on the other hand, is prepared to show you better ways to do things especially when you may have limited knowledge in that field. A confident professional is prepared to tell you when you are wrong, and a competent professional will be able to show you and teach you new insights, which can bolster confidence and trustworthiness in them.
These days and with the tools available to us, we expect our consultants and experts to be super responsive and to provide an answer to us within 24 hours. Organised and effective specialists should have structures in place to be able to answer our questions quickly, efficiently, and provide us the opportunity of further information or consultation if we want it. This is the type of service that we are coming to expect, and the level of professionalism we should look for in our consultants whom we use to be as effective as possible with our financial and investment structures. With such a major potential impact on our lives, these types of considerations should be a given in 2017.
Be wary of accountants selling on price
Accountants advertising their prices are often those that are using off-the-shelf rather than personalised approaches to attract quick new In-and-out business, that they can turn around quickly, with a minimum of effort. In the case of major investments such as property investments, it’s essential that your accountant takes a personalised and bespoke approach, as there is no one size fits all approach when it comes to property investment. We each have unique circumstances, incomes, security levels, risk profiles, existing equity, opportunities, health issues, time frames, and very particular liabilities, circumstances and obligations to consider.
At the same time of course it’s important that your accountants pricing is reasonable and within the competitive landscape of similarly experienced experts.
Avid learners and Industry Watchers
Good accountants should always be learning rather than feel that they know it all, and they should be members of relevant trade associations and industry bodies, who help safeguard your interests and regulate the industry. They should use the latest tools and provide you with sources of information which indicate their ongoing interest in remaining up to date with current market circumstances, tax implications and opportunities – and have a real focus on demonstrating to you value, and the savings their advice and work will make to your overall financial position.
A good property focused accountant is just one part of your overall property team.
Have a look at our article on the range of experts you need in your corner when it comes to property investment. The right accountant is just one of various specialists that you need to optimise your opportunities in this business.
Ultimately – the right accountant is someone that you can trust and work with on an ongoing basis. Someone with ethics that match your expectations, and an open and positive approach, who is clearly on top of their game.
If you would like some pointers in the right direction, then get in touch with us today.