4 Steps To Choosing The Right Accounting Firm

Often business owners, especially new business owners, underestimate the importance of hiring the right accountant for their business.

The focus is usually tax compliance or funding requirements but many lack the understanding of the value of their financial data in making strategic financial decisions.

There are four critical criteria to consider in choosing an accountant:

1) Qualification and Regulatory Body Affiliations

South Africa has six major regulatory bodies for an accountant:

Choosing an accountant from one of the regulatory bodies will ensure that you have hired an accountant with the right competency and professional code of conduct. Beware of accountants that are not part of a regulatory body; it might be difficult for you to establish their skill and this also limits your recourse if they do not perform their fiduciary duties.

2) Tax Practitioner Status

Ensure that your accountant is a registered Tax practitioner with SARS. The Tax Administration Act (TAA)  28 of 2011 requires that a person giving advice or submitting tax returns for a fee needs to be registered with recognised controlling bodies.

The following is a list of currently recognised controlling bodies:

  • Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA)
  • Chartered Secretaries Southern Africa (CSSA)
  • Financial Planning Institute (FPI)
  • Institute of Accounting and Commerce (IAC)
  • SA Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA)
  • SA Institute of Professional Accountants (SAIPA)
  • SA Institute of Tax Practitioners (SAIT)
  • The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)
  • Association of Accounting Technicians Southern Africa (AAT(SA))

Beware of SARS employees offering services for a fee as a third party (TP). This is illegal.

3) Knowledge of your Industry

Interview potential accountants to gauge their understanding of your industry; this will be key in their ability to provide value adds and aid in the growth of your business.

4) Part Time/Full time

Understand if your accountant is providing services to clients on a full-time basis or if it is a side hustle. In our experience, a side hustle accountant struggles to provide the right accounting support to their clients. You would not take your child to a side hustle doctor, do not do this to your business.

At Outsourced Finance, we are affiliated with the following regulatory bodies, SAICA and SAIPA. We ensure continuous professional development for our staff to maintain our high quality of service.

For qualified and registered accountants that will take your business seriously, contact Outsourced Finance today.

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