The financial year-end is fast approaching. Before we know it, it’ll be tax time again. Now, I understand most of you won’t be as excited about this as we are, but I thought I’d provide you with something to smile about and to keep in mind to save you money this tax season.

1) Data Quality

Check the quality of information you plan to send to your accountant. Is it in a concise, easy-to-understand format? Most accountants charge by the hour, so the harder and more time-consuming you make it for them, the more it will cost you in the long run. If you use accounting software, have all your invoices and other transactions been entered and accounts reconciled? You may want to engage a qualified bookkeeper before sending your information to your accountant. Bookkeepers typically charge between $40 and $65 per hour, depending on their experience, but a few hours with a qualified bookkeeper may dramatically reduce the work/hours required by your accountant. Since your accountant will likely charge between $150 and $200 per hour, the time you save by using a lower-paid bookkeeper can quickly produce large savings.

2) Tax Planning

Try to have your accounts/records up-to-date as of the end of April and produce a forecast of your year-end position, then arrange a tax-planning meeting with your accountant. Depending on your expected result and future requirements, there may be strategies you can use to maximise or minimise your profitability.

3) Fee Discussion   

Be sure to speak with your accountant about their fees before they start working. If they have prepared your return previously, ask them to provide you with a fixed price for their services. Don’t be afraid to negotiate with them, as the accounting industry is extremely competitive and other practices would love the opportunity to quote on your work.

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