When it comes to choosing your personal or business accountant, you are going to be looking for someone that you can trust. Let’s face it, this person will be privy to just about everything involving your company or individual finances, so you must be confident when it comes to picking the right individual. We at Bunnett & Bassal, your tax accountants in Dandenong, understand that it can seem like a daunting task, so to make it easier for you, here are some key signs to look out for that should begin to ring a few warning bells.

First impressions count
As human beings we get most of our information about other people from the first time that we come into contact with them. This includes non-verbal information such as body language, for example. We know when someone is not interested or paying full attention to us due to poor eye contact, tone of voice or the way they are easily distracted from what we are saying.

From a business point of view this also relates to how your potential accountant presents their business in the form of information, both written and verbal. If their website or prospectus is not presented professionally or has an overuse of jargon and includes several inaccuracies, this reflects on their standard of professionalism.

Similarly if you ask for a quote for their services and it has several mistakes or doesn’t include a cost for something you particularly requested, would you want to trust your business to someone who doesn’t listen to you or has not double checked their work?

Difficulty getting in touch
When trying to make an appointment to see your potential accountant, be wary if you keep getting put off by the staff members answering the office telephone. The same applies if you have sent in a request via the website and not received a reply or you have left several voice messages without getting a call back.

Someone who wants your business will make an effort to reply and will do so within an acceptable timeframe. They will also place the customer at the top of their priority list but if they are so busy that they cannot see you, then it could be because they have not got their staff to client ratio correct and you may be forever chasing their tails.

Lack of credentials and continued professional development
A good accountant will be very happy to supply you with information about their credentials, and will have details of memberships to professional bodies on their website if not within their literature. They should also be happy to answer questions on changes to the taxation system, whether personal and/or company taxation, as they will keep themselves up to date. If they seem really unsure, then move on to the next person on your list.

Last but not least, ask yourself this important question of any accountant you are considering: are they interested in building up a long lasting business relationship with you, and do they make the effort to get to know you and your finances? If not, then they are not the right professionals for you.