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Accountant expectations

Discussion in 'Accounting & Tax' started by ellejay, 22nd May, 2016.

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  1. ellejay

    ellejay Well-Known Member

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    My NZ accountant recommended an Aus accountant to me and I've been using them for 2-3 yrs (the Aus accountant). I didn't have an accountant previously but needed one as I accumulated more property. I've always felt a bit 'ho hum' about the Aus accountant. I've never actually spoken to them for more than a few minutes by phone, instigated by myself. I do pay a large annual bill though. In the last couple of weeks I've just got our Aus tax return back from last year. I gave them all the info July last year. They say they've been bombarded with information from both sides of the ditch! We do have a few IPs but I don't believe our returns our the most complex in the world (especially as the NZ accountant has the most work, and hands this over to the Aus accountant to make use of). I asked over a month ago for them to order an ABN as they said they could do this for me, still no sign.

    I know it's not their job to chase after me, but I just feel I'm paying a lot and not getting much back. I feel a bit uninspired and wondering if they have the knowledge to advise me fully, or if they're just too busy. Thinking about approaching a couple of accountants recommended on here. Can anyone give me examples of what they get/expect from their accountant? I'm not sure if I'm being unreasonable.
     
  2. seachange

    seachange Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like you can do much better. Try to meet a couple for a coffee. If they send you to sleep or sit on a glass of water , move on ( I met a senior Partner who did both last week) .
    Find someone you click with and they will be a much better potential ally
     
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  3. ellejay

    ellejay Well-Known Member

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    Thanks. I've held on for a couple of years. Now really thinking I've been stitched up as NZ accountant throws a fish to his mate in Aus. I get an expensive crap service while everyone else is laughing.
     
  4. Joynz

    Joynz Well-Known Member

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    ABNs can take a while. I would be more worried about how long it has taken to do your tax, especially if you are due a refund.
     
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  5. ellejay

    ellejay Well-Known Member

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    Hi, we only got a $3k refund but it did seem like a massive amount of time. I was thinking maybe better the devil you know, but I'm probably missing out as a result of thinking like that.
     
  6. Joynz

    Joynz Well-Known Member

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    Ask him to compensate you for lost interest.

    Better still, deduct the amount from his invoice!
     
  7. ellejay

    ellejay Well-Known Member

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    Do you think I've got grounds to do that? Must admit I thought it was a bit crazy, and they did then send me a $3k accountancy bill at the end. I think I will complain and see if I can get some of that back.
     
  8. Joynz

    Joynz Well-Known Member

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    Have a full and frank but polite discussion.

    For your Australian IPs do you send receipts or a spreadsheet with receipts already entered?

    If the former, it will take longer and cost more. Ask your NZ accountant if there were delays from his/her side so you are ready before the conversation. Has the Aust. Accountant really been 'bombarded'? I reckon they probably just forgot!

    Work out what reduction would be fair, but base it transparently in terms of lost interest.
     
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  9. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    If i am due to pay tax the accountant won't lodge until near when it's due. Otherwise there's no reason to hold off lodging.
     
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  10. Joynz

    Joynz Well-Known Member

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    From memory, the due date for payment is the same no matter when you lodge. Or am I mis remembering? Always had to pay until I bought the IP.
     
  11. ellejay

    ellejay Well-Known Member

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    Thanks guys, I've sent a polite email.
     
  12. Joynz

    Joynz Well-Known Member

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    And back it up with a follow up phone call in the next day or so!
     
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  13. sanj

    sanj Well-Known Member

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    an antagonistic approach like this will do a hell of a lot more harm than good. even if you end up moving across to another accountant having the existing one on good terms is better than on bad terms. in this case, asking for interest of 3k for a delay of a few months seems hardly worth it. how much are you going to get? $100?
     
  14. Joynz

    Joynz Well-Known Member

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    Actually, the conversation doesn't have to be antagonistic at all. I would be having an exploratory conversation first to understand how the events occurred. There may be an understandable explanation. Maybe there has been illness. However, clearly the accountant has not communicated well and it is unclear why the tax has taken the best part of the year.

    However, on the face of it, it appears that the accountant has given bad service. If so, this is no different than being badly served in a cafe. If your meal gets served late, after everyone else is onto dessert, you'd like to know why, get an apology and probably a discount.

    It's all in the approach!
     
  15. ellejay

    ellejay Well-Known Member

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    I'll check last years nz accountancy bill but think its around $4k nzd. We're happy with the service, have 8 ips and have good comnunication with annual skype check in. We have 1 aus ip and nothing complex on aus side. NZ accountant provides all the figures to Aus accountant and we provide info for the couple of months eofy difference. Aus tax return nearly a year late and no other service. What do you suggest Sanj?
     
  16. ellejay

    ellejay Well-Known Member

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    My question is if nz accountant charges a significant fee for his ( good) service but then outsources my Aus return to his contact and charges me the same again for a minimal service, am I being taken for a ride?
     
  17. Terry_w

    Terry_w Solicitor, Finance Broker, CTA Business Member

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    Depends how you look at it. If you could go straight t his contact you could possibly save money.
     
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  18. sanj

    sanj Well-Known Member

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    I'd suggest clarifying with the accountant what went wrong and how it can be avoided, especially in the odd chance that you may have inadvertently contributed to the delays. in the meantime spk to others and find someone to take over because ultimately it looks like you've lost faith in the current provider so while his/her explanation might help you understand the delays it probably doesn't negate the need for another, hopefully better service provider.
     
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  19. Greyghost

    Greyghost Well-Known Member

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    No,
    An ABN takes all of 5 minutes and generally you get it then and there online.
    If it is not generated instantly a follow up call 2 days later stating it is needed for "finance" they will give it to you.

    Many accounting firms charge good money for this too, I don't charge my clients for it as I don't see it as a value add service, especially when you know how simple it is (being behind the curtain).
     
  20. Joynz

    Joynz Well-Known Member

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    Oh, OK. My misunderstanding based on my partner's ABN for his new business which took longer than two days.

    It was organised by his long term accountant, who he trusts, so maybe there was something complicated about it compared to the ones that take you five minutes?

    Part of the wait could have been setting up the company I guess?
     
    Last edited: 22nd May, 2016