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How to save money on accounting fees

Discussion in 'Accounting & Tax' started by MTR, 5th Apr, 2016.

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  1. MTR

    MTR Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Today I saved approximately 50% on my accounting fees for 2014/15 financial year by just using a spread sheet itemising all my properties/development costs and providing very minimal paperwork

    Previous year I gave my accountant a box with all my papers, lesson learnt. My bill came in close to $12K, however they were pulling their hair out trying to work through this.

    Never again, I am now a believer of spread sheets/excel.

    MTR:)
     
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  2. datto

    datto Well-Known Member

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    DIY and you'll save another 6K.
     
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  3. Xenia

    Xenia Best Adelaide Property Manager Business Member

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  4. MTR

    MTR Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Absolutely not going to happen, this would be my worst nightmare, I would rather pay someone who can also achieve best outcome for me, I cant do that.
     
  5. MTR

    MTR Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Xenia
    As long as you are successful in business then it wont matter. :)
     
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  6. Vk8975

    Vk8975 Well-Known Member

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    As a tax accountant I will point out a few areas where people go wrong and how they can reduce fees:

    - Doing spreadsheets and listing all expenses/capital items means the accountant isn't charging you to go through each invoice, etc. This applies if all your expenses aren't listed on the EOY rental statement.
    - If you have multiple properties, make sure you keep all relevant documents for each property together. Saves the accountant trying to figure out which loan statement belongs to which property,etc.
    - Provide all documents at once (applies to all accounting related documents you hand in) so the job is not started and then put aside to wait on more info. Reduces the chance of the accountant spending time to familiarise themselves with a job they had put aside earlier.

    I'm sure there are many other ways to reduce fees and be more efficient, but it depends on each individual case.
     
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  7. datto

    datto Well-Known Member

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    There is no guarantee that it will be the best outcome. Have a look at how many tax rulings have issued and how many court and tribunal hearings have gone in favour of the FC of T.

    I don't think most of these disputes with the ATO have come from DIYers.

    By all means use an accountant and do what you can to reduce fees.
     
  8. Westminster

    Westminster Tigress at Tiger Developments Business Member

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    That is awesome!
    On that spreadsheet I also use the other tabs for exports from my bank accounts for that FY. For example main sheet has the total for interest but sheet 2 may have the export from the loan bank account for property 1 which I used to get the total and is my evidence should there be an audit, sheet 3 for property 3 etc etc. you can even copy receipts onto one sheet if you want.

    I keep one spreadsheet per company/entity and it's all in dropbox folder that my accountant has access to.
     
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  9. When you are qualified and experienced to form that view I will bow down. I often see DIY issue cost more. Do your own dental work and I will agree.

    The key issue to this post I agree with. I offer a similar approach and always try to find a time and cost effective way for client informatio to ne standardised so their cost and my time is reduced. I dont want to deal with a tonne of crap paperwork. I charge hundred of dollar a hour to use a calculator. Its is 100% avoidable
     
  10. MTR

    MTR Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    thanks for the spreadsheet....hehe saved me a fortune;)
     
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  11. Be Developer

    Be Developer Property Developer Business Member

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    Since you started using spreadsheet.

    You may want to consider waveapps. It is free and can be linked to your bank.

    And give report to your accountant. IMHO, bit better than myob and quicken, easy to use as well.
     
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  12. datto

    datto Well-Known Member

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    When you form networks and help each other then it is possible to DIY and save money.

    There are networks everywhere. A registered tax agent may be part of a network and so may be a carpenter. I'm not saying a carpenter will build a house for a tax agent for free or that a tax agent spend days going through records and researching for zip.

    But there may be ways around things.
     
  13. Ash

    Ash Well-Known Member

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    I don't see the attachment in post ? do we have this here
     
  14. Good point provided the network includes those with knowledge that is sound. I wouldnt accept a general comment made by a lawyer in such a group without seeking their views on my situation but it is definitely a sound way to learn and develop greater knowledge to avoid costly long drawn out advice etc. Asking a lawyer a straight fwd question about a clause in a will is cheaper than asking for a full estate plan and advice.
     
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  15. Had a quick look - Maybe. No stock, no payroll etc. There are loads of apps and software options. Sometimes that are great and sometimes they actually lock you in with no way to retrieve data later etc. I have a $5pm cloud option that integrates direct to my accounting / tax system through the cloud. Can also use bank feed for $3m a month. BUT it has no payroll at present its biggest fail but its coming soon. Giving to the accountants in report form could add to costs...Date export or software importation can save big $.

    Best source for guidance should be the accountant. If clients save my time they save $. Thats my aim. Competition through smarter beats comparinga hourly rate. How many hours ??

    I find all software can fail when setup by the client and they dont use appropriate account descriptions etc. No bank rec, Poor administration etc. Have to say though that MYOB is falling from favour fast. Quicken is just aweful IMO.
     
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  16. abbyfresh

    abbyfresh Well-Known Member

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    Likewise a decent accountant shouldn't be charging you $300+ per hour to sift through receipts and do trivial non professional work. They should give it back to fix or recommend an admin person to help you sort it out at much lower rate - if you care about this factor.
    I once had an accountant spend like 20 hours finding small mistakes which when found wouldn't account for or save me 1 hour of his billable hours. He had to be right rather than close enough is good enough, after all the liability is on the tax payer and not the accountant for 200% accuracy.
     
  17. Blacky

    Blacky Well-Known Member

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    For business tax I use Xero. I think it is about $10/month - but would save more than that in accounting fees.

    For my personal tax I use a spreadsheet, then have hyperlinks to all the invoices for each line item. So if the accountant wants more info on an item, he just clicks the hyperlink which takes him to the invoice(s)/statements.

    It saves him about 4hrs apparently (according to him).

    Blacky
     
  18. Andrew H

    Andrew H Well-Known Member

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    Wow! i hope you guys have a LOT (i mean A LOT) of properties to be getting those charges. I've always run a spreadsheet and taken photo's and put them in folders as i get them, Tax time isn't really an issue for me as it seems for some. Even still each property i buy is just another 'tab' and populates in the summary page. I use 'Genius Scan' and 'Excel' Apps on my phone if thats any help. My accountant gave me the Spreadsheet as part of allowing them to do my tax. There would be plenty of the same spreadsheets floating around.
     
  19. MTR

    MTR Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    datto,
    I think its dependent on your strategy, structure etc and the skill of the accountant.

    Personally I would not do it because I suck at accounting and I don't have the expertise that my accountant has to save me money.

    We also strategise for next financial year as he has a pretty good idea on what my income will and we have already got stuff in place to reduce my tax for next financial year.

    At my meeting he also told me I needed to some profits into funds in SMSF to reduce tax, I would have no clue about this option.

    I have always used an accountant

    MTR:
     
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  20. I believe these are business related accounting issues.