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What's the best way to work with an accountant?

Discussion in 'Accounting & Tax' started by eng, 12th Jul, 2015.

  1. eng

    eng Well-Known Member

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    Some of the brokers here act as mentors, and that's really awesome when you want to learn how to invest in property!

    How about accountants, are there some on here and can you work with them in the same way?

    The reason I ask is that we would like to take a DIY approach with our finances, but still have the best accountant looking over our shoulders. My wife has a degree in accounting, but we don't know anything about property. So to me an accountant would ideally be:
    - some who can help us to think through our goals, suggest trusts, financial structures
    - someone who can talk to, educate us
    - we can tally and do a cost summary, but we just need someone to check what we do
     
  2. Steven Ryan

    Steven Ryan Mortgage Broker Business Plus Member

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    If you want some outside input, perhaps a financial planner is the missing piece of the puzzle.

    I ask my accountant for advice on the more complex stuff (like legal structures, big financial decisions etc) but drop my well-organised tax-related stuff in their lap so we don't make contact very often.

    There may be accountants on there who specialise in the education/mentoring/consistent communication side of things, but I don't know of any myself.
     
    eng likes this.
  3. Terry_w

    Terry_w Well-Known Member Business Member

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    Accountants (or tax agents) generally don't do the goal setting side.

    For trusts and structures you need a lawyer to advise as tax agents can only advise on the tax aspects.

    A Financial planner may be generally be more of what you are after. Some planners are able to advise on tax too.
     
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  4. eng

    eng Well-Known Member

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    Great thanks guys :)
     
  5. I am an accountant but refuse to assist clients to identify and choose property strategies as that is really financial advice. Its often very subjective and I don't seek to sway a decision either way. I address questions and issues and guide with tax related issues etc Most financial planners aren't qualified to give specific property advice either !! And if they do their own local area bias may affect their knowledge and judgement.

    One thing to watch with planners and "property specialists" that do focus on property is that they may also sell or introduce properties and develop lucrative fees from it. Not always a sign of independent advice. But some of them are also very good. Be wary of those in SE QLD.

    On the property financial matters have you considered buying a single license copy of the Property Investment Analysis software from Somersoft ?? Its brilliant and a good start point to hand to your financial adviser or discussions or to compare options etc. There is a trial version but the full version costs under $250

    http://www.somersoft.com.au/software.htm
     
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  6. Chilliblue

    Chilliblue Well-Known Member

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  7. Andrewtfarr

    Andrewtfarr Active Member

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    Hi Paul,

    Does using this software also simplify things when it comes to tax time? IE, could we simply print out a summary sheet from the software to provide to our accountant's at tax time? Do you utilise this process with your own clients at all?


    Cheers
    Andy
     
  8. I provide a tax checklist that helps summarise all key aspects for tax preparation. This years guide will also include video guidance on select topics.

    PIA is nothing like accounting software. It does analytical and modelling and projections. And any projection can only be as sound as the scenario's used. If I was selling property I would use different numbers to a projection for myself.

    Most financial planners who do property dont offer this either. They often sell financial products OR sell property. The self interest issues mean that can be dangerous. Many property advisers sell - property. Same as brokers sell debt and real estate agents sell property. Its not wrong it just means be aware and make some personal choices to protect yourself.

    What are you really seeking ? Someone to tell you how to do it ? Thats dangerous and even two people views on suburbs can vary a stack. You may think a BA is a great idea - Personally its a costly choice.. Doesnt make it good or bad. A good adviser is often someone who doesnt tell you what to do which is what some planners etc do. They guide, caution, assist and encourage discourage as the case may be.

    I believe you should seek advisers who all support and assist. PC is good for that as it allows a lot of impartial feedback and support. Then take that and get a solicitor for the legal stuff, a tax adviser for that and a good broker for the finance.
     
    Last edited: 30th May, 2017
  9. Technically speaking NOBODY really needs an accountant for property issues. The taxpayer needs to keep decent simple records and then rely on a property tax savvy adviser for guidance on an adhoc or specific basis to avoid errors as anything that isnt deductible will affect CGT and if it can be deducted it a tax benefit. Accounting doesnt come into it. I endlessly deal with CGT, GST, income tax, trusts, companies, land tax and a myriad of personal tax issues eg deductions, depreciation etc etc...My job is to fill gaps in knowledge about numbers.
     
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  10. zlatan9

    zlatan9 Well-Known Member

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    sounds like the process of finding the right combination of advisers, and the advisers you can trust is itself a bit of a minefield!
     
  11. Spot on. I will use a good example of Fred and Mary, two clients of mine. Two unrelated clients. (I havent used real names)

    Fred is a really good broker and developer. He guides loads of clients issues regarding borrowings and I know they are always in great hands. A new client is Mary. Mary is switched on and found her tax adviser a little out of depth with her past devs etc and approached me. Mary wanted to get into slightly larger devs etc. I suggested Fred and Mary JV as one idea. Now Mary and Fred are looking at a doing that JV. Each has great skils and talents and this reduces both of their risks. Mary had used Fred before for her finance before and knows Fred's qualities too.

    There is always less risk when you use quality. That applies to tradies, materials and advisers. Referrals often help - Thats where PC is great. Dodgy advisers are like bindies on a bowling green here.
     
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