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Thread: WHAT MAKES A GOOD ACCOUNTANT??

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    WHAT MAKES A GOOD ACCOUNTANT??

    Hi,

    Is there anyone who would want to share their views on makes a good accountant in business today?

    Will be greatly appreciated.

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    Full Member pietpetoors's Avatar
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    I like a book keeper who is as serious about my business as his own. Some bookkeepers just see rand and cent. When you call them to ask them a simple question they first want to turn around the hour glass to see how much they can charge you for this call. For those it is all about their pockets and not about my success.

    Then of course, if they let you pay to submit your returns, they must actually do it. Had 2 previous companies some 8 years ago who let me pay for returns, let me sign the statements and then tell me it has been submitted. Then months later SARS informed me I have to pay a fine because I did not submit my return.

    The guys I use now realize that the better advice they give me, the more profitable my business is, which means I remain their client for longer and of course the more business you do the more time they have to spend on your books which also means more money to you. They do not bill me for every little email or call I make to them, they see the bigger picture and I like that.
    Only Dead Fish go with the Flow
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    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
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    @jddt - one that can be creative in your favour without getting caught.
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    Hi Piet

    Thanks for the input - I agree the bigger picture is what counts, by using judgement as well and not getting bogged down in the nitty gritty stuff.

    Its pathetic that you can get people that charge you for doing nothing really bad service in deed.

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    Yes Adrian within reasonable limits though.

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    Smile

    The question cannot be answered without knowing the context.

    A consulting accountant or an employed one?
    A financial accountant, or cost accountant or management accountant?

    If you are talking about a firm that provides a bookkeeping function and tax service, you should really ensure that you have an engagement letter (similar to an SLA) that properly defines their obligations, as well as your own. In most cases (there are always exceptions) these firms are not positioned to give creative input about your business, but they should be creative about the services they provide, because there is actually a great deal of scope for it.

    Then finally, seek references and actually verify them. Specifically seek references in your sphere. If they have no exposure to businesses in your line, don't expect them to fully understand the issues you deal with.

    When comparing rates, you can bet that the cheap guys will provide cheap service. You cannot expect qualified people at bargain rates (why would they?)

    An equally good question would be "what makes a good client"

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    Platinum Member desA's Avatar
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    A good accountant?

    1. Charges like a wounded bull.
    2. Of surly demeanor. Lets client know that they are doing them a great favour in taking on their business.
    3. Always too busy to deal with an enquiry promptly.
    4. Expert in polishing beans.
    In search of South African Technology Nuggets(R), for sale & trading in South East Asia.

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    One that really understands your business - that's very much the starting point to my mind.
    One that keeps up to date with the latest developments in tax and accounting practices, and when they see something that might affect you, let you know.
    One that points out your weaknesses when it comes to fiscal control, and recommends tweaks to your systems that can improve your management and control.
    And all this for a "reasonable" bill (although what is reasonable is largely subjective, of course )
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Bronze Member Miro Bagrov's Avatar
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    I like a book keeper who is as serious about my business as his own. Some bookkeepers just see rand and cent.
    With some sarcasm -
    I think bookkeepers would like to see a business which cares about them as if they were owners too. And some bosses just see 'easy to replace workers' and 'buy more big cars for the bosses'.... I don't think these two ideals meet very often.

    Is there anyone who would want to share their views on makes a good accountant in business today?
    Will be greatly appreciated.

    The traditional accountant is actually not suited to today's businesses. And today's business environment is not suited to the future accountant. It will take businesses a long time to understand this.

    Accounting is traditionally a backward looking function. They record yesterday's activity and report on last year's bottom lines.

    What's the problem with this? The way business is working at the moment, the financial department needs to stay abreast of changes and pre-emt or pro-act to changes (financially).

    The future of business needs to have both the traditional accountant and a financial manager or management accountant or a project accountant or a fund manager (depending on the type of business).

    For example, the traditional accountant does not have any grasp of the economy or economics.
    This makes it impossible to make Project Appraisals financially and evaluate them for their feasibility
    This also means that such accountants do not have any decision making ability and can not help the management.

    Most accountants today are just about making sure you don't forget to pay tax and making sure you don't fail an audit. THIS WILL NOT HELP YOUR BUSINESS TOMORROW!

    When I start any project or operation, I always clearly have two roles.
    1. A day to day accountant to handle present and past.
    2. A future financial planner with strong understanding of managing money, managing risk, and understanding the economy.

    In qualifiacations you would be looking for one to be:
    1. BCOM Accounting/ BCOM Taxation/ BCOM Internal Auditing / BCOM External Auditing
    The other would be:
    2. BCOM financial management / BCOM Economics / BCOM Investment Management / BCOM Portfolio Management /BCOM Risk Management

    This is very true when running business in:
    imports,
    exports,
    large contracts,
    mining,
    pension funds,
    banks,
    agriculture,
    or retail/wholesale of niche products.

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    Thanks for the responses guys greatly appreciated some great responses here.

    As mentioned by Clive and equally good question is what makes a good client?

    My views here as follows:

    1) Understands the bigger picture in terms of general growth of a business and the economy and where they fit in
    2) Is able to adapt to change in this rapidly changing business world
    3) Understands what the main objectives are and how to achieve them and communicates these effectively in order for accountants and other stakeholders to help achieve the business goals.
    4) A financially literate client is always good to have
    5) Is serious about their business and has great drive
    6) Must not procrastinate to get the important things done

    Would appreciate some responses let's see what we can come up with?

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