Australia, with over 25 million population, is the largest country in Oceania and the world’s sixth-largest country by total area. It is a highly developed country, with the world’s fourteenth largest economy. As of June 30th, 2019, there were 2,375,753 actively trading businesses in the Australian economy. Australia is a well-sought place by many multinational companies for setting up their business organisation for targeting the Asia-Pacific region. Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Perth are some of the significant preferred cities for most organisation. Even the office space costs in Australia are relatively low, considering the fact that a city like Sydney is one of the world’s major business centers. Additionally, there are a lot of opportunities and capital for small and medium businesses available through Australian government schemes and grants.
With more and more rising businesses, the need for workforce-related to finance, operation, sales are also on the rise. Let’s talk about one such professional which has high significance in the functioning of a business – An accountant. In Australia, accounting is one of the fastest-growing occupations. In Australia, to be a certified accountant, there is a certain level of experience and qualifications you’ll need to achieve. In Australia, there are three legally recognised local professional accounting bodies namely–
- CPA Australia (CPA)
- Institute of Public Accountants (IPA)
- Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA)
Members of these bodies have an accredited tertiary qualification and must comply with professional standards. Only accountants registered at Tax Practitioners Board Register can prepare and lodge tax returns. The above qualifications will be one of the criteria for selection if you want to hire in-house full-time accountants in Australia or wish to hire online accountant services from outsourced service providers. Businesses mostly seek professionals with CPA Australia qualification as it uses guidelines issued by the Australian Government and Department of Education and Training.
The need for accountants is not just limited to business owners and is equally important for individuals, sole trader, contractor, or freelancer alike. An accountant is beneficial for individuals if they have multiple jobs, income from investments, deductions claim, and much more. In case you are a sole trader, contractor, or freelancer, an accountant can assist with BAS (business activity statements) and PAYG (Pay as you go) installments. Also, it can help you know which deductions you can claim and provide guidance on super contributions and tax.
How does an Accountant Help with your business?
Accountants in Australia can help you set up and maintain your financial records while helping you meet your tax obligations. Selecting the right accountant can help you set up your business for financial success with their advice and guidance on your accounts as your business grows. Few things which an accountant can help you with are –
- Setting up the legal structure of your business best suited to your needs and future tax compliance
- Setting up the right accounting and bookkeeping software considering the scale of the business and other important factors
- Applying for an Australian Business Number (ABN) or Australian Company Number (ACN)
- Dealing with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) on your behalf
- Preparing financial statement and financial forecasting & budgeting
- Paying employees or contractors
When should you contact an accountant?
While we have already listed down how an accountant can help you with your business, are you sure when you should approach an accountant? Here is when you should:-
- before starting, purchasing, or selling a business
- if you’re planning future business expansion
- before acquiring or replacing property, machinery, or other assets
- minimum of 3 months in advance before the end of the financial year
- if you’re having problems with creditors, debtors, finance, expenses, or stock.
Now whether to hire a full-time accountant or avail virtual accountant is a choice you have to make after understanding your business requirement, the benefit of virtual accountants, and the cost implication of each option.