Too many experienced accountants are still working like graduates. That is, spending their days preparing basic employee tax returns that instead should actually be done by graduates with less than 12 months work experience.
This basic form filling has ‘dumbed down’ the accounting profession. Many accountants who have spent three years studying for an accounting degree, followed by more post graduate study, and then have ten years practical work experience, are still filling their days by preparing employee salary tax returns? Why are these accountants doing the work of inexperienced graduates?
If you are a business owner, you do not want this type of accountant providing you with business advisory services. No matter how long they have been in the industry they have not elevated themselves to deal with this type of work. Nor are they likely motivated to do so. Their knowledge and skill set are questionable.
This industry structure cannot continue and will eventually end for two reasons:
- Salary returns will eventually be simplified and phased out by the Government. Whether this occurs in the 2016 budget, or over the next couple of years, the wheels of change are in motion.
- Some accountants are slowly realizing their future lies with providing business advisory services to their small business clients. Business owners have been crying out for their accountants to help them with their three most critical concerns; how to reduce their tax liabilities, make more profits, and run a better business.
What this means for small business owners is that they should only deal with an accountant who exclusively deals with business clients 100 percent of their time – in other words a business specialist. If you want fine dining don’t go to the hamburger joint and expect the same thing. It’s the same with business services. Accountants that have chosen to work beneath their qualifications on simple work and make this their focus are extremely unlikely to provide a business owner with optimised services reflecting all the current policies, benefits and opportunities for savings.