This website is designed to help you choose the right accountant.
Choosing the right accountant for your business can mean the difference between success and failure. All accountants are not created equal. You need the right match for your exact needs. Unfortunately, once you've selected an accountant, it's often a hassle to switch due to the detailed knowledge that person gains of your business. Therefore it pays, when selecting an accountant to 'get it right the first time'. And, if you are considering changing accountants - doing it sooner rather than later.Listed below are some pointers to help you use this information to make the right choice.
Accountant QualificationsAccounting has a wide scope of functions and levels. It is often difficult to decipher what all of the different accounting qualifications mean. Our Table detailing the most common accounting qualifications in South Africa should help.
Certain accounting qualification requirements are governed by law, the most common being who can complete an auditor's report for companies (Pty) Ltd), and who can act as an Accounting Officer for a Close Corporation (cc).
The advantages of having an accountant "close to home" are obvious, but if you don't find somebody suitable in your area, don't rule out searching further afield. It is more important to have the right accountant for your business than the closest to your business. Ninety percent of your dealings with your accountant will take place over the internet anyway, so don't limit your area of research.
Services and Areas of Specialisation
Only accountants who match the specific services that you request on our search page will appear in the search results. However, it is a good idea to see what other services the accountant offers. Many areas of accounting overlap and in some instances it is better to employ a "general practitioner" that has a good overview of many areas and can offer integrated, holistic advice. However, if the service you require is of a complex and specialised nature (for example tax planning), it may be better to approach an accountant that only works in one or two areas, as they will no doubt have more in-depth knowledge.
Some accountants have many clients in a certain sector of industry (E.g. Manufacturing businesses, Tourism businesses, IT businesses). It can often be beneficial to employ an accountant that has a good knowledge of your particular industry. Having said this, most good accountants should be capable of servicing any commercial or industrial enterprise.
Average Hourly Fees
The fee bands that appear on the website are only generalisations and usually accountants charge different fees for different tasks. Fees also vary according to who will actually perform the different tasks required, possibly a senior partner for a complex task, possibly a junior staff member for another. However, our website should give you some idea of their charges and it is important to match up the right accountant with the complexity and quality that you require.
Number of Staff
Accounting firms range in size from Multi-National businesses to one-person operations. Both have advantages. Large firms can often provide more extensive back-up and specialists in different areas, whereas the smaller firms often offer more intimate and personalised service. With larger firms especially, it is important to ascertain who you will be dealing with - the manager personally, or somebody else in the organisation.
Accounting Software supported
The accounting packages (e.g. Pastel, Quickbooks, Sage) that your accountant supports is critical. Whilst most accountants and bookkeepers will work with any accounting package it is usually better to work with an accountant that is very conversant in the package your firm is using.
Locating a suitable accountant, bookkeper, auditor or accounting officer on this website is not, in itself, the end of the journey. No amount of information can replace a face-to-face meeting, and it is important that at this meeting you feel comfortable and confident with your chosen accountant. You should be looking to creating a long-term relationship with your accountant and it is important to establish upfront things such as:
- How often you will meet with each other
- Who you will be dealing with (the accountant personally or an assistant)
- What sort of ongoing accounting charges should you be budgeting on?
Last but not least, don't forget to mention to accountants that you found them on this website. It will help us stay in business and improve our future services to both the South African accountant and you, their client.