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CHOOSING AN ACCOUNTANT

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This website is designed to help you choose the right accountant.

Choosing the right accountant or accounting officer for your business can mean the difference between success and failure. A common misconception of the general public is that 'all accountants are created equal'. 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.

USING THIS WEBSITE

Once you have conducted your search on the home page of this site, and clicked through to a particular accountant's personal details, you will obtain a wealth of information on that person. Listed below are some pointers to help you use this information to make the right choice.

Qualifications
Suburb
Services and Areas of Specialisation
Sector Specialisation
Average Hourly Fees
Number of Staff
Software systems supported
Further pointers

Qualifications
Accounting 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 perform and auditors report for companies (Pty) Ltd), and who can act as an Accounting Officer for a Close Corporation (cc). The back to top

Suburb
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. We have specifically not broken the dial code area in the main search into suburbs, as we do not believe that choosing the accountant down the road is necessarily the best way to find the most suitable accountant. In our age of e-mail and digital documents, many clients have accountants that are located in different centers to their own.
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Services and Areas of Specialisation
Only accountants who match the financial services that you request on the 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.

Although many accountants can perform certain functions in terms of their qualifications, many do not offer these specific services (such as Accounting Officer). back to top

Sector Specialisation
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. back to top

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, and 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. back to top

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. back to top

Software systems supported
All accounting these days is done on some form of computerised programme E.g.: Pastel, Quickbooks. Accpac. 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. back to top


FURTHER POINTERS

Locating a suitable accountant 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 establishing 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. back to top

We are currently testing different accountant layouts including Johannesburg Accountants; Cape Town Accountants; Pretoria Accountants; Durban Accountants and other South African Accountants.
 
 
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