Shopping for Accountants

December 17, 2021

We just changed our accountant. They charged a quarter of the fees.

About 20 years ago, I set up a company with a friend. We asked a shared friend who had a company which accountant they used. We signed up with them. They were very good at handling tax. I had a small exit a few years later and wanted to set up a family trust. We went back to the same accountant and got things sorted.

I basically lived off that exit cash for a few years, did some work on the side, retrained myself as a dev, and used what was left from the exit as a house deposit. I got a job as a developer and have been doing that ever since.

All the while stuck with a complicated family trust, company, and a feeling that one day I would need them. But the accounting fees to keep things going were pretty stupid.

For last year I’ve been working on a startup idea and, for a couple of months, e-commerce sites on the side. I decided it was time to revisit the whole accountant thing. Especially since we hadn’t done tax for 4 years, and I had a pit in my stomach for how much it would cost. We cast a wider net in the search this time.

Through my wife’s cousin’s co-worker, we got an excellent recommendation. The new accountant covered the last 4 years of tax over a few weeks: Mitra and my personal tax, a side business of Mitra’s, the company and trust. They were responsive, thorough, and professional. The total cost was around what we paid annually with the last accountant.

The difference was the last accountant was really for much larger businesses. In our first meeting, they talked about setting something up in Hong Kong for tax reasons. They were excellent, but we were too small for them to prioritise. The new accountant is perfect for our size and situation, and costs around a quarter of the price.

It pays to shop around.

30 by 30 #11

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Written by Adrian Gray making games in Sydney. Find him on Mastodon or Twitter.