Just as scary as it is leaving your kids at school on their first day or submitting a paper after weeks of work, leaving your accounting and record-keeping to external parties can be a daunting task – you’ve been in control so far, so what’s the need for someone else to step in? How will I know they will do a good job? How much are they going to charge me? We’ll go through the pros of engaging an accountant and lawyer that will help your business work towards a successful end of financial year.

It must be recognised that accountants and lawyers can assist with most key issues of running a startup business. For example, ensuring key documents are in place such as distribution minutes, SH agreements etc. As well as making sure you’re maximising available documents, tax planning opportunities and keeping accounting records in order.

Focus on the core business

As your company grows, so does the never-ending list of things to do, things to worry about, people to see. Whilst it may be an additional cost, delegating tasks, especially for complicated and time-consuming accounting matters can free up your brainspace and creativity. For example, there may be a lot of data from your sales or other transactions, however it could be very difficult to analyse and interpret without expert knowledge – accountants can be a valuable asset that can focus on the nitty-gritty, leaving you to think about broader strategies.

Have the correct business structure

You may have received good advice from a friend in the industry, some informal advice from a lawyer or checked Australian government websites when setting up your business – and things seem to be going well. But is your current business structure the best for you right now and in the future? For both accounting, legal and tax purposes, maybe it’s time to review how things are coming along – there may be issues you have not considered or are unaware of that can bring advantages to your business, or prepare you for growth in the future (for example, as your business risk grows it may be time to incorporate your business).

For good record-keeping and ASIC

There are so many AASB standards, exceptions to those standards and then exceptions to those exceptions that the Corporations Act and the AASB can be a confusing web of regulations to comply with, especially as your business continues to grow.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission also conducts frequent reviews of annual reports of listed companies under their ‘Financial Reporting Surveillance Program’. Whilst this may only affect listed companies, it may be good practice to ensure your reports are compliant with the legislation and AASB standards, and here professional advice from both an accountant and lawyer are critical.

It’s good to be prepared

The general idea from engaging an accountant or lawyer for your business is to be prepared: be prepared for changes in your business, to adapt to those changes and for potential reviews by the government. Whilst it’s not possible to anticipate the future, an accountant and lawyer on your team (even if just leading up the end of financial year) is a good step towards reducing the risks and generating rewards for your business.

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Brodie Nettleton

Brodie is a paralegal at LawPath working in our content team, which works to provide free legal guides to enhance public access to legal resources. With a keen interest in Criminal and IP Law, her research focuses on small businesses, and how they can better navigate complex legal procedures.