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Assured quality in qualifications

We all wish to ensure that we have a quality assurance of a service paid for. Many people wonder about what accountants are allowed to do what elements of tax, so we thought we would give a few key elements to look for in knowing the qualification of your accountant. We should mention that we possess all the required qualifications to handle any form of accounting service required.

Accountants require constant study to be up to date with the dynamic taxing requirements. In addition there are several key qualifications required to have an accounting practice. Namely there is the Tax Practitioners Board, which awards the Tax Practitioner Licence, The Tax Institute which awards the Chartered Tax Adviser and two optional key bodies awarding the ability to be a chartered accountant, of which we hold the CA (Chartered Accountants) branch. These are the top licences to be awarded, and there are various lessor and minor qualifications one may hold to be able to do part or limited tax work such as restrictions to individual tax returns.

Chartered Accountant

Chartered Accountant qualification is one of the most prestigious qualifications in the accounting industry. Chartered Accountants' institutes require members to undertake a minimum level of continuing professional development to stay professionally competitive. An accountant must be active in a diverse skill set development while practising for over three years before being allowed to hold the qualification. Following a qualified professional assessing the agents' abilities to be substantial the applicant must also complete testing and assessment to further demonstrate they are suitable to be a Chartered Accountant. Being a chartered accountant, it is important to stay up-to-date with legislation changes, exercise good professional work ethic, integrity and honesty and strive to be clients' trusted advisers.

For a practice to legally be able to perform duties on behalf of other entities, such as businesses, trusts, self managed superannuation funds or individuals, they must have a senior member whom is both a Tax Practitioner/Tax Agent and a Chartered Accountant.

Chartered Tax Adviser

Chartered tax adviser qualification is awarded by the Tax Institute for in-depth understanding of the Australian and International Tax Affairs. It requires skills advising clients of various complex tax issues which includes knowledge of capital gains, international taxing, small business concessions, GST and more. With a Chartered Tax Adviser qualification, practitioners can legally provide professional tax advice to their clients.

Tax Practitioner Licence/Tax Agent Licence

Tax agent licenses are issued by the Tax Practitioner Board. It is a requirement for the practitioner to engage clients with their tax affairs, i.e., lodging clients' tax returns. The Tax Practitioners Board requires all tax agents to meet professional development requirements and there are penalties for practitioners who breach professional code of conduct, i.e., unethical behaviours etc. To retain this licence continued professional development is required throughout each year, ensuring clients of the qualified receive up to date and accurate advice and information.

BAS Agent Licence

This allows someone to perform bookkeeping and lodge client's business activity statements. This licence is a lessor licence to the Tax Agent Licence which encompasses the BAS assurances as well as the previously mentioned. The Great Bean Counters has the higher tier qualification of a Tax Agent Licence as mentioned before so does not hold this though other bookkeeping services often do use a BAS Agent Licence.

Xero Certified Adviser

This certification not only denotes the ability to effectively use Xero software, the best software for bookkeeping and alike as discussed in another blog, but also is a qualification to teach others to use Xero software. Businesses like ours that hold this may teach your budding businesses how to use this program with a 30 day free trial.

These qualifications require years of experience, signoffs of skills developed as well as case studies and testing to be awarded. All this offers you an assurance that if your accounting firm holds these qualifications that they are valid and capable of completing your accounting service needs. Though better yet is an accountant that cares about your accounting needs and has an interest in how you conduct your business to get the most out of your business and individual taxing situation.

As a part of the Great Bean Counters Team, I believe that the skills of the accountants are amplified by their attention to clients stemming from genuine care about their business and enjoyment of engaging with happy clients. If you seek a good accounting firm, I hope you will consider The Great Bean Counters and our relaxed, caring and friendly yet professional and quality services.

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