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  1. #1

    Default Firing accountant

    I have a terribly bad accountant. Not only does he not answer phone calls or emails, but he actually makes accounting errors which either I or the ATO have caught on more than one occassion (not good when you're an accountant). So I've decided I need out.

    I have a question though, hopefully someone can help with!

    Accountant still hasn't done my personal returns for 2009-10. I guess accountants have some leeway to do returns way past the individual filing deadline. I just wonder though, if I drop him now and have him deregister himself as my tax agent, would I have a problem with the ATO since I'm past the individual filing deadline? I was planning on just doing my own tax return for that year, unless I can find a new accountant quickly and easily.

    Also, if anyone knows of a good trader friendly acccountants (or ways of finding said accountants), ideally in Melbourne or Sydney, please let me know! It seems like finding a good accountant become a significantly challenge as soon as you invest in something other than property or buy-and-hold shares.

  2. #2
    short- to medium-term trader pixel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Perth, WA

    Default Re: Firing accountant

    Had you said "Perth", I could've helped you. I've been with the same accountant since I started trading; stayed with him when he left the old firm and hung out his own shingle.

    wrt late lodgement, I would write a note to the ATO and explain the need and reason for change; they'll tell you them whether you can do it yourself or have it all transferred to another licensed outfit.
    Artificial Intelligence is no match for Innate Stupidity.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Firing accountant

    Hi Pixel, thanks for the advice. I tried to call the ATO yesterday but was told by the computer there was a 1 hour 30 minute wait (a long time to be listening to bad hold music!) However, I think I'm just going to have wait it out, speaker phone in hand, to get this sorted.

    You're lucky to have found someone that's worked out! Pity they're in Perth. I don't mind doing things over email/voice, but I think it's good to at least have that initial meeting to establish a basic rapport. It's not entirely off the table, though, if I can't find anyone local.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Firing accountant

    FWIW, my accountant who used to live in the same town as I do, moved a couple of years ago to a capital city. I've remained his client because he's totally reliable, honest and ethical.

    Before finding him, I'd had two utterly shonky accountants and it was a nightmare.

    It's not difficult to just scan bank statements, contract notes, dividend statements etc into files and then just send everything electronically when it's time to do the tax return.
    Personal communication via phone and email is the same as when the accountant is in the same town.

    I do understand what you mean about establishing that initial face to face contact, but both my shonky accountants came across as totally fine when I had the initial appointment to make an assessment. The reality was way different.

    I'd go for someone who comes personally recommended if I were you.
    Good luck.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Firing accountant

    Julia, you're completely right about how looks can be deceiving. Current accountant ticked all the boxes at first glance (experienced, friendly, reasonably knowledgeable). Of course, it turns out a 10-minute interview just can't tell you if they'll be responsive, consciencious, and otherwise on top of things.

    I may well try to rely on word of mouth this time around, as the phone book approach is just a real gamble.

  6. #6


    You are correct in that accountants /tax agents are able to get a lodgment extension on the tax return however this is generally to may or June the following year, in your case 5 June 2011 (for a 2010 tax return). If it still not lodged he has gone way past the date and by default the ato will not grant you the same extension on your 2011 tax return because of it. Best to get it lodged ASAP and inform the Ato of your circumstances and they might then reinstate your may/June lodgment date for the 2011 tax return.

    Best way to change tax agents is stay on the old one's lodgment list until you find a new one. Once the new one adds you it will drop you off the old one.

    Good luck with it

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