Tax agent – Registered Tax Agent, Meyer and Carlton Advisers
‘I work closely with my professional associations, the ATO and my clients, and adapt my business and services to the changing environment.’
I recently merged my registered tax accountancy business with another agent. We specialise in supporting start-up business and we also have a loyal wealthy client base. We share an office with a law firm and a financial planner. We have a similar service ethic to offer our clients a holistic service. It’s what people expect these days.
The world around us is changing – technology, client expectations, and ways of doing business here and internationally. I’d been looking at how we could diversify our services to add further value and attract new clients.
A big decision for us was to expand our practice by joining an internationally affiliated tax and advisory firm. This meant that we had direct access to experts around the globe, which is helpful for my growing numbers of clients with international dealings. We also got some new clients who were operating in Australia from overseas, and needed help with understanding their obligations here. It’s opened up all sorts of doors for us.
My clients come to our firm for accounting services and business and tax advice. Whilst much record keeping is automated these days, we provide an important role in ensuring information is accurately recorded. Being connected to each other's software and my clients’ profile means we can provide timely advice.
Recently Alice, a personal trainer, became a client of my practice. Alice was referred to us by the lawyer in our premises, who just completed her family’s wills.
Alice’s family and her new business keep her very busy. She’s great at the basics but worries about making mistakes. She wants to understand what she is required to do, and also wants advice on how she can grow her business. Alice wants to establish an ongoing relationship with our firm as her family and business grow.
We linked Alice to our practice and once she provided her authorisation, we had access to her tax history.
I had recommended some accounting software for Alice to use in her business. In my experience, my clients benefit from a demo of how they use the software for their own business, so I visited Alice and showed her how to use it and get the most out of the features. We linked her software into our practice software so I could see what she sees on her screen – making it easy for us to discuss her business affairs. Alice is now comfortable with using the software and it will take minimal time for her to do this for her business.
The changing environment has given me many opportunities to provide services that my clients need, efficiently and effectively. It’s great for our firm and our clients.
What the ATO does
- We work with software developers, professional and industry associations and tax agents to design and implement practice software that provides:
- Better integration with their clients and the ATO (through SBR enabled software).
- Proactive and pre-emptive compliance (by sharing our risk indicators and profiles).
- Functionality to complete routine tasks, such as establish payment plans.
- The services we provide are tailored based on the behaviours of tax agents and their clients.
- We keep tax agents informed on legislative changes.
- We provide support to tax agents to assist them to manage their clients tax and super obligations, to assist in increasing compliance.
How the ATO behaves
- We have a service focus.
- We get things done promptly and with purpose.
- We build trusted relationships.
- We willingly share information, insights and experience and proactively raise issues with clients or their representatives.