By and large, we offer our services "virtually" - but we do have one exception. Our office manager is available to help with your office, administration and book-keeping needs. Until we can teleport, this is restricted to the Hutt Valley. It doesn't require you to become an accounting client.
Let's say you are looking for a local accountant. What do you actually want? Do you need your accounts done locally? Or might you be better off with a "virtual" accountant? Someone who is available right where you are - without leaving your office? Someone who works more closely with you than "normal"? A certified accountant in public practice whose office is in the cloud rather than in a traditional practice?
What does a local accountant do?
If you want someone who you visit regularly, or need to process your manual invoicing and bills, then a local person is important. They might run your debtors - or payroll - or even do your banking. If these are what you need then our services aren't for you (except as mentioned, our office manager could take on tasks in the Hutt Valley). We also work with bookkeepers around NZ who focus on those jobs while we focus on accounting.
If you're looking for a professional accountant who helps you produce timely accounts and tax returns, and who loves you to ask questions (with no extra charge) when they come up rather than leaving it till year end, then our accounting services should appeal to you. And if you are interested in growing your business and seeing how far you can go, then you might also be interested in our business development services.
What does a virtual accountant do?
We offer a great service - and from the length of time we've had most of our clients, they agree. What particularly appeals is knowing they have an accountant on their team who helps them get things "right" for their business. Right doesn't just mean not getting penalised by IRD. It means making decisions bearing in mind a range of factors. Not everyone means the same thing by the same words - so I should explain what I mean by having a "virtual" accountant on your team. In many ways having a virtual accountant is more "local" to you than a local accountant.
Our clients get a choice of two ways of doing their accounts. First, we can do them (including GST returns) via a system with an electronic bank feed. All they have to do is identify what transactions are for and provide extra information at year end (e.g. debtors, creditors, etc) to let us complete the accounts and tax returns. That's popular with those who want as little as possible to do with their accounts.
Our main choice is where you use your own accounting system, and we help you use it properly, minimising the chances of IRD finding errors when they check your data. This will become more important as IRD moves to take data directly from accounting systems.
If you talk with accountants, they'll tell you stories of clients who come to them saying "There's not much left to do - it's all in XYZ". Almost invariably they will shudder as they think of the problems that come with similar systems run without professional input. We used to extract the data into our system, and redo the accounts "correctly". Such extra work may seem onerous - but experience shows this is the only safe option.