3 situations where you'll need an accountant

14/04/2015

It's all well and good to have a broad understanding of what an accountant is and does. But this doesn't necessarily mean you'll know when it's time to get in touch with one and seek their assistance - it's too abstract. So to help you know when exactly an accountants' services are indispensable, we've decided to give you an outline of three common situations where you might want to pick up the phone and dial her or his number.

It's SMSF audit time

Every year, self-managed super funds (SMSFs) have to be audited, not only for tax purposes but to ensure their compliance with regulations. What this means for you is that you have to appoint an independent auditor to carry it out.

According to Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, a leading industry organisation, anyone who wants to carry out an SMSF audit needs to have a tertiary accounting qualification of at least three years, as well as a number of other requirements. That means an accountant and an auditor often overlap, so you could find the latter by simply contacting the former.

You're going through a messy divorce

Sometimes things don't work out. In the worst case scenario, the person you thought you were going to spend the rest of your life with ends up putting you through a protracted legal process, and you find the assets you jointly held will be divided unfairly.

It's here that a forensic accountant can help you out. Forensic accountants are like private investigators for your finances, trawling through your records to find information that will be pertinent to your divorce - and help you hang on to your assets.

You're going to sell a house

The taxation rules around selling property can be complicated to say the least, and in order to make sure you get the best deal, conferring with an accountant could be helpful. They can advise you on how to minimise your tax, such as whether or not you can get a discount on the capital gains tax - or even avoid it entirely.