I can proudly say that I am a member of the Qubed Advisory team, though I have no training to become an accountant, bookkeeper or financial manager and have never aspired to be one.
I organise, that is my skill and I am the oil that moves things through, keeps them moving and stores them to be found again. My background is all arts, manufacturing, and logistics. So, I often ask, ‘how did I find myself here?’
Like many who have never been part of an accounting firm, the concept of Accountancy and understanding financial management as well as a constant liaison with the ATO, I often saw as uninspiring, confusing at best and a nightmare to be avoided at worst.
Since working with Qubed Advisory, my raw unassociated perspective however has since been amended and I want to share the five significant things I have learnt in my five years since becoming part of the Qubed Advisory firm and what happens once you put your income and small business into a bookkeeper and accountant’s care.
1. Never underestimate the value of a trained professional accountant.
For years I bumbled along with my E-Tax system lodgment, blindly filling in the boxes, fingers crossed in hope that I was filling it in correctly and hoping that I was doing it properly.
In most cases this worked just fine. Extremely limited in vision but staying compliant with the ATO as an income earner should.
Life moves, more money earned, larger assets purchased, partner mingles income with yours and suddenly the simple tax return is no longer so simple.
I have learnt and since seen repeatedly that seeing a professional who has studied and trained to understand the terminology and the process of managing income and tax compliance suddenly opens up opportunities. Yes, they help to manage tax commitments, but also provide avenues for growth and enabled big picture planning. Suddenly, you have someone who is holding your hand at tax time as well as throughout the year and you know that whatever hole you have found yourself in, it will be okay.
2. Be organised.
Yes, this is what I am, now, but I also see this as one of the hardest lessons and skills to maintain in our busy lives. We live, we work, we spend money. Staying on top of the paper trail digitally or physically requires a level of conscious practice.
This becomes particularly noticeable at Tax Lodgment Time. For all that it is only one year to be addressed, documents get lost and it always will be that document the accountant will need to improve the Tax calculation for your lodgment.
Keep that metaphorical shoe box and that digital folder on your desktop so that everything involving movement of income, assets and insurance from the 1st July to the 30th June the next year has a place to be stored in preparation. It is hard to do but it will make your life simpler and improve the quality of the accountant’s service. The whole scary Tax lodgment thing will be so much easier and stress-free. And with practice, you do get better at it!
3. Cheaters never truly the dodge the system.
The adage that you should you gauge the ATO for the biggest refund you can get is getting harder to successfully apply to your Tax Lodgment and avoid the penalties. The ATO has been making a concerted commitment these last few years to increase their oversight and there is no joy in being Audited if your Tax comes into question.
To become a professional in the Accountancy and Bookkeeping field takes a commitment of not only a university degree and in the job exposure but a continuous review, renew and re-license every year. A lot of personal effort and cost. So, there isn’t a great chance that a Tax professional will put their credibility, their licence and years of training on the line to help you maintain a lie to achieve a better Tax Refund or avoid a larger Tax Debt.
It is actually better to be upfront about your finances if there is some trouble, that’s where a Finance professional’s most impressive skills come into play. Not only getting you through the problem but also assisting in buffering you from greater damage. Give the Accountant a chance to shine and you will find the results will provide the massive sigh of relief rather than the nervous twitch of always having to look over your shoulder.
4. Accountant’s dislike having you struggle with your finances more than you do.
While the staff here at Qubed maintain a professional practice, they are human and cannot help but want to keep you out of the stress of debt. They have the skills and want to make it better for you. They get emotionally involved when their clients are struggling. Money problems are often considered the worst form of stress and it is not unusual for our financial professionals to step into the role of counsellor and holder of the box of tissues as they assist our clients through harder times.
5. They want to help you to help yourself.
Sounds counter intuitive but their role as advisors is a training one as well as being managers of your compliance.
Questions are always welcomed, and they do their best to advise is a way that is easy to understand though they are trying to teach you to use correct terminology as well.
They encourage you to take control of your business and have a clear understanding of how you stand financially. It gives you room to plan and potentially entertain ideas that may have been previously perceived as impossible and from there our advisors can step into the next level role for you, forward planning, and goal setting which in some cases is the true pinnacle of what our advisors training is all about.
Liaising with our clients and working with our tight knit Qubed Advisory group has provided me with insights into being a finance practitioner that I never truly appreciated.
Sure, it is a love of numbers and systems that brings a person into the financial management field, but I have since learnt that it is also a desire to help people through not only a necessary compliance but also to help them improve their quality of life and provide a freedom to grow and dream. Nearly makes me want to be one!
Julie Mehegan, Administration Manager