Blackler Smith Accounting background

FAQs

How are you different to the other accounting firms out there?

Ben-and-Blair

If you’re comparing us to the large firms, you should find us easy to deal with and accessible, and we use less jargon.

While we have focus areas, our skills are also broad. We can advise you on most things you’re likely to ask about. We encourage calls about almost anything because we’ll roll up our sleeves and make it happen for you.

We’re just flexible. If we can do it, we will do it, without any fuss.

We make suggestions to you but we don’t tell you what to do. You’re in the driver’s seat with us.

If you’re comparing us to the smaller firms, we offer the commercial advice that most others don’t.

That’s because our backgrounds involve growing businesses through analysis and conversations about strategy and key performance areas, and engaging with our clients about what you’re trying to achieve (e.g. making more money, protecting what you’ve got, and making that happen in partnership with you). Not everyone’s skilled to do that.

Are you qualified?

Absolutely, we are degree qualified in accountancy from New Zealand universities, are registered and current members of the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand and hold Certificates of Public Practice.

Can you handle large groups?

Definitely, we have vast experience with multiple companies, trusts, partnerships of trusts, tax groups, GST groups, loss offsets and subventions, consolidations, etc.

I’m buying a business. Is this something you can help with?

Absolutely; we can help you check the business over (due diligence), value the business, guide you on how to structure the sale and purchase agreement (note: don’t sign anything before you speak to us!); we can review the GST terms, help you obtain money from a bank or another lender, and set up a company to own the business.  And then get you up and running when you take over.

I don’t understand things like “shareholder current accounts”, “imputation credit accounts”, “subventions”, “KPIs” and how provisional tax works. Can you explain this stuff simply?

We certainly can. Come on in and we’ll go over it. It’s common not to “get” these sorts of things.

When you prepare accounts and tax returns, do you just “take my numbers and press a few buttons” like I’m told others might do?

No. As part of our process we do it properly and smartly. We:

  • Check things over and reconcile the important balances.
  • Review turnover, margins, trends and significant items as your business’s critical success factors.
  • Review solvency and current account positions.
  • Consider opportunities to save tax.
  • Find opportunities for you to make more money.
  • Look at the big picture, risk areas and discuss these with you.
  • Offer a meeting to discuss the year’s results and plan for the next 12 months. From our experience clients get great value from our meetings.
  • This is what we call the “Business Advisory Approach” to tax compliance.

Do you prepare GST returns and FBT returns etc?

Yes, if it’s a tax return we’ll do it. We can do this on an agreed regular fee.

I’m just starting up my business. Can you help with that?

Yes, we have helped start up many, many businesses. Starting up with good structures and risk management and focussed activities is very, very important. Consider asking us about our Strategy for Businesses. You’ll find it very valuable.

Have a look at our Focus Areas for more information.

What industries do you know?

Some of the industries are listed on other pages. We deal with many different businesses doing interesting things. Our experience tells us that at a root level thorough understanding your key performance areas is important irrespective of your industry, and we do a lot of that.

I’m buying a rental property. Am I too small for you?

We have a specialist property division. If you value good advice and want it done correctly, we’d like to talk to you.

Do you support Xero?

Yes, we are hands-on with Xero.

Do you support MYOB?

Yes, we have been hands-on with MYOB since the ‘90s.

What are your fees?

Think mid-range. We’re always happy to talk upfront about our charges. We’ll endeavour to provide a fixed price, best estimate, or a range, depending on the scope of the work and your preferences. Please always feel free to talk openly about this with us as we respect constructive conversations. We don’t want uncertainty to be an issue between us.

What are your payment terms?

Payment is firmly required within 14 days from the date of the invoice unless another arrangement has been agreed to in writing. If you have any queries or “something comes up” and you can’t pay straight away, please just talk to us. We’re in a business relationship with you and like open, honest conversations.