Increased burden adds to lone accountants’ job satisfaction

THE lot of lone accountants, or even those running small accounting practices, is certainly not an easy one.

Anecdotal evidence from Australia’s major accounting bodies shows a number of sole practising accountants are leaving the industry and opting for careers in commerce or other fields.

Those who remain running small accounting firms are doing so for a combination of reasons, such as financial constraints and a strong desire to run their own business.

PRT Chartered Accountants’ Rick Toovey said the weight of tax reform had put his firm under a lot of pressure.

“At the same time we’ve had to maintain our normal client work while trying to get on top of the new rules,” Mr Toovey said.

“It crossed my mind quite a few times that it was too hard, but I’m not prepared to give up.

“When I left university I joined a much larger practice. I reckoned that was just a magnification of a smaller practice.

“I think the desire to have your own business is still strong among a lot of young guys and girls entering the accounting industry.”

Sole practising accountant Dean Willis said financial constraints had forced him to stay in business.

“It’s been a pretty terrible time with the tax reform we’ve had,” he said.

“There has been lots of other stuff besides the GST that has been more complex than the GST.

“I’ve certainly considered getting out of the industry.”

Mr Willis said he was drawn into sole practice by the notion that a small, personalised service would be better than a large, impersonal, corporatised service.

He has chosen to concentrate on tax compliance.

“Computer systems were becoming much more affordable,” Mr Willis said.

“I could see the cost of tax compliance in the larger firms getting beyond the reach of most small businesses.

“That has proven to be the case.”

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