What is the difference between accountants and financial advisers?
Accountants and financial advisers serve distinct roles within the financial services industry, though their functions can sometimes overlap:
The primary role of our Gold Coast accountants is to maintain financial records, reporting and analyse financial statements to provide expert personal and business accounting advice to small business owners and individuals. Accountants specialise in providing business advice, preparing and lodging income tax returns and business activity statements (BAS), forecasting cash flow, handling some financial matters, auditing procedures, and ensuring regulatory tax compliance.
The role of a financial adviser is to provide expert advice on wealth management and financial planning. An Advisor’s area of expertise extends to investment advice, retirement planning, risk management, estate planning, superannuation, insurance advice, and other financial strategies to achieve their clients’ financial goals. Advisers help clients to make informed decisions about their money, assisting them to grow their wealth and achieve specific financial objectives.
While both professionals provide valuable financial insights, our accountants traditionally handle the specifics of producing tax returns, financial statements and records, small business accounting, and tax advice. Where our financial advisers focus on investment strategies, wealth creation and broader financial planning for long term success.
How do I find the right business accountants?
Effective business growth relies on finding the right business accountants that align with your unique needs as a business owner. A good accountant has a combination of relevant qualifications, a strong reputation, extensive industry knowledge and experience, a broad service offering, a clear and upfront fee-for-service structure, solid communication and transparency, and a commitment to your business growth and success.
At BIS Cosgrove, our Gold Coast business accountants have over 25 years of experience understanding your specific needs as a business owner. But we don’t just understand individual and business accounting, we live and breathe it. We have helped more than 2,000 of our clients transform their businesses and have propelled growth and success for thousands of individuals and business owners alike.
Should I see an accountant before starting a business?
Absolutely! In fact, even if you don’t plan on starting a business it’s still advised that you engage the services of an accountant to ensure you are meeting your individual tax obligations and optimising your financial position.
Seeing an accountant before starting your business journey is highly recommended. Our accountants across the Gold Coast and Brisbane haver over 25 years of accounting and business experience. We provide guidance on business structure, setup and advice, potential tax implications, initial financial planning, and regulatory compliance. Their extensive knowledge and deep understanding of tax and accounting, coupled with their small business experience and entity expertise can help you save time, grow your business and minimise tax liabilities.
When you engage one of our expert business accountants, you set a strong foundation to ensure you make informed decisions that fosters business growth and sustainability.
Why choose BIS Cosgrove?
At BIS Cosgrove, we take a life-first approach to financial advice. Out role goes beyond numbers, it’s about helping you create a life that you love! With over 25 years of industry experience, we understand that your goals extend far beyond dollars and cents. You’re not just planning for a cushy retirement or an investment portfolio – you’re envisioning a future where your goals can flourish, you can experience the world on your own terms, and where your loved ones can share in your success.
We’re a firm that believe in the importance of community, family and life. Our contributions to our local community through ways of sponsorships and donations to local businesses, sports clubs, schools and organisations is at the forefront of our business model.
When you are faced with millions of decisions over your lifetime, choosing BIS Cosgrove will be the easiest one you make. We’re not just accountants and advisors, we’re your partners in building the life you’ve always dreamed of.
How do I get started with your accounting and/or financial planning services?
Want to get started with us? You can get in touch with us by contacting either of our offices via phone or email, or submitting an enquiry on our Contact page. One of our staff will get in touch with you to discuss your circumstances and what you are looking for!
If we are the right fit for one another, our friendly reception staff will organise an initial meeting with one of our expert accountants or advisers, either in-office or remotely (your choice!). We can then further discuss your unique circumstances in detail, and commence the onboarding process.
Do you work with businesses or individuals?
Our Gold Coast and Brisbane accountants have an extensive history providing tax, accounting and financial advice not only to individuals, but also to sole traders, small, medium and big businesses, and all other entities including Partnerships, Trusts, Companies, Estates and Self Managed Super Funds. No matter your structure or setup, we can help you!
How much do you charge?
At BIS Cosgrove, we operate on a fee for service model (not commission). Fees can vary greatly depending on the simplicity or complexity of your needs, as well as the scope of the advice.
We recommend speaking with one of our expert accountants or advisors who can assess your individual circumstances and give you a tailored quote. If you are after ongoing advice, payment instalment solutions may also be available to you. Give us a call today to get started!
What qualifications and certifications do your accountants and advisers possess?
At BIS Cosgrove, we are a certified CPA practice, registered Tax Agents with the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB), hold our own Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL), are a registered practice of the Financial Advice Association of Australia (FAAA) and have four SMSFA Specialist Advisers on our team.
Our founder Brian Cosgrove is a Fellow of the CPA’s, awarded upon reaching 40 years of professional accounting expertise. Our individual team members also boast a myriad of degrees, diplomas and certificates between them. You can meet the full team on our About page to discover each of our team members individual qualifications. Meet the team »
Do I need to be wealthy to get financial advice?
It’s a common misconception that you need to be wealthy before you start getting financial advice, but this could not be further from the truth. In fact, it’s never too early to start planning for your financial future. Financial advice isn’t just about wealth management. Our advisers offer guidance on various aspects of personal finance, including budgeting, cash flow, investing, insurance, retirement planning, superannuation and more. They can tailor advice to your individual situation, regardless of income or assets.
At BIS Cosgrove, we provide financial planning services for people at all different income levels and stages of life. Whether you’re just starting out or growing your nest egg, consulting a financial adviser provides valuable insights to help you make informed decisions and work towards your financial goals.
How can I ensure my personal financial information is kept secure and confidential with your firm?
We prioritise the security and confidentiality of your personal financial information. At BIS Cosgrove, we employ advanced encryption in transit cyber security protocols to ensure that the transmission of your data is secure.
Whether your data is being uploaded, transferred or stored, it is safeguarded using robust encryption methods, ensuring that it is shielded from unauthorised access. Our commitment to these security measures ensures that your personal financial information remains confidential and protected at all times.
How much should I pay for a good accountant?
The cost of high quality accounting services can vary greatly depending on the complexity of your needs and unique circumstances and the accounting services you are after.
We recommend speaking to one of our expert accountants to discuss your specific tax and accounting needs. We can then provide you with a tailored quote that reflects the scale of the work. At BIS Cosgrove, our Gold Coast accountants prioritise delivering exceptional value.
Does my business need to be GST registered?
If you are a business or an individual selling goods or services in Australia and your annual turnover exceeds the GST threshold of $75,000 ($150,000 for non-profit organisations), you will likely be required to register for GST. If your turnover is below the threshold, registration for GST is optional, but you can still choose to register voluntarily.
Specific circumstances and types of goods or services may have different rules or exemptions. If you’re unsure, it is always best to consult with your accountant to ensure that you are meeting regulatory tax requirements and obligations.
Do I need to do BAS’ for my business?
In Australia, most GST-registered businesses are required to lodge Business Activity Statements (BAS) with the ATO. BAS’ report your business’ GST, PAYG withholding tax, and other tax obligations and financial information. Whether you are required to lodge monthly, quarterly, or annually will depend on your turnover.
It is highly recommended that you talk to your accountant to determine your specific requirements and obligations relating to the lodgement of BAS’ for your business.
Can I make extra contributions to my superannuation?
In Australia, extra contributions to your superfund are known as ‘voluntary contributions’. Voluntary contributions can provide potential tax benefits and help grow your retirement savings.
There are two types of voluntary contributions you can make: concessional (before-tax) and non-concessional (after-tax).
Concessional contributions come from salary sacrifice or personal deductible contributions.
Non-concessional contributions come from your take-home pay.
It is important to remember that there are annual limits for both types of contributions. You should always consider your financial situation and consult with your accountant or adviser before making any voluntary contribution to your superannuation.
When is my tax due?
In Australia, the deadline for lodging your tax return yourself (usually through MyGov) is typically October 31st. However if you’re using a registered tax agent and you don’t have any overdue our outstanding lodgements, your deadline can likely be extended to May 15th of the following year.
It is important to note that these dates can change, and extensions may be available under certain circumstances. To ensure accuracy and avoid penalties due to late or outstanding lodgement, it is always best to consult your accountant regarding your specific tax circumstances.
What is the best structure for my business? Should I be a sole trader or a company?
Choosing the best business structure, whether sole trader or company, depends on a range factors like liability, taxes, growth plans and financial goals. Where sole tradership offers simplicity but holds personal liability, a Company structure limits risk but requires more administrative work. Companies also have distinct legal entities and can be taxed differently. It is important that when structuring, you are considering your business’s size, risk level, short and long-term goals.
You should always consult a business accountant to ensure you are choosing a structure that aligns with your business needs and complies with relevant laws and regulations.
Do I need to pay PAYG?
If you’re an employer in Australia or if you earn income that doesn’t have tax withheld, it is highly advisable to pay Pay As You Go (PAYG) tax. PAYG withholdings are consistent tax amounts that are withheld by the ATO from you or your employees’ earnings throughout the year, rather than having to pay a lump sum at tax time. Specific requirements can vary, so it is advisable to consult with your accountant for accurate guidance based on your individual financial situation.