Our TaxFitness tax planner for December is Terry Le from DVL Accounting. His practice is located in the rapidly growing suburb of Stretton in South East Queensland.
How have you built your tax practice - DVL Accounting?
Mainly word of mouth and also through referrals from existing clients and professional partners such as financial planners, mortgage brokers, and business coaches.
What is the focus and business model for DVL Accounting?
We focus on helping new start-ups and small to medium sized businesses with less than 20 employees. We provide holistic services from bookkeeping to value added advisory services.
What are your views on the future of the accounting/tax industry? For example, opportunities, threats, etc.
Firstly, we see the change in the accounting profession from desktops to cloud based accounting. This has levelled the field for small business to compete with larger business. Through cost savings of technology and innovation, it has helped small business to become more efficient and productive.
Secondly, we see personal tax returns dropping in numbers each year, as personal tax return taxpayers see the service as ‘grudge’ purchasing and actually see no value in compliance type services such as tax returns. This has been due to the free tax office software, plus the low prices charged by sole practitioners working from home and in the shopping centre booths during tax time.
Mostly, taxpayers do not see value with personal tax returns and simply want to pay the least amount possible for the services. Feedback has been more about price, than the quality of the service provided.
How do you approach tax planning with clients? What is your personal approach and what are the key factors to a successful result and happy clients?
Based on our holistic services we provide to clients, we are able to analyse a client’s financial performance in real time. This gives a client a much better understanding and picture of how their business is performing. They no longer just refer to their bank accounts to see how the business is going. They can get profit and loss data for the week, month, quarter and even compare the different periods. We meet with our clients on a regular basis - either monthly or quarterly to provide more timely advice.
Our tax planning focus usually starts by the end of March. We finalise clients’ business activity statements and we start to review the past 9 months and project the next 3 months to get an overall picture for the financial year before 30th June. This gives us and our clients the opportunity to be proactive and create history (for example to increase profits or lower debts). We assist our clients by giving them an estimate of their tax position at 30th June and we recommend and implement tax strategies before the 30th June.