Lawyers – why engage an accounting professional?

Does a dynamic and successful career in the law lie before you? If so, you’ll require a proactive, strategic financial plan specific to your career trajectory within the legal category: one that looks beyond mere taxation compliance with a focus on wealth management.

In this month’s blog, Wilson Pateras’ Principal Mark Forte unpacks why it’s so important for lawyers to engage with an accountant who specialises accounting and financial advice for their industry.


Why is accounting so critical for legal professionals?

Lawyers invariably become high net worth individuals.  As a result of their happy capacity to generate substantial income, they require an accountant au fait with their industry to assist them with financial affairs. Often, they have the capacity to pay off their mortgage swiftly – and consequently have the potential to build wealth through strategic investment. This may be in the form of property acquisition, shares or managed funds – some may even choose to become passive investors in a business.

The lawyer’s fiscal world is one full of energy and opportunity – but for all its potential, it can be difficult and complex to manage. Lawyers are often time-poor and require a project manager to ensure their financial position is under control. They will need specific advice on how to minimise tax, how to protect their assets, how to provide for their family if they were to pass away and how to plan for the end goal – a comfortable life in retirement. In Wilson Pateras’ experience, a lawyer’s success can become their own worst enemy if they do not receive adequate, timely financial advice.



How do a lawyer’s accounting and financial needs differ?

As with any professional career trajectory, the needs of a lawyer will change over time.  What may commence as a simple annual tax return can swiftly progress into a much more complex undertaking.  There may be tax effective structures such as discretionary trusts, companies and self- managed super funds to be established for investment and asset protection purposes. Each one of these beneficial identities will need tax returns prepared.

To this end, tax and cash flow planning is crucial.  Tax planning is vital to reduce the amount of tax that would otherwise be payable, which can be safely strategized using a variety of techniques.  Cash flow planning is also vital to ensure there is enough money set aside to pay the ATO in a timely fashion.


How can Wilson Pateras support lawyers?

Wilson Pateras’ legal services are best understood as divided into two areas. These are:


Tax compliance which includes:

  • The timely preparation and lodgement of tax returns to meet ATO lodgement deadlines.
  • The review of Instalment Activity Statements for quarterly tax payments due.
  • Calculating likely tax liabilities based on actual and anticipated income for the year.
  • Cash flow planning to prepare for tax payments and if required, cash flow planning for the family budget as well.

Advisory services which include:

  • Recommendation of appropriate investment and tax structures to ensure tax minimisation and asset protection for the present and the future.
  • Review of what happens upon death or unfortunate circumstance.
  • Investment advice.
  • Providing financial solutions for further property acquisition.
  • Advice on superannuation and potential for self-managed superannuation fund needs.


Get in touch

At Wilson Pateras, experience has taught us that engaging an accountant from the get-go is a non-negotiable for members of the legal community. Wilson Pateras accountants for lawyers can help you to establish a financial strategy that delivers peace of mind throughout your legal career.



Book a Complimentary Meeting With Wilson Pateras

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