Accountants Questions: why do they ask so many questions?

Accountants Questions: why do they ask so many questions?

Your Accountant has the obligation and duty of care to ensure that they are doing the best for their client in compliance and advice, to do this they must confirm that the information to hand is correct, complete and not assume anything. Whilst you may think what you have sent them or told them is self-evident and obvious, your Accountant doesn’t have the luxury of making an assumption and they will therefore ask for confirmation or clarification if it is in their view necessary.


Your Accountant may at times ask to see a copy of the original document when you have told them the dollar figure as they may need to check what tax jurisdiction the transaction originated from or to review what portion of the dollar figure is claimable, partially claimable or not claimable against IRD rules and schedules. A source document has been supplied by an independent third party and can be verified by them. Your Accountant may also want to see the date the agreement was in effect as this sometimes effects the accounting period it falls into or date depreciation can start to be claimed from. Unless the actual source document is supplied when requested, delays will occur until it is supplied.


Please be very careful when replying to your Accountant that the information they have asked for is actually being supplied. Common errors are:

  • Information supplied is for the wrong date, so double check the date range your Accountant asked for and ensure you supply that date range.
  • Source documentation is requested but you supplied a summary or just an amount, again they will need to see the full loan or purchase agreement etc. not the receipt.
  • Supplying an eftpos receipt when you are asked what was included in the purchase, your Accountant may wish to see what was included in that purchase and what is on the actual document.
  • Supplying a receipt or eftpos docket when asked what the transaction was for, your Accountant will be wishing to confirm whether the transaction was for business or personal expenditure. The receipt will not tell them this, they will need to see the full detailed invoice.
  • Your Accountant asks for a bank statement but you send them a printed transaction list. Your Accountant will be wanting to confirm that your accounts reconcile to your bank at a given date, a transaction list will not show this. Also ensure you send them the correctly dated bank statement, not the one before or after.


Help your Accountant to help you, in a cost effective efficient manner, by supplying all information requested promptly and correctly. They will need to know:

  1. What is it.
  2. Where was it spent/billed from (Country or if in New Zealand was it away from your home city).
  3. What was included.
  4. What date was it transacted.
  5. Was it all business, personal or a mix of both.


Posted: Friday 6 March 2020