Walker Wayland has added Visa Solutions Australia as a boutique member firm, effective last Friday, after about three months of negotiations.
“This is an important service offering for our clients. My understanding is the big four accounting firms spend a lot of time and money on the visa side,” Walker Wayland chair Paul Hilton told Accountants Daily.
Walker Wayland’s clients in agriculture and IT in particular are seeking overseas workers because of domestic skills shortages, and Visa Solutions Australia will effectively act as a referral partner for firms with those clients.
Visa Solutions Australia is based in Perth, has been operational since 2004, and has six staff. They are a team of registered migration agents – not accountants – making them a non-standard addition to the Walker Wayland network.
The case of Ezy Accounting 123, which saw the firm penalised under accessorial liability laws, was also front of mind for Mr Hilton.
“It’s clearly important that pay is right, visa applications are right, and everything is above board,” said Mr Hilton.
“We are taking the issue very seriously ... making sure employees are paid correctly, foreign workers can work here legally, we can educate our clients on what is required and what is not required,” said Mr Hilton.
Changes to the 457 visa program in the first half of the year are also contributing to the need for specialist services, Mr Hilton said.