It can be difficult to know what you expect from your accountant. This makes it hard to decide if it’s time to look for a new accountant
Do you get on with your accountant?
Although this may seem irrelevant, it’s essential. Feeling at ease with your accountant is important. You should feel that you can pick up the phone and call them with any questions you may have. Your accountant should be you partner in business. When you get on with your accountant, you speak more freely. This increases the exploration on the options available to you and making the most of your accountant’s knowledge and experience.
Are you like-minded?
If you find yourself disagreeing with the way your tax and accounting matters are handled, you may have more than a slight problem. This isn’t only about routine deductions. This may impact how your CPA handles matters before the IRS. Being like-minded also means you likely feel more comfortable calling your tax professional with questions. Finding that comfort zone can be an important factor to best leveraging the tax professional’s knowledge and experience.
Do they take time to explain things to you?
A lot of small business owners, contractors and start-ups find themselves lost in an array of rules and regulations. Own financial statements can be puzzling as they’ve never been shown how understand them before. Accountants should take the time to help clients become familiar with their financial and tax affairs. If that doesn’t sound like your accountant, it could be time to move on to another.
Do they provide a good service?
A good service from your accountant means that they will deliver work accurately and on time. Accountants have to meet dozens of deadlines for hundreds of clients. To do this they need to have nightly disciplined processes supported by sophisticated systems. If these are not in place, there is a risk that deadlines will be missed and you could be left with a fine. Make sure your accountant is responsive to your deadlines.
Is your paperwork filed on time?
While you can’t really blame the firm if you don’t submit your information on time, you may have the right to be upset if the firm isn’t proactive in reminding you about, and filing, for an extension. If your accountant isn’t proactive, this may be the time to consider whether you’re truly valued or just another client.
Is your accountant proactively advising your business?
Compliance may be crucial for staying out of trouble, but planning may also be important to reduce your overall tax burden. Filling out a tax return is relatively simple; what you likely want to be paying for is the accountant’s expertise. Ideally you want a CPA knowledgeable about your business, industry, tax situation and financial statements. A good accountant may often advise you on everything you need, from insurance to the impact expansion will have on your operating expenses. If you’re not getting this benefit from your tax professionals, it may be time to find a new firm.
Is your accountant responsive?
Busy season may be killer, but you should still be able to get your tax and accounting questions answered in a timely manner, professionally and courteously. If you’re waiting too long to get answers you need regarding your business, it may be time to find someone new.