3 Signs You Need to Look for a New Accountant
If you are one of our clients, obviously this is not for you LOL!
Change is hard. Even when we know changing something is the best thing to do, thinking about what it will take to transition sometimes prevents us from doing it. It’s a lot of work!
Think about your accountant. This could be your bookkeeper, tax preparer, or anyone who assists you in the realm of accounting. You’ve been with that person or firm for a long time. You know the person. You know what to expect, good or bad.
Maybe you don’t feel fully satisfied with the service you’re receiving. The problem is you have nothing to compare it to. So, here’s a few signs that you may need to look for another accountant to handle your financial needs.
If your accountant doesn't make you feel important or doesn't give you the attention you deserve… It is the first signal. If you are thinking “I know my accountant has clients much bigger than me. I’m just a small revenue stream for him and he gets to me when he gets to me.” You deserve better than this. Anyone providing any kind of service should make customers feel like they matter, and you should feel certain that they will get back to you ASAP. A dynamite service provider has processes in place to give every customer the attention they deserved.
If you feel like your accountant is offering you poor solutions, it’s time to find someone new.
If there is a lack of communication between you and your accountant, this is the second signal.
Clients should never feel that they are being ignored or their needs are not important. Your accountant should be proactive and responsive. If you think again:
“My accountant takes days to return my phone calls or emails.”
“I found out on tax day that my accountant is filing an extension.”
“ I didn’t realize there was a problem.”
If you’ve said either of those statements or something close, it might be time to make a change.
Another sign that things are not right with your accountant is the Work is Slow or Late. This is usually a sign of an accountant who has too many clients and is overwhelmed, or an accountant who places you low on the priority list. Regardless of the reason, if you’re not receiving your deliverables when YOU need them, it’s time to move on.
If you can identify with any or all of the situations above and are ready to move on, here’s a few tips to find a good accountant:
First, a word-of-mouth referral from trusted friends or colleagues is always best, especially if they currently use the accountant. Nothing is better than first-hand experience. If no one has a good referral for you, online directories are useful, but be careful. Most of them are just an indication that the accountant paid to get listed. Some are even free. Reading reviews may be helpful.
If you use or would like to use QuickBooks or Xero for your business, both have online directories of accountants certified in those software packages. Again, it doesn’t guarantee anything, but it’s a good starting point.
The best thing you can do when looking for and choosing a new accountant is ask about their background and how they can help you. How long have they been an accountant? Do they specialize in a certain industry or a certain area of accounting? Do their qualifications match your needs? Does the way they interact with clients match the way you want to be interacted with? Do they ask you about your business and personal goals? For example, if you want an accountant to come onsite to perform the work every month, but the prospect requires a remote arrangement with clients, it’s probably not a good fit.
Finally, when talking with prospects, make sure you “click” with the person you’re going to retain. Your accountant should be your best friend. Seriously! They keep your finances in order, they keep you in compliance, and they free up your time so you can work ON your business instead of IN your business. Working ON your business is the only way you can grow!