Are you working with the right accountant?
For many individuals and small businesses, the answer to this question isn’t an outright ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Some assume that the service they’re getting corresponds to what they’re paying, while others are simply unaware of what more an accounting firm can do and should be doing for them.
Often in these cases, the truth is simply that they need to find an accountant that’s better suited for them.
If you’re not familiar with all that accounting entails or are apprehensive about finding an accountant other than the one you already have, it might be difficult to tell that you actually need a new and better one. To give you a clearer picture, here are five signs that tell you it’s time to find someone else to do your accounting:
1. You are not given clear explanations.
One of the most common problems that individuals and business owners face is that they don’t understand what is on their own financial statements, or the financial advice being given to them. This is often normal, since they’re not financial experts. What isn’t normal is an accountant who will not explain these things to you in such a way that you will understand them. You might reason, ‘Well, they’re the experts. I can trust them even if they don’t explain everything to me.’ On the contrary, you are paying these experts to not only handle your accounts, but also make sure that you clearly understand how these are being handled. A trustworthy accountant will make sure that you fully understand your financial statements, the repercussions of any financial advice or undertaking, and help you to become more educated and independent when it comes to handling your finances.
2. It’s difficult to get a hold of them.
Good customer service is one of those things that need to be perpetually present. Your calls and concerns should always be answered in a timely fashion. You need to find an accountant that is responsive and easy to reach, otherwise you’ll subject yourself to added stress.
3. They aren’t proactively advising you.
You don’t find an accountant simply so you can have someone to fill out your tax return. You hire them for their expertise, so you should be getting it. Whether you’re planning to establish a property investor trust or want to know the most viable options for wealth creation, you should be getting expert advice from your accountant. If you’re getting better advice elsewhere, then it’s time to find someone else.
4. They aren’t familiar with your business or industry.
If you only speak with your accountant every tax season, it might be difficult to determine exactly how much they know about your business or industry. Some telling signs that they don’t know enough: they repetitively ask you to explain your business; they haven’t really spent any time getting to know your business; they don’t have any other clients in the same industry as you; and they don’t offer industry-specific advice or solutions that maximise your tax deductions.
5. You’re having disagreements regarding important matters.
It’s important that you are able to approach your accountant at any time with any concern you may have. If this is marred by disagreements over the way your tax and accounting matters are being handled, certain discrepancies, mistakes or inaction on their part, then it would be best to just let them go.
Finding an accountant who is not only an expert at his field but is also proactive, efficient and considerate of your specific situation is crucial to ensuring the best financial outcomes for you or your business. If you experience any of the warning signs above, then it’s time to switch to a more suitable accounting firm – one that you know will deliver an exceptional level of service.
For more information, please visit www.chan-naylor.com.au