Hopefully, as a small business owner, you develop a long-term relationship with a great accountant that earns every penny you pay him or her. But, if your accountant starts to exhibit the following 4 bad business practices, it might be time to get a new accountant.
You aren’t getting the support or advice you need.
As a small business owner, a great accountant should not only be able to pay your bills on time, figure your taxes and prepare your financial statements, they should go above and beyond and help you save money in ways you weren’t expecting. For example, the “fiscal cliff” that you hear so much about will likely impact the taxes your business will have to pay in 2013. Has your accountant communicated with you how your business will be impacted and what strategies you can put into place to avoid higher taxes. Most accountants prepare for year-end taxes and your accountant should be communicating with you prior to the end of the year.
You don’t understand what your accountant is talking about.
Accountants are accountants and we can’t help using accounting jargon. However, if you are not an accountant you should expect to understand what your accountant is explaining. You are paying for their expertise and advice. Some accountants are better able to explain themselves in writing as opposed to verbally so ask them to send you an email for clarification if you don’t understand. Ultimately, you want a relatable accountant that you can work with to help your business succeed.
Their fees are too high or you receive unexplained bills.
Most of the time you get what you pay for, but if you feel you are paying your accountant too much it doesn’t hurt to get quotes from other accounting firms to compare. There is a chance, however, that your accountant is raising his prices because he wants you to leave and he needs the high fees justify your account. If that is the case, you are probably better off looking for a new accountant.
The accountant doesn’t call you back or return your emails
Most of the time when you contact your accountant it is for something very important. An unreturned call or email can cost you money depending on the urgency of the request. If your accountant is not communicating quickly enough it is probably because his office is too small to handle your account, he is just too unprofessional or he just doesn’t care enough about your business. Regardless of the reason not returning calls and emails is poor customer service and would be a good reason to find a new accountant.
If you can think of any others reasons to change accountants, please leave them in the comment section below.