Most business owners are reluctant to change their tax accountants because they get used to one. But it is a good idea to think about change if your accountant has been with your business for several years, yet you are not completely satisfied with the services they provide. Not all tax accountants are exactly the same, so you don’t have to settle for second best. Select the best tax accountants, who provide not just tax consultation, but offer their financial acumen and business ideas to improve your business.
Here are five reasons why you might think about changing your tax accountant to get better value for your money:
Reason 1: You don’t trust your accountant
It is important to have a good relationship with your accountant. Your accountant must be your business’ ‘best friend’ who returns your calls promptly and contacts you in times of need and offers suggestions. Having face-to-face meetings with you, asking for your opinions, treating you with respect no matter how small your business is, are all things that build a relationship. The relationship with your accountant must be based on mutual respect and trust. The tax accountant should treat all your staff members with professional courtesy and value their time.
Many accountants are not proactive with their clients and might take days to return calls. The best accountants thoroughly understand your business and all its nuances so as to create the optimal tax solution for you. How can someone understand your business if the only time they see you is end of the year tax time? You need a tax accountant who will sit with you, talk you through tough decisions and maximize your profit. He/she should be trustworthy enough to recommend to your friends.
Reason 2: Your accountant doesn’t focus on the future nor ask tough questions
Reviewing your books and filing your taxes is but a small portion of your tax accountant’s business.
Your tax accountant should be focused on the future of your business and figure out reliable and accurate business forecasts. They should help to develop Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) unique to your business. These KPIs can help identify potential problem areas so that you can focus on reversing the trends. You can also use these to monitor and set targets for various aspects of your business. There are numerous KPIs and the best tax accountant will help you decide which ones are important for your business and set up monitoring systems so that you get the results you need.
Your tax accountant should also spend time identifying and asking difficult questions about potential roadblocks. Whether it is the effect of a loss of contract on temporary cash flow, or how a new tax will affect a certain area of business, your tax accountant should be forthcoming about challenges and how to meet them.
Reason 3: You don’t know how much you will be charged
This is probably the major reason people consider changing their tax accountant. Small businesses like having a tax accountant that will offer them flat fees. That way, they can make sure it is within their budget.
Even if your tax accountant is charging by the hour, the best tax accountants will provide you with accurate quotes of what fees you will be charged each year. They will not surprise you with hidden fees or a hike in charges. Ask for detailed quotes for all areas of working. An honest tax accountant will be happy to provide this information. It is best to also ask for an upper cap on fees if the tax accountant is unable to offer an accurate quote so that you don’t get slugged with unforeseen charges.
Reason 4: Your accountant is difficult to understand
Your accountant should never make you feel incapable by speaking too much jargon or talking down to you. If you avoid calling your tax accountant because you don’t understand half of what they say, then they are not the right fit for you. They are used to talking finance, and some expect you to follow their language. But a good accountant will remember that while this is clear to them, it might not be clear to someone who hears it only a few times.
The best tax accountants will sit with you, answer all your questions in plain English and make you feel comfortable about dealing with them again. Having a good rapport with your tax accountant is essential to get the maximum benefit out of the arrangement.
The tax accountant should work to your advantage. For that, there should be mutual respect and openness. Honesty in communication and not hiding behind jargons and business talk is the best indication of a reliable tax accountant.
Reason 5: Your accountant never offers ideas for improving your business
Your tax accountant should stick with you in difficult times and offer helpful ideas and strategies to proactively tackle a crisis situation. It is best that your tax accountant is the sounding board for new business ideas and plans for the future. Business expertise from a variety of clients makes the tax accountant an ideal person to run through ideas with. But many tax accountants do not take on that role, due to lack of communication on their part and/or a lack of understanding of the client’s unique business interests.
A good tax accountant adds value to your business by contributing useful ideas and keeping you across the most relevant latest information. This helps to maintain competitiveness of your business and minimises taxes legally, thereby increasing your potential profit margin. In addition to knowing cash and profit flow, he/she should have good business acumen, financial expertise and should know the best tax minimisation strategies.
The tax accountant should also be aware of your long-term business and retirement plans and use them to plan the optimal financial strategy for your company in order for it to grow and thrive. As part of the annual client review, these plans should be reviewed and modified as necessary, in the event of any changes. Regular reviews can help you improve your business depending on the current market.