9 Signs it’s Time to Find a New Accountant
Many business owners and individuals work with professionals including attorneys, marketing firms and accountants early on and keep them for life. However, sometimes change is necessary to ensure you are getting the best possible advice and service. Here are nine signs you should consider finding a new accountant.
If you are telling your accountant about changes in tax law that impact you instead of them telling you, it is probably time to make a change. Tax laws on both state and federal levels seem to change frequently and if your accountant is not keeping up to date on the latest changes, you could be paying more tax than necessary.
They Tend to React
Preventing problems with your taxes and other financial problems is generally a matter of preplanning. Your accountant should be working with you on a regular basis to help you plan your upcoming year. Waiting until April or May to begin planning for the current year is not a good idea, you want to have a solid plan of action in place before the year starts.
Communication is Suffering
If your accountant is not returning phone calls, does not set up regular meetings to discuss your business with you, or is failing to take action to make sure you know about regulatory actions that could impact your business, it may be time to look elsewhere for help. If communication is slow during tax season that may be easy to overlook but if you feel your accountant is avoiding you, it is time to find out why.
Failure to Provide Guidance
Your accountant should be providing ongoing guidance in all matters related to your expenses, income, and tax situation. If this is not occurring, this could be problematic down the road. If your accountant is merely preparing your taxes and not offering any sounds advice, it is time to consider a change.
Best Practices for Record Keeping
Another important bit of information your accountant should be providing you with is how long to retain financial records. Tax returns, receipts, and other financial documents should be held for safekeeping. Tax returns for example should be maintained until the risk of audit is passed, but if you collect state taxes from your customers, you should know documents you should be prepared to maintain and how long to maintain them.
Clutter and Disorganization
Anyone who walks into their accountant’s office and finds total chaos should consider looking for another accountant. If you walk in and there are unfiled documents, stacks of client papers everywhere in the office, you should be concerned. Remember, you are depending on your accountant to make timely filings, inform you immediately of changes you should know about, etc. If they are completely disorganized, there are numerous issues that could develop later.
Tax returns are not supposed to be filed when we get around to it. There are deadlines which must be met for tax returns, state disclosure forms, and other documents your business may be required to file. If your accountant is suddenly missing important deadlines or filing regular extensions for your tax returns, it may be time to look elsewhere for an accountant.
Your accountant should be diligent in recommending tax deductions and taking advantage of all tax credits. If you feel you are missing out on tax deductions or credits, you should be looking elsewhere for an accountant. Your accountants job is to watch your finances, they should be doing everything possible to minimize your tax burden.
Ignoring Importance of Financial Statements
One of the most important things your accountant can do for you is to make sure you understand your financial statements. Should they be unwilling to explain each of these statements and tell you why they matter, you should consider finding an accountant who is willing to take the time to do so.
Your Business is Important
If your accountant is not doing what you expect, you should consider another accountant in Richmond. Your business is important to you and the accuracy of your financial information is crucial to your success. If your accountant is not providing you with the information necessary to make the right decisions, you could be facing a higher tax burden, and in a worse-case scenario, you could be putting the financial future of your business at risk.
Whether you are just starting out and you are looking for an accountant to work with you, or you have had a long-established relationship with an accountant and you are seeking a change, contact Rue & Associates. We take great pride if offering each of our clients’ business solutions that work to meet their needs. Since 1983, we have been staffed by experienced businesspeople and accountants, tax professionals, Enrolled Agents and CPA’s who bring a unique perspective in delivering financial, management, and tax services to our clients. Contact us today to learn more.