In my time of filing both personal and business tax returns, I’ve had the misfortune of meeting and witnessing first-hand how incredibly terrible some accountants can be. Speaking from personal experiences, if your accountant exhibits more than a few of these behaviors, it’s a good indicator that you should immediately fire your accountant and start looking for a new one before it is too late.
1. You’re unable to reach your accountant via any type of communication
When you can’t get a hold of your accountant it can be incredibly frustrating, even more so during tax season. I once dealt with an accountant that I could never reach either by phone, email, written letters, or smoke signals.
2. Your accountant doesn’t return your voicemail or email until several days later
When you leave a message for someone, you expect them to reply within a reasonable amount of time. I once left a message to my previous accountant’s voicemail and didn’t receive a reply until a week later.
3. Your accountant’s voicemail box has been full since the start of the tax season
What do you do when you can’t reach your accountant and their voicemail box is full for a few months? Yes, I’ve had that happen to me and all I could do was to keep calling and pray that he would pick up.
4. Your accountant recommends filing an extension even before looking at your financials
Instead of waiting for my accountant to return my messages, I brought my financials to his office and before looking at them, my accountant suggested that I file for an extension. This was a month before my taxes were due.
5. You notice that a number of your accountant’s clients are getting audited
There was this one time that I walked into my accountant’s office only to find a wall of boxes lined up in the hallway. When I inquired about them, I was told that the boxes contained financial documents from different companies that were being audited.
6. Your accountant provides you a different quote each time for their services
You expect your accountant to have a master list of their services and fees. However, I dealt with an accountant that changed the fees of their services almost every time.
7. Your accountant doesn’t inform you of upcoming fees that are due
In the first year of my business, I was only made aware of fees when I received past due notices in the mail. When I inquired my accountant about the fees, his reply would be, “Oh yeah, you have to pay for those.”
8. Your accountant forgets what your business does and the industry it’s in
You expect your accountant to understand your business so they can give you financial advices to improve your business. However, if they are not invested in the well-being of your business there is no way that they’ll be able to help.
9. Your accountant constantly makes you wait despite appointments made in advance
What is the point of an appointment if you still need to wait over an hour to see your accountant? My accountant was notorious in his time management that I quickly learned to always arrive an hour after my intended appointment time.
10. Your accountant loses your financial paperwork
One year I dropped off my excel file on a flash drive and a folder containing other financial documents. A few days later, the accountant called me to ask me if I have an extra copy. This is the reason why you should always have backup copies.
11. Your accountant blames you for wasting her time
I was pretty young the first year that I filed my personal taxes. I brought in a folder containing all the financial documents I thought I needed. However, I was yelled at on the spot for wasting her time because I didn’t have everything.
12. Your accountant isn’t any better than a bookkeeper
The cost needs to justify the means. If your accountant doesn’t provide you more services than just filing your business taxes, you might be better off with a bookkeeper.
13. Your accountant takes over a month to file your tax returns even after submitting all financial records
I had an accountant whose pace was equivalent to a sloth. I had to constantly follow up on the progress of my tax return and ensure that my taxes were filed.
14. Your accountant cannot locate your previous year’s financial documents
When you have an accountant that isn’t organized and loses your company’s financial information, it can be scary for a number of reasons. Having my accountant lose my financial records was the main reason why I started keeping a separate copy.
15. Your accountant passes off all work to their employees
I paid my accountant to handle my business finances but I learned that it was just passed onto the underlings at the accountant’s office. You pay for their professional services so you expect them to do the work and not someone else.
16. Your accountant does not stay up to date on tax laws and tax breaks
One of the main reasons why you elect to use an accountant is because you hope they are well-versed about new tax laws and tax breaks. If your accountant doesn’t continually educate themselves, you may be paying the wrong amount on your taxes.
17. Your accountant asks how much taxes you are comfortable in paying
An accountant actually asked me that, I just thanked them for their time and walked out the office. You never want to work with an accountant that is unethical and willing to break the law by putting you at risk.
18. Your accountant talks about their other clients
I don’t talk about my friends behind other people because I respect their privacy. However, once you have an accountant that freely talks about their other clients and disregards accountant-client privileges, you have to wonder if they’ve ever said anything behind your back.
19. You have no clue what your accountant is saying
You want to have an accountant that speaks to you without the use of accounting jargons. If they can’t explain what and why they’re doing something, you’ll have no idea and will be kept in the dark concerning your financials and taxes.
With the popularity of online tax software such as Turbo Tax or H&R Block, filing your taxes can be considerably easier and simpler than seeing an accountant. However, if you have an accountant to help with your business financials, you need to make sure that they are ethical, organized, and worth the money that you spend. The accountant that you choose needs to be professional and have integrity, because after all, they’re managing your financials. An accountant should help you understand your finances, save money, provide quality suggestions, and allow you to sleep soundly at night. If your accountant isn’t doing any of this, you need to find yourself a new accountant ASAP!
Did you experience any of these frustrating moments or do you have others? Please comment and share with us!
This article originally appeared on Servora Blog and has been republished with permission.
This article was syndicated from Business 2 Community: 19 Reasons Why You Should be Looking for a New Accountant
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