Accountants and grocery stores
Accountants are a lot like grocery stores. People often shop at the grocery store closest to their home and stick with it forever because it’s convenient. It might not have the friendliest cashiers, the freshest produce, or the biggest meat department but it’s close by and it’s the devil you know. Likewise, people and/or businesses often hire an accountant and stick with him or her throughout their entire lives simply due to the convenience of location, familiarity, or out of a sense of loyalty to someone they’ve known for a long time.
This isn’t always the best decision. For example, I was recently speaking to a local business owner who has been using the same accountant for 20+ years for the sole reason that he’s been with the guy for so long, and, here is the kicker, “he pays for his mistakes”. Wait - what? Of course he pays for his mistakes! If he doesn’t, he has a huge legal problem on his hands. That’s like saying you stick with the grocery store that sells the spoiled meat because they pay the co-payment on your hospital bill when you get food poisoning. There shouldn’t be mistakes for which need to be paid.
So with that, here are the Top 5 signs that you need a new accountant:
- You only see your accountant during tax season. Your accountant should be your financial adviser and partner. If your accountant doesn’t meet with you regularly and understand both your business and your industry, you aren’t getting the guidance you need.
- Your accountant doesn’t know your short- and long-term goals. An accountant is supposed to help you make and keep as much money as possible and cannot do that effectively without understanding what you are striving to achieve.
- Your accountant simply plays the expert card and doesn’t give you thorough and understandable answers to your questions. If your accountant isn’t educating you, you aren’t getting your money’s worth.
- Your accountant waits until the last minute for everything, which gives you too little time for questions, changes, and the ability to plan properly.
- Your accountant doesn’t provide a prior-to-year-end tax projection. As I often say, failing to plan is planning to fail. Will you owe a fortune on 4/15? Are you withholding too much now? Surprises are great for birthdays, but not for taxes.
If any of the statements above describe your accountant it’s time for a change. Give us a call and we’ll make sure you are getting your money’s worth.