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Let’s be real, firing your accountant is never an easy decision. But sometimes, it’s the only choice left when they drop the ball one too many times. Whether it’s radio silence for months on end, a complete lack of tax-saving strategies, or last-minute scrambles to figure out what you owe Uncle Sam, these frustrations can quickly turn a professional relationship sour.

The hardest part of breaking up is that you’ve probably used the same professional for years, you guys have a bond, and may even hang in the same social circle.  I get that breakups are never easy, but they are worth it in order for you to get better clarity and confidence on your financial picture.

In this blog post, we’ll dive into the top three reasons why accountants often find themselves on the chopping block – a lack of communication, failure to provide tax-saving advice, and leaving clients in the dark until the eleventh hour when it comes to their tax obligations.  We’ll also talk about why you want to avoid these situations, especially if you want to uplevel and continue growing your business.

Reason #1: Lack of Communication

If you want to have a partner and resource, instead of a reactive and often forgotten relationship with your accountant, there must be good communication.  At a minimum they must return your phone calls and follow-up on your emails.

A lack of communication may even cost you money.

Last December I received a phone call from a childhood friend.  Her mom was in the process of closing on the sale of her business, however she was super stressed out because she had been calling her CPA for three months and was getting no responses.  She had no idea how the deal should be structured, how to reduce her tax bill, or even what an estimate of her tax obligation on the sale was going to be.

This was essentially all of her retirement, and she couldn’t get any advice from the accountant she had trusted for years.  He wasn’t there when she needed him most.

Thankfully I was able to step in and help her.  We completed a full tax projection, consulted her on the difference of selling assets versus stock, and were able to push the sale into Janaury so she had an additional 15 months before her tax bill was due.  Now we have a client for life, simply because we answered the phone. 

We actually build in monthly communication with all of our business clients.  We send them information regarding their financial picture, share year-to-date income, and talk about new tax laws.  We even schedule a year-end tax projection meeting with our clients and discuss new tax strategies.  All of this communication is already built into our systems so that our clients are leaving money on the table because of a too quite CPA firm. 

If your accountant isn’t communicating enough for you, ask them if you can meet more regularly, or when you can expect to hear back.  If that gets you nowhere it may be time to seek out a new accountant that values proactive communication.

Reason #2: Failure to Provide Tax Saving Strategies

Most businesses hire an accountant so they can help minimize their tax bill.  It’s not your job, as the client, to understand the tax code or wade through new tax laws, that’s what you hired an accountant for in the first place!

Clients often come to us frustrated because they aren’t getting the guidance they need. 

We hear from business owners everyday that tell us their accountant is not telling them about any new tax law changes or updates that may benefit them.  And there’s been a lot over the last four years!

In fact, one of the things we do with all new clients is review their past tax returns to see if they were overpaying in taxes.  Unfortunately, the majority of the time, they are.

Your accountant should be talking with you about additional business tax deductions, inlcuding implementing retirement plans for employees to take advantage of new tax credits, the best way to deduct vehicle expenses, hiring family members to reduce your tax liability, and many other tax planning strategies.

As a client, you want to feel like your accountant has your back.  At Aligned, we make it a point to analyze our client’s tax projection at year end to see if there’s anything new we can do to save them more money.  We also build in several points of communication throughout the month, including new tax strategies to consider.

Reason #3: Last Minute Surprises

No one likes surprises, especially tax surprises.

If you never know how much you’re going to owe Uncle Sam every year, you may want to hire a new accountant.

The stress and anxiety around not knowing can be overwhelming, especially the closer you get to April, and sometimes, if you’ve filed an extension, the father away you get.  You’ve set aside money but you’re not sure if it’s enough or not.  Or you’ve set aside too much money and could really use those funds to continue growing your business.  It’s frustrating, we know. 

But, did you know, it doesn’t have to be this way?

When you work with a proactive accounting firm, that stress and anxiety around tax time melts away.  Why?  You’ll  know in advance what you’ll owe and you’re fully prepared.  At our firm, you’ll know around October, giving you six months to plan.

When you’re working with the right accountant you feel at ease and confident that you aren’t overpaying the IRS, you know your accountant is proactively looking for ways to keep more of your hard earned money, and you’re no longer surprised at the last minute.

We don’t like for our clients to be stressed out so we’ve built systems around eliminating this.

  • We meet with our clients around October of the current year and provide a tax projection of where their business will be at year-end and what their tax estimate is. 
  • We also go through a tax planning checklist to make sure all of our bases are covered and we’re implementing the tax strategies that not only save our clients money but also align with their goals.

 

Don’t Settle for Subpar Accounting Services

In today’s fast-paced business climate, having a reliable, proactive, and communicative accountant is crucial. As we’ve discussed, the top three reasons accountants get fired are a lack of communication, failure to provide tax-saving strategies, and leaving their clients in the dark until the last minute regarding their tax obligations.

Firing your accountant is never an easy decision, but sometimes it’s necessary to protect your financial interests and maintain peace of mind. Don’t settle for an accountant who treats you like an afterthought, fails to maximize your tax savings, or leaves you scrambling to meet deadlines.

Instead, prioritize finding an accounting professional who values open communication, stays up-to-date with the latest tax laws and regulations, and proactively works with you throughout the year to minimize your tax liabilities. A proactive accountant might be more expensive than your current provider, but they can save you significant money and stress in the long run.

By taking action and finding an accountant who meets your needs, you can enjoy a collaborative partnership built on trust, transparency, and a shared commitment to your financial success.

If you feel seen in reading this article, it may be time to reevaluate your accounting relationship. Your financial well-being depends on making that change. 

Schedule a consultation with our expert team today, and let’s map out a strategy that aligns with your business goals. Your peace of mind is just a click away.

Joy Lutz, CPA, CTP

As the founder of Aligned CPA, Joy has built a firm that is your strategic financial partner.  With a growth centric approach, we build meaningful relationships with our clients because we value their success as much as our own.

Positioning ourselves as the tax and financial strategists for your business, we help you make empowered, financial-based business decisions that lead to long term success.