Warning Signs: When It’s Time To Change Your Accountant.
Are you considering firing your current accountant in favor of a new one? If so, you’re probably not sure if you’re overreacting or if you have just cause. The following warning signs will help you decide if it is time for you to change accountants:
Your accountant does not return your phone calls in a timely manner, if at all.
The bottom line here is you have hired your accountant to work for you. If he/she is not returning your telephone calls, or waits until you’ve left several messages before calling you back, take this seriously. A few incidents here and there are not something to worry about, as your accountant likely has many other clients and may not be in the office for days at a time. However, if not returning phone calls are the normal state of affairs, you should change.
Your accountant is never in the office.
This could mean he or she is very busy and out with other clients the majority of the time. It could also mean they do not take their business, or your business, very seriously. Regardless, if you have a difficult time connecting with your accountant, it may be time to look for someone who has more time in their schedule to see to your needs.
Your accountant never delivers your financials, taxes, or other forms to you on time.
This is not a good scenario! You have hired your accountant to be on top of the financial aspects of your business. If they are not able to get your forms to you on time, you need to first ask yourself if it is your fault. If you are late getting them the material they need, then it probably has little to do with them, but if they have everything they require from you with ample time – and are still consistently late, you will probably want to consider changing accountants.
Your accountant does not take the time to discuss your financial reports with you.
This is your business. You have the right to understand your financial reports, and if your accountant is unwilling to schedule the time to go over them with you, this is a warning sign you shouldn’t ignore. Think of it this way – if you don’t understand your reports, then you can’t feel confident that the IRS is getting correct information. It is essential to your peace of mind, and to your business, that you understand all of yourr financial reports.
The staff member assigned to your account does not seem competent.
If staff is unable to answer your questions, or if you seem to know more about the accounting aspects of your business than they do, you may want to consider switching accountants.
You begin to receive a lot of IRS notices in the mail.
This is a serious warning sign. If the IRS is sending you repeated notices, then your business’s financial affairs are not being taken care of correctly. Too many of these notices, and your business will be red-flagged by the IRS, which could lead to years of issues every time a form is filed. Speak with your accountant and demand to know what the problem is. If you are unsatisfied with the answers, it is time to search for a new accountant.
Often overlooked, but it shouldn’t be. If your instincts are telling you something isn’t right, pay attention. With any of the above warning signs you may need to move on. Changing accountants isn’t easy, but if you feel it is the right decision, Trust your instincts!