Your accountant goes through a lot. Every one of their clients demands their full, undivided attention and expects a miracle. What you may not realize is that every time you walk into their office there’s a long list of things they wish you were at least aware of before you signed up with them.
Want to really impress your accountant at your next meeting? We talked to some real tax professionals to find out what you need to do. Then take this advice we gathered from CPAs to heart.
Take Responsibility and Show Interest
One major piece of advice that everyone mentioned was they appreciate clients who take a measure of the responsibility for knowing what’s going on with their finances. While you hired an accountant to bear the brunt of the load, you still need to understand what’s going on with your money. There’s a difference between letting someone do the work and being totally in the dark.
“Spending the time to review your business operations on an annual basis can be a time to create opportunities for tax savings or keep your compliance in check,” says Lauren Stinson from Windward Tax. “We are here to help you.”
Also, make sure to ask questions. If you truly don’t understand something it doesn’t help you or your accountant. Asking questions means you’ll be a better client in the long run, as you understand what’s going on with your money.
“Give me a call if you have a question,” says Chris Peden of The Accounting Scribe, “no matter how insignificant the matter may seem.” While the accountant may be an expert, they realize not everyone is. There are no dumb questions if it helps you out.
The common theme: Don’t be shy. Ask!
They’re Highly Skilled, but Not Miracle Workers
Do you like getting rushed at work? Of course not, nobody does. You like to do things at your own pace and not be micromanaged. Unfortunately, you might be micromanaging your accountant and not even realize it!
“I cannot get your return done in an hour,” says George Sleeman of Tax Man to You. Rushing your accountant can lead to real disaster as that increases the likelihood of mistakes – and an upcharge. This is why you should schedule an appointment to come in way ahead of time rather than wait until the last minute – like the day before a tax deadline!
Also, Sleeman says: ““I wish they would realize that yes, you need to pay me before I give you the return.” You have to pay for all other business interactions, so why wouldn’t you pay for your tax return.
Don’t rush your accountant and remember that they’re a busy professional, just like you, and you’ll quickly become one of his or her favorite clients.
Accounting pros, did we leave anything out? What do you wish your clients knew?
Zach Olson is the Founder & CEO of TaxAlli.com. At Tax Alli, we pair you with real life accountants and use cloud software to make small business accounting awesome. So you can do what you love while we handle the rest.