How to know you need an accountant, or maybe a new one

Many people don’t think they need an accountant or tax advisor.  Maybe some of us have had a bad experience with an accountant that was too busy to provide the quality time and attention we need and deserve. Or perhaps it’s because many of us think we have a “simple” financial life and prefer a “do-it-yourself” software like TurboTax.

The reality is, however, that accountants can add a tremendous amount of value in a number of ways. To start, accountants get work done for you that you’re required to do by law but just don’t have the time nor expertise to do efficiently. In addition, independent accountants can provide you with valuable insights, such as providing you with impartial feedback on potential investment opportunities.  Accountants can also serve as a good source for referrals to other professionals such as lawyers or financial advisors. Most importantly, if something goes wrong with the IRS, you can stay stress-free while your accountant resolves the issue for you. Good luck getting TurboTax to call the IRS for you!

Taking your financial future seriously is important, and having an accountant you can trust will add significant value over the long term. Trust is imperative, especially as more and more tax preparation businesses outsource their tax practice to overseas contractors who are unfamiliar with local tax laws in the US. The new changes to our tax laws can make your head spin, but having a tax professional you can rely on can help you make the most out of your financial situation is priceless.

All said, more than half of all the tax returns submitted to the IRS each year are professionally prepared by accountants or lawyers.  This means that there is a significant number of us that do value the relationship that comes with having a trusted accountant.  If you happen to already have an accountant but aren’t satisfied, here are some tell-tale signs that it’s just time for a new one.

  1. Your accountant talks about his or her retirement.

Well, accountants are people too, and all people eventually plan to retire.  If your accountant has plans to retire soon, however, and doesn’t appear to have much of a succession plan, then you ought to start thinking about your own transition plan.   With an accountant that is ready to retire, you run the risk of losing him or her right when you need an accountant the most.

  1. Your accountant is unresponsive via phone or email.

This is crucial. You are going to have questions. If you are paying a tax-professional to provide insight to ensure you receive the most out of what you are paying for, you need him/her to be responding to your phone calls and/or emails. While tax professionals are very busy, especially during peak-seasons, they should always be communicating with you throughout the year to notify or remind you of upcoming timelines and schedules, etc.

  1. Your accountant is not adaptive to changing technology.

We live in a world now that is constantly innovating and providing advancements to technology. When it comes to your finances, it is especially important that your accountant is well-versed and well-practiced in new technologies that can enhance communication, efficiency, and accuracy.

  1. Your accountant is not up to date with changing tax laws.

While this seems like a no-brainer, it is often overlooked. A strong tax-professional will be current on tax laws and all information related to your taxes. Look to your accountant’s website or blog as an easy way to see if he/she is up-to-date on news, rules, and regulations – is he/she taking time to share this information with clients?

  1. Your accountant doesn’t clearly explain your tax return to you.

People hire an accountant in the first place because tax laws are typically beyond their level of expertise. This means, you expect your accountant to not only be well-versed, but be able and willing to take the time to explain your tax return to you and answer any questions you might have. Trustworthy accountants operate on the mentality that “no question is a dumb question,” and should have no issue breaking down common practices or explaining why specific deductions may not apply.

When it comes time to change accountants, it can be uncomfortable to make the switch, especially when so many people often start out with someone referred by a family member or friend. If the signs are piling up, it’s important that you make the change to ensure that you avoid issues that may land you in trouble with the IRS.

For more information or to speak with someone about becoming one of our clients, please contact Brandon Caroprese using the contact information below.

 

ABOUT CAROPRESE & COMPANY

Caroprese & Company is a certified public accounting firm that provides innovative and strategic services to a diverse client base of individuals, families, small and medium size businesses, government entities, non-profits and multi-national corporations. Our dynamic professionals perform at a high intensity and are laser focused on providing excellence to our global clientele.

CONTACTING CAROPRESE & COMPANY

This publication is provided by Caroprese & Company as a service to its clients and colleagues.  The information and content included in this publication should not be construed as technical advice.  Questions regarding any matters discussed in this publication should be directed to Brandon Caroprese whose contact information is listed below:

Brandon Caroprese, CPA, MST

Tel. (201)-591-1783

Email. bcaroprese@caroprese.co

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The Information contained in the Caroprese & Company (“Caroprese”) website is for general guidance on matters of interest only. The application and impact of laws can vary widely based on the specific facts involved. Given the changing nature of laws, rules and regulations, and the inherent hazards of electronic communication, there may be delays, omissions or inaccuracies in Information contained in the Caroprese website. Accordingly, the Information on the Caroprese website is provided with the understanding that the authors and publishers are not herein engaged in rendering legal, accounting, tax, or other professional advice and services. As such, it should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional accounting, tax, legal or other competent advisors. Before making any decision or taking any action, you should consult a Caroprese professional.