3 Reasons To Fire Your Accountant

April 16 seems like a really bad day to bash the accounting industry. No doubt every accountant in the country, good or bad, is whipped today. The mad dash to the April 15 finish line makes March & April a living hell for most accountants. So this post is not meant to dump on the profession which has earned some much needed rest today.

In fact, firing one’s accountant is a topic that I don’t have any direct experience with, and never will. That’s because my accountant (personal and business) rocks. I’ve worked with them (Dunn & Associates in Havertown, PA) for 25+ years. They are a great outfit, and if you are unhappy with your current accountant go straight to them, and thank me later. End of commercial.

But I know not everyone is similarly blessed. I know from my business travels that there are many businesses unhappy with their accountants. Some are justified in their unhappiness, others are not. First and foremost, if you own a business (or are merely a personal client) and are unhappy with your accountant, I think you should ask yourself whether you are being a good “client”.

–Are you reasonable with your expectations?

–Do you provide them with the information they need on a timely basis?

–Do you listen to their advice?

–Do you ask them to do shady stuff, and then bristle when they advise you not to?

I suspect at least some of those interested in firing their accountant may be guilty of the above offenses. Or in other cases, they foolishly they equate their happiness with their accountant with the size of their refund. Big refund=good accountant. Need to pay more=bad accountant. How foolish, as the opposite may be true.

But here are 3 reasons why I believe it may be time to start a new relationship. And today may be the day to start thinking about it. Here’s why:

1. They don’t care

Their lack of caring may manifest itself in non-responsiveness and curt service. Perhaps your account is the smallest on their roster, and/or they don’t really like you. (Or you are abusive and they are getting ready to fire you). Or perhaps they don’t take any time to explain issues to you.

2. They don’t advise

Your accountant is a financial consigliere, or should be. That doesn’t preclude having a separate relationship with a financial planner, but your accountant’s advice can save you bundles, or conversely, cost you bundles. If your accountant is merely a financial processor with absolutely no advice, you can go to a probably just use a service for a tax return, but that’s a bad idea certainly if you are a business.

3. They don’t understand your industry

They don’t have to be experts in your industry, though it wouldn’t hurt, but clearly having a rudimentary understanding of the basic industry practices and norms is invaluable. They can guide your strategies with industry knowledge.

So as the accounting industry takes a deep breath today, you should think about your needs and step back and evaluate your happiness with your accountant. If you are justifiably unhappy, then do something about it.

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