We all know how important trust, comfort, transparency, understanding, and communication are to any healthy relationship. A relationship between a business owner and their accountant should be no different.
New business owners realize pretty early on that the secret to a successful business venture is not to try to do everything on their own. One of the best ways to ease the burden is to hire an accountant. But so many businesses quickly find themselves disenchanted with the relationship they have with their accountant, and then they feel a little stuck. It doesn’t have to be that way.
At Clarke and Brownrigg, we hear from new clients all the time that their previous accounting experience was not living up to their expectations, and their needs were going unmet.
If you feel let down by your accountant, are starting to see mistakes and/or missed deadlines here and there, or are just generally feeling unsupported, it might be time to start shopping for something more.
Here are some major reasons it might be time to move on:
Lack of Communication
Just like in any relationship, communication is key between a business owner and their accounting team. It’s vitally important for you to be upfront and transparent about your financial situation, but if your accountant isn’t returning phone calls and emails in a timely manner, you’re not getting the attention you deserve.
Your relationship with your accountant shouldn’t be just about getting your tax paperwork filed as quickly or cheaply as possible. They should also be helping you find additional deductions, take advantage of any pre-existing carried forward tax losses, etc.; all without ever overstepping the boundaries of tax laws.
Your accountant should also provide you with a clear picture of your financial situation and your tax liability and advise you on the best long and short-term financial goals for your business.
One major reason business owners hire an accountant is to alleviate the panic that can come from missing financial deadlines. Your accountant should be well-versed in ATO lodgements and other financial timelines important to your business.
When it comes to compliance with taxation obligations, late lodgements can mean financial penalties and a lot of wasted time and energy for a business owner. You deserve an accountant who will be proactive and work to make sure you’re getting all of your financial documents completed and submitted on time.
Managing finances for a business comes with a lot of paperwork. While business owners need to have an understanding of their financial picture and responsibilities, it’s completely reasonable to expect support from your accountant to make sure your data is accurate and that financial processes run smoothly.
If you’re lucky enough to uncover a mistake made by your existing accountant, ask them to calculate and communicate the financial consequences of that mistake.
More often than not, however, mistakes tend to go undetected until someone with the requisite skills and experience takes a closer look. It’s therefore important to keep an eye out for the risk factors that increase the probability of mistakes and errors occurring. Seeing your accountant misplace paperwork or just generally appearing disorganized or disinterested are the best ‘red flags’ to watch out for. If anything like that is happening, it’s probably time to move on to someone who can be more responsible with your financial information.
Not Conveying Vital Information
We get it. Tax can be confusing, especially since it’s subject to change. You engaged an accountant so you wouldn’t be alone sifting through mountains of information, trying to understand how it relates to your business. If your accountant is not taking the time to explain new rulings and clearly advise you how they impact your business, that’s another reason to consider switching.
Ignoring You and Your Wishes
Your business is important to you, and it should be more important to your accountant than just ‘numbers on a tax return’. We understand how frustrating it can be to speak up and not feel heard. Your accountant should never let you feel like they’re not paying attention to your requests or not taking the time to understand your specific needs. Finances are extremely personal, and your accountant should always make you feel like they’re putting you and your business needs first.
Here’s a secret. You don’t need an excuse to look for a new accountant and switching can be far smoother than you might imagine. If you feel like your relationship with your accountant isn’t meeting your needs and expectations for any reason, it’s probably time for a change. Relationships can be tricky, but one relationship you shouldn’t have to worry about is the one with your accountant. If you’re feeling frustrated, confused, or let down, that’s a sign to start looking for a new one.
At Clarke and Brownrigg, we encourage our current and potential clients to feel comfortable sharing their issues and concerns so we can work together to come up with a financial solution that best meets their individual needs.
If you’re ready to start putting yourself and your business first, give us a call. We’ll start with a complimentary consultation so we can get to know you and your business and understand what kind of partnership you’re looking for. Don’t wait any longer to get an accounting team that gives you and your business the attention and respect you deserve.