Top 5 Signs You Need A New Accounting & Tax Professional
Selecting professionals to assist with your business’ financial affairs is a tremendously personal decision. Trust, comfort, and “fit” are incredibly important. Yet I continue to be amazed at the number of people who aren’t comfortable with their accounting professionals but do nothing to find someone new who can help. Business Owners have enough other day to day issues that keep them up at night – knowing about money and worrying about financial compliance shouldn’t be among them! Here are my top 5 signs that it’s time to find someone new.
1. You See Your Accountant Only
Once A Year
Did you just receive an email from your accountant letting you know it’s time to send in your information for tax season – but you haven’t heard from them since last year? To me that’s an old way of thinking.
The part of my career I most enjoy is coaching clients through the year on strategies to grow their revenue and save money. That’s not a once a year task – I have to be in touch with the pulse of their business throughout the year to help clients succeed!
Did you just take big profits out at year end and pay a hefty tax bill after spending a year living on a limited income - because you didn’t know how profitable your business was? Or perhaps you just got hit with a big HST or payroll bill at year end not realizing you owed it – likely in the season when you have the least money!
You need someone who works with you and plans throughout the year.
2. Too Many Professionals Involved In Your Books
Often businesses have more than one person involved in their finances – bookkeepers, accountants, tax advisors, software providers and others all play a role. Minimizing the number of professionals involved will save you money, especially if they aren’t working together.
I often see companies employing friends or small bookkeepers to compile receipts and reconcile the books, then take the results to an accounting firm at year end to prepare the tax return. Accountants often have to begin by reviewing the bookkeeper’s work, essentially duplicating a portion of the bookkeeping costs – in some cases all of them!
Employing a quality firm that can do both the bookkeeping and tax returns eliminates the double effort, which your business shouldn’t have to pay for.
3. Paying Too Much For Your Tax Return?
Costs of preparing tax returns for businesses have increased over time at many large CPA firms, often exponentially for corporations and well above what many can afford! Smaller incorporated businesses can’t justify the costs and thus struggle to be compliant.
A firm like mine that focuses on small businesses will work with you with a goal of making the costs of bookkeeping, tax returns and being compliant affordable for your business. We even offer flat -monthly fee services to do it all if that’s what you prefer.
4. Handed Off To Junior Staff?
As accounting-related businesses grow, new people get brought on board. It’s important for you to ensure that oversight of junior staff exists. Most importantly, do you feel handed off to newer staff and rarely get to speak to the “trusted advisor” who formed your accounting relationship? Does that advisor return your calls on a timely basis?
Employing a bookkeeper with limited knowledge falls into this category too. You can’t afford that audit.
You want free and easy access to someone with strong knowledge who knows your books intimately and is available when you need them.
5. Failing To Embrace Technology
The days of bookkeepers that fail to embrace technology are numbered. The tasks of gathering and entering piles of paper manually can be replaced by using technology. Clients are forwarding documents into low-cost document management solutions that pass data to accounting software and reduce bookkeeping time. Modern bookkeepers need to move away from being data entry people and become reconcilers and advisors, reducing time and providing better value for the client’s money.
Of course we can’t adjust the past. The first time you bring your box of receipts in to the modern bookkeeper, we’ll deal with it. And we’ll continue to deal with it over time if that’s what you really want. But expect me to nudge you to embrace new and better ways – and show you how simple and cost effective the transition can be!
If you are on the fence about your current firm or just want to become familiar with more regular, modern ways of handling business finances, I would welcome the opportunity to meet with you!
Proper tax planning requires professional advice relative to an individual’s specific situation. Information presented in this column is general in nature and does not supercede any advice provided by a professional. If you have questions about small business or corporate tax and finances, contact David Perlock of The Velocity Partners at 705.645.3459, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Or visitwww.davidperlock.com.
Founder of The Velocity Partners David Perlock has been consulting with clients for over 20 years. In that time he has worked with over 500 clients ranging from gas bars to airlines – independent contractors to home manufacturers – retail stores through wholesale distribution and manufacturers. David attended Wilfrid Laurier University for business administration and is also a graduate of the University of Windsor (Commerce) and the Canadian Tax Academy. He is currently the Treasurer for the Bracebridge Chamber of Commerce, is active on the Board of Directors of the Huntsville Chamber of Commerce, and is a member of the Stephenson Lions Club. David enjoys helping small businesses save money, defer tax, adopt technology and grow!
David W. Perlock, Principal Consultant & Small Business Tax Specialist, The Velocity Partners
Direct – 705.645.3459
E-Mail – email@example.com