8 Signs It’s Time to Change Your Accountant

A good accountant is the backbone of any business.

An accountant works to keep your business financially prosperous with an extensive list of responsibilities, including budgeting, cash flow monitoring, financial statement preparation, and tax filing (to name a few).

However, not all accountants are created equal. It’s easy to end up with one who doesn’t act in your best interests. Ultimately, your accountant should be supportive, approachable, and make life as a business owner easier. If this isn’t happening for you, it might be time to switch.

As Tom Beswick from Ingham Mora so eloquently puts it, “Breakups can be messy…“. Yet for the sake of your business, they’re often necessary. So how do you know if your accountant is right for you? If you notice any of the following signs, it might be time for a change.

1. You’re paying too much

Excessive fees are never a good sign, no matter what the profession. High accountant fees don’t necessarily correlate to quality accounting. Sure, accountants are paid to provide a service, but offering financial advice while draining your wallet doesn’t make sense. Look into other accountants in your area to gauge whether the fees you’re paying are reasonable or not.

2. You can’t understand the jargon

accountant use jargon

How will you know if your accountant provides excellent service if you can’t understand a word they’re saying? The answer is easy: you won’t. Nodding your head and pretending to understand won’t get you anywhere. Too much jargon leaves you in a perpetual state of confusion about how well your business is doing.

3. There’s a lack of communication

The phrase “communication is key” applies to all areas of life, and your relationship with your accountant is no exception. Communication is the basis of most of an accountant’s role. It’s how they keep you updated on your business’s financial position, regulatory changes, and tax season expectations. With how many ways there are to keep in touch these days, there’s no excuse for a lack of communication.

4. They don’t maximize your tax position

accountant don’t maximize your tax position

If there’s one thing that clients want from their accountant, it’s maximizing their tax position. A good accountant knows all the possible tax deductions and credits to claim to offset your tax balance. Deductions and credits are critical to minimizing your tax burden. If you feel your accountant could do better in this area, look at switching firms.

5. You receive a bare-minimum service

While accountants are experts in keeping tabs on money, it’s not all they’re able to do. Taking a leaf out of some of the world’s largest accounting firms, such as PricewaterhouseCoopers and Deloitte, accountants can offer a broad range of services, from financial and risk advice to tax management. If your accountant doesn’t go beyond the basics, find one who will.

6. They missed a tax deadline

accountant missing tax deadline

Ok, this is simply not acceptable, and you should cut ties immediately. Teaming up with an accountant should take the weight of tax compliance off your shoulders. In the world of accounting, failing to meet a tax deadline is the epitome of poor service. It’s your accountant’s responsibility to work with accuracy and efficiency to avoid the financial penalties associated with missed deadlines. If they can’t do this for you, they’re not cut out for the job.

7. Their information is out of date

Contrary to popular belief, accounting is a fast-paced industry. Keeping up-to-date on tax and regulatory changes is no easy feat, but it’s all part of running a successful accounting service. A good accountant will always be reading and learning to ensure they’re well-versed in the financial sphere. Your accountant should be the one to inform you of tax changes, not the other way around.

8. They won’t embrace new technologies

accountants without new technology

Accountants stuck in the dark ages of paper shuffling have a higher chance of error. Small errors in forecasting, financial statements, and tax filing can have massive repercussions for your business. Accounting software has significantly improved accounting processes and has become one of the most valued aspects of modern accounting firms. If your accountant still relies on manila folders and filing cabinets, it may be time to move on. Your business’s finances should be as important to your accountant as they are to you. Changing accountants is easy, and most firms will handle the transfer on your behalf. Don’t put this in the too-hard basket. Find the perfect accountant and prioritize your business.

Dragan Sutevski

Posted by Dragan Sutevski

Dragan Sutevski is a founder and CEO of Sutevski Consulting, creating business excellence through innovative thinking. Get more from Dragan on Twitter. Contact Dragan