How do you know whether your accountant is the wrong fit for your business?
Accountants are not interchangeable, and there are several reasons to have a business accountant other than for taxes. They have the potential to be one of the most important investments you will make in your business or one of the worst. Are you getting the support and services you need to run your business effectively and take it to the next level?
Here are the top 5 reasons people switch Accountants:
- They Don’t Return Your Calls OR Emails
If you run a small business and have engaged a large accounting firm, you may expect that quality attention would come along with it. Unfortunately, that’s just not the case. The larger the firm and the larger the businesses they work with, the busier they appear to be. Follow the money to the big-time clients and big-name accounts. We’ve heard frustrated small business owners complain that it could take a full week to receive a response (from their former accounting firm) to calls and emails.
With a smaller-sized firm, client engagement should involve a single contact and focusing on helping and/or doing things that matter to their clients. Communication is essential for a good working relationship, so look for a firm that is as committed to your business success as you are.
- They Favour Large Corporations
When selecting the right accounting firm for your business, it’s important to consider the size and type of clients the firm already has. If you have recently discovered that your accountant has a lack of understanding about your industry, it’s probably time to shop around. Consider small accounting firms that work with privately held businesses and their owners, preferably one that specializes in your type of business.
One benefit of hiring a smaller accounting firm with an industry focus is that the specialized knowledge they have enables them to better serve their clients.. At your first meeting, make sure to ask industry related questions, to get a feel for how much they know. At UpSide Accounting, we tend to work with smaller creative businesses and professionals, including photographers and graphic designers.
- They Drop The Ball Immediately
Some firms can take up to 60 days to acclimatize new clients with their services, although most progressive firms complete onboarding in less than 30 days. If your current accountant took two months to get you “onboard”, you’re not a priority. The onboarding process is their chance to understand how you like to work, communicate and collaborate, as well as set expectations for how they do the same.
At UpSide Accounting, we always make expectations clear, gather all necessary information, and understand your communication style. We start with a Kickoff meeting to set objectives and timelines and ensure you’re motivated for the next steps. We review, search, and explore current books, your company’s situation and procedures. We import the chart of accounts, and build a personalized Tech Stack that includes QuickBooks Online, Hubdoc, and maybe even WagePoint for payroll. We complete the process within three weeks with an aim to start ongoing monthly services within 30 days.
- They’re Not Answering Questions or Adding Value
If your accountant simply prepares and files your tax return, but doesn’t really answer your questions or explain the reports and documents they are preparing, they’re not who you want to work with. A professional will never be dismissive, he or she will thoroughly review any forms, documents, or reports with you to make sure you fully understand what is being reported and what the numbers mean. The right accountant will also offer customized options so you can choose what best suits your lifestyle and business needs.
At UpSide, we give our clients various options to find the right mix of in-house vs outsourced or time vs money. Our clients control how much they want to invest based on what they find most valuable. Do you need advice and want to plan for the future? We serve as small business strategic advisors, and can be there for you at every stage of your business’s growth, whether that’s looking for ways to reduce your tax liability or identifying growth opportunities. We’ll strategize with you over Zoom’s video-communication service and help chart your financial strategy for the next several years, while maximizing your odds of success.
- There Are No Scalability Options
If your current accountant does not offer advisory services in case you need to scale up, they may not be the right fit for you. At Upside, our clients choose a fixed-fee monthly plan, but if they want to scale up services, we start that immediately. We advise clients on cash flow management, short-term rentals, ad hoc projects, financing a loan and even filing for various subsidies.
You deserve an accounting firm that returns your calls and emails promptly, that works with your type/size of business, that completes onboarding efficiently, that answers your questions, and provides scalability options to help elevate your business to the next level. If you are not receiving the support or services or need from your accountant, now is the time to find a firm that provides what you need to be a stress-free entrepreneur.