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The Bottom Line is where Klatzkin’s advisors provide analysis and insight into key developments in taxation, accounting, and other issues and how they affect businesses and individual taxpayers.

15 Signs That You Need a New Accountant in 2021

By MICHELE D. SLOCUM, CPA

January 18, 2021

Business owners rely on their accountant to file taxes, provide them with reliable financial advice, and guide them on how to grow and operate their business.  Working with the right accountant can make a big difference in the economic well-being of your business.  Many business owners assume that their accountant knows what they are doing because they earned the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) designation, but putting that knowledge into practice is another story.

Here are 15 signs that you might need to look for a new accountant – or at the very least review the quality of the service and advice they provide to you:

  1. Your accountant hasn’t made adjustments for the COVID-19 pandemic, like offering Zoom meetings instead of in-person contact or providing a safe and secure way to receive and submit documents electronically.
  2. You have minimal contact with the engagement partner.
  3. Phone calls and e-mails are not returned in a timely manner.
  4. They do not offer proactive ideas to minimize your tax obligation or plan for the future.
  5. New accounting rules and regulations are not brought to your attention.
  6. Answers to your questions are generic and not always applicable to your situation.
  7. They have little or no expertise in your business or industry.
  8. Deductions that you are entitled to are missed.
  9. Your tax return is always put on extension.
  10. Your estimated taxes are either too high or too low.
  11. You had to pay a penalty to the IRS or another agency because of a mistake made by the accountant.
  12. You don’t understand your financial position.
  13. There is no annual meeting to review your financial statements and tax returns.
  14. They do not give strategic advice and guidance on how to improve your business or increase profits.
  15. You do not perceive the value of the services they provide.

Angela Lawrence, Quality Control Coordinator at Klatzkin, contributed to this post.

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As with any relationship, communication is essential. Make sure that you keep your accountant apprised of what is happening in your business, including key personnel changes, regulatory requirements, or industry trends that could impact you, as well as notices received from the IRS and other agencies. Although most accountants have good intentions and want to provide quality service, you are not their only client. Leaving things to the last minute, having unreasonable expectations, and not disclosing enough information can hamper the relationship. If you do not feel that your accountant offers support and guidance when needed most, it might be time to change. For additional information, please click here to contact us.

©2021 Klatzkin & Company LLP. The above represents our best understanding and interpretation of the material covered as of this post’s date and should not be construed as accounting, tax, or financial advice. Please consult your tax advisor concerning your specific situation.

About the Author

Michele is a Manager focused on serving the tax planning, reporting, and compliance needs of real estate, professional service and nonprofit organizations. She enjoys working to find tax-saving opportunities, many created through tax reform, including Section 199A deductions, bonus depreciation and capital gains deferral through investment in Qualified Opportunity Zones.    Going beyond the expected...

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