Want to know how to find a good accountant? One way is to bear in mind the reasons why people tend to decide to switch accountants. Obviously, something is making them unhappy. Once you know what that is, you can ask pointed questions of any accountants you might be considering hiring and see if you’re happy with the answers provided.
When new clients reach out to me for the first time, I make it my business to ask “why are you considering switching accountants? What’s prompting you to look for a change?”
Reasons Why People Switch Accountants
Most of the time, new clients will tell me they were dissatisfied with the service and/or responses they got from the person they were working with before. They say they didn’t like how long it took to get a return phone call or to be able to speak with someone knowledgeable and aware of their particular situation.
What Some Accountants Fail To Understand
Some accountants fail to realize that when a client calls, it’s not to talk about the weather. Dealing with taxes is a complicated and frustrating subject. Many times clients call because they’re confused about something in their taxes or they got a notice from the IRS, state or city. Notices, in particular, can be intimidating.
Accountants should appreciate that the client might be anxious or uneasy. They should return calls promptly! A delay in this area not only causes unnecessary stress and anxiety, it can lead to penalties, levied assets or liens that could possibly have been avoided.
Tax questions are another area where clients need a quick response. Getting a knowledgeable accountant to promptly answer a question can sometimes result in a huge tax savings or penalty avoidance. More importantly, it allows the client to sleep at night.
If you ask me how to find an accountant, I say “ask for references”. I say “call the references and ask how long it takes the accountant to return phone calls and whether they display a sense of urgency when it comes to matters dealing with your account”.
In my experience, one of the most important things you can do is to be available and to return calls promptly. If other accountants followed that rule, they might have less turnover and more satisfied customers.