It’s important to take a step back and think about who you’re trusting with your business finances. Sure, you might just be focused on getting your taxes filed on time and at a reasonable cost, but there’s so much more to it than that.
For example, Nick was a man with a lot on his plate. He was a member of the sandwich generation, taking care of both his small children and his aging parents. On top of all that, he was self-employed and had to file his tax return amidst all the chaos of his life.
Nick wasn’t sure how to pick the best accountant to manage his particular situation. He found someone that seemed reasonable and hired him on the spot, without much thought. At first, things seemed to be going fine. But as time went on, Nick began to realize that he had made a mistake.
The accountant never bothered to ask him any questions about his future plans. Nick had mentioned that he was planning to start another division, but the accountant didn’t seem to care. As a result, Nick missed out on proactive tax planning opportunities that could have saved him a lot of money in the long run.
What’s worse, the accountant always used language that made Nick feel ignorant and inferior. Despite being knowledgeable about tax laws, the accountant didn’t bother to explain things in a way that Nick could understand. It was frustrating and disheartening.
And then, when Nick mentioned that he was planning to move out of state the following year, the accountant didn’t even ask any questions about it. It was as if Nick’s life plans didn’t matter at all. But they did matter, and the accountant’s lack of interest in Nick’s life left him feeling undervalued and unimportant.
In the end, Nick learned a valuable lesson. The value of finding the right accountant goes beyond just filing your taxes. It’s about finding someone who values building a relationship with their clients, someone who will take the time to understand your unique situation and provide personalized advice and guidance. Someone who will make you feel valued and important, no matter how busy their schedule may be.
Remember that it takes two to tango. Try these two tips to keep both of you on track:
So, as you think about who to trust with your finances this tax season, remember Nick’s story. Don’t just focus on the price or the efficiency of the service. Find an accountant that continuously nurtures a proactive, personal partnership with you. Take the time to find someone who truly values building a relationship with their clients. It’ll be worth it in the long run.
Another way to help you stay on top of business and personal finances is to join the Accountable Community. It is a free resource to help you move forward in your financial plan confidently knowing that the decisions you make are in alignment with what's important.
Lisa Sretenovic, CPA/CITP/CAAS/CGMA
Lisa firmly believes that when businesses become more in line with their values and vision, they accelerate their impact and discover their missing velocity, resulting in a positive influence in their greater community.
And that’s exactly what she’s been empowering entrepreneurs to do for over 3 decades! In her business as The Velocity Detective, she brings financial literacy to both the Wall Street and the Main Street and empowers CPAs to go beyond financial advising by developing proactive personal partnerships with their clients.
She is also a speaker, author, coach, & volunteer with organizations such as SCORE, Texas Accountants & Lawyers for the Arts, and TXCPA, as well as a leader at Coach Connections.
Lisa lives in Austin, TX with her husband, Milan.
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