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Is it Time to Change Accountants?

Are you considering firing your current accountant in favour of a new one? If you are, you're probably not sure if you're overreacting or if you have just cause. The following warning signs will help you decide: 

  • Your accountant does not return your phone calls in a timely manner, if at all.
    The bottom line here is you have hired your accountant to work for you. If he/she is not returning your telephone calls, or waits until you've left several messages before calling you back, take this seriously. An occasional incident is one thing - after all, mistakes do happen - and may not be something to worry about, as your accountant likely has many other clients and may not be in the office. However, if not returning phone calls is the normal state of affairs, why put up with it?
  • Your accountant is never in the office.
    This could mean he or she is very busy and out with other clients the majority of the time. It could also mean they do not take their business, or your business, very seriously. Regardless, if you have a difficult time connecting with your accountant, it is time to look for someone who has more time in their schedule to see to your needs.
  • Your accountant never delivers your financials or tax forms to you on time.
    This is not a good scenario! You have hired your accountant to be on top of the financial aspects of your business. If they are not able to get your forms to you on time, you need to first ask yourself if it is your fault. If you are late getting them the material they need, then it probably has little to do with them, but if they have everything they require from you with ample time - and are still consistently late, that's just not good enough!
  • Your accountant does not take the time to discuss your financial reports or affairs with you.
    This is your business. You have the right to understand your financial reports, and if your accountant is unwilling to schedule the time to go over them with you, this is a warning sign you shouldn't ignore. Think of it this way - if you don't understand your reports, then you can't feel confident that the IRD is getting correct information. It is essential to your peace of mind, and to your business, that you have been given the opportunity to understand all of your financial reports.
  • You begin to receive a lot of IRD notices in the mail.
    This is a serious warning sign. If the IRD is sending you repeated notices, then your financial affairs of your business are not being taken care of correctly. Too many of these notices, and your business will be red-flagged by the IRD, which could lead to additional problems for years to come! Speak with your accountant and demand to know what the problem is. If you are unsatisfied with the answers, it is time to search for a new accountant.
  • Trust your instincts!
    Often overlooked, but it shouldn't be. If your instincts are telling you something isn't right, pay attention.
With any of the above warning signs, sometimes it is always best to speak with your accountant about the issues at hand first. 

Sometimes, you may gain a clearer understanding and then feel more comfortable, but if you don't, it's time to move on. You may have known them for years, and they may be a friend, but if it is the right decision, then it is absolutely what you must do - your business is too important too ignore! 

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