Having a clear understanding of your finances is vital to running a successful business. It’s important to have a CPA (certified public accountant) you can trust on your team. Many small business owners work with CPAs for years, which can make them seem hard to replace. However, that relationship can make it difficult to tell if you are working with the best person for your small business tax work.
Here are five signs you may need to look for a new CPA:
1. You Are Having a Hard Time Speaking with Your Small Business Tax Preparer
A computer can file your taxes for you. You are paying a CPA for small business tax expertise. If you have a question about how your taxes are being prepared and you’re not receiving a satisfactory answer, then you are not getting what you are paying for from your CPA.
If you are finding it difficult to get your CPA to answer questions you have about your taxes, then you should consider another option.
2. Lack of Communication between Bookkeepers and Tax Preparers
An accountant’s fundamental role is to analyze the records your bookkeeper creates. If this isn’t occurring, why are you giving your CPA access to your finances at all?
It may be helpful to look at the relationship between your CPA and your bookkeeper; observe whether your CPA is being active or reactive. Is your CPA engaging with your bookkeeper to arrive at a fuller financial understanding of your business? Or is your CPA merely reacting to problems that occur – problems that could have been avoided with better communication?
If your CPA is not actively engaging with your records department, it may be time to find a new one.
3. Your Taxes Were Filed with Errors or Required Multiple Revisions
Erroneously filed taxes can have massive consequences for your business. If your taxes are filed incorrectly by your CPA or required multiple revisions to be done correctly, then your CPA is endangering your business. If your CPA is unable to correctly file your taxes, then you owe it to yourself and your organization to find someone who can.
4. Process to Sign Your Taxes Was Cumbersome and Confusing
Running a business demands all your attention. The purpose of hiring a CPA is to have an expert available who can streamline your tax process; someone who is aware of how tax laws are changing. It is a red flag if signing your taxes every year seems to require unnecessary and confusing steps.
Your CPA’s job is to remove confusing hurdles the tax process can present. A good CPA will leave you confident that your taxes will be completed correctly and on time.
5. You Are Unable to Get a Clear Answer from your CPA
You may have picked a general CPA when you started your business because they were available and seemed capable of understanding the needs of your burgeoning business. As your business grows, however, you need a professional who knows important details specific to your industry.
If you feel like you’re bringing your CPA more information than they are giving back to you, you aren’t getting your money’s worth. If your CPA is consistently referring you to another source, then maybe you should hire that source.
You should be confident that you have a CPA who is engaged with your business and has your best interests. If this is not the case, then don’t hesitate. Start looking for the right CPA today.