The questions I should ask my accountant….New or Old.

I have been in the Financial Services and Financial Management Sector all of my life. I have been in the role of a Tax Consultant ,Bookkeeper for both small business and farm, Financial Control Officer, Year end Accountant, Internal Auditor in Industry , Year end auditor in industry, Credit administrator, Credit Manager ,Farm Management Teacher and Financial Software Entrepreneur, Financial Planner and both Mutual Funds and Life Insurance Sales Representative and both Outside Sales Representative or Business Development Representative for a Financial Services Company. I have some experience in the Financial Services Sector and was motivated to become a professional accountant by my beloved Father in Law who inspired me to become the best I could be in Financial Services. The industry has served me well and I appreciate all of the opportunities I have had both as an employee and as an entrepreneur and contractor.

One observation that I have made is that there is a huge gap in the understanding of ongoing record keeping and tax consequences of business decisions made throughout the year and year what questions should be asked of the year end accountant and year end tax preparation for all three of proprietors, partnerships and limited companies.

The first assumption that we will make and deal with is this….All inquiries by you are chargeable by your accountant as per your engagement with him or her either at the time or billed at year end. All answered inquiries are billable either at the time or at year end. Good information is valuable. It becomes more valuable if connected to better questions. My first piece of advise would be to take a basic accounting course and learn the language.

The Key Questions I would ask any new or existing tax preparer would be …..

1) What income tax training and experience does the professional in your office have specifically?

2) How many years of experience do first you and next the tax preparer signing off on my tax returns have?

3) Are you and they certified accountants in good standing?

4) Do you guarantee your income tax preparation work and advice?

6) Do you and your tax accountant have experience in my marketplace sector?

7) Are you an effective communicator and listener who has relationships with his/her clients?

8) Do i qualify as an ideal client for you? If yes, How? If no, How?

9) How much time do you typically spend on a client file? With the client face to face or skype or other means of face to face interaction?

10) How long does it take you to return phone calls? Will it be you or I am routed to a call centre?

The above are an example of questions that should be asked each and every time you interact with a new accountant or in many cases an ongoing accountant and tax preparer. Better questions better results. Better people better relationships.

Everyone deserves a good relationship with both the year end accountant and tax preparer to better understand both the books and their business.

All accountants are not the same.

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