Small Business Operators - 7 Reasons You Should Change Your Accountant

A recent survey showed that only 28.7% of small business owners were happy with their accountant, and only half of those would recommend him to their friends because he was too busy already.

The following are the most common reasons small business owners give for their dissatisfaction. Do any apply to you?

1. The accountant in charge is not accessible and never returns phone calls. In the early stages he couldn't do enough. He used to come out to the factory at least once a year to have a look. Now he seems to have time only for the big fellows. It seems I'm too small for him to be bothered with.

2. I am forever being foisted onto less senior staff who just do not know the answers. They have to research the matter or get hold of someone more knowledgeable It means delays and wasted time that I am being billed for.

3. The change over in staff is frustrating. I have a complex structure and I have to explain it anew every time I visit. It would be lovely to build up a relationship with someone permanently. (or at least for two years in a row).

4. I deliver my work in plenty of time but the accountant sits on it like a clucky hen for months. Sometimes I receive fines from the Tax Office which are not my fault. My accountant reimburses me if I kick up a stink about it, but I am afraid I am building a bad reputation with the tax people.

5. Even though the work has been in his office in loads of time, the completion always seems to be hurried. Work is sent to me with errors. Surely this isn't right? Now, I insist on seeing the work in draft form first, and I am able to pick up most of the errors

6. He charges for everything. I rang him to point out a mistake his firm had made in my account and he charged me $35 for fixing it.

7. The fee he charges is out of all proportion to the service he gives! The fee goes up each year while his service gets poorer. I don't mind paying the appropriate fee but he charges like a wounded bull.

These are the perceptions only from disgruntled clients and may be colored by many things. They may be even untrue! I am sure that the accountant would tell another story, but?

Before you engage an accountant or even in dealing with your presentaccountant you should clarify his terms of engagement. You wouldn't go to a mechanic and say, "Fix my car. Do whatever you think is appropriate. Never mind the cost just send me the bill."

Nor should you with your accountant. Your accountant may be performing a service you don't need and don't use. How will he know if you don't tell him?

On the other hand, there may be a service you really do need which he is not doing. Ask him to give you an estimate. Don't be put off with,"It's a bit hard to estimate I charge an hourly fee".

Once his tasks for the year are nailed down why shouldn't he have an idea of how long each task takes.

The charge out rate for each employee may range from $35 to $200 dollars per hour according to the skill and experience of the employee. The Accountant should be able to estimate the fee using the rate for the appropriate employee. If during the year a specialist just happens to do some data entry over the weekend to get the task finished you shouldn't have to pay his rates.

The most important attribute of a good accountant is his ability to act as your confidante. You should be able to tell him anything.

You won't be able to if each time you are in his office you are worried about the fee he is going to charge for the visit.

Kelvyn Peters and Associates
http://www.profitstrategies4business.com

About the Author

Kelvyn Peters is one of Australia's longest serving Tax Agents. Kelvyn was registered in February 1962 and became a CPA in September 1964.

Kelvyn has served on many not-for-profit and charitable boards including St Aubyns Private Hospital, Alzheimer's Association, Older Peoples Advocacy Service and the Golden Years Center.

As a young man he won the Outstanding Jaycee Award three year's in a row. Kelvyn is a generous and kind man who loves helping people. Kelvyn feels their pain.

Kelvyn Peters was Mayor of Kingaroy Shire Council from 1977 to 1983 and campaigned as the 'Young Man of Action"

Over 20 years later he still regards himself as a 'Young Man of Action'.

He is a director of Restaurant Catering Qld Inc the peak employer representative in Queensland, and has advised the hospitality industry for many years.

His specialty is moving in to rescue an ailing business.

Kelvyn Peters CPA has spent over 20 years experimenting and researching methods to help small business in meaningful ways that are affordable.

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