Understand exactly what and how you are charged.
Most people have no idea how they are charged by their accountant or tax professionals. If you are like many, you simply cross your fingers, hold your breath and wait until your accounting invoice arrives…and then the frustration continues. Most tax professionals do a very poor job of communicating their value to clients.
This is for only one of two reasons:
1. They just do not provide much value.
2. They are simply not pressured to do otherwise.
It is so common to hear that people are frustrated with their accounting and tax filing process. This doesn’t have to be the case. But it all starts with pushing for clearer disclosure and communication. But it starts with you…the client.
After-all, it’s your money, and it is your life.
2. Get better organized
Yes, but you already knew this. Just like you don’t need anyone to tell you the benefits of sit-ups.
What do you expect will happen when you bring in a shoebox full of tattered paper receipts? You’d charge more for that as well. However, what you may not appreciate is that bookkeeping is far cheaper than accounting. So take the time to ensure your books are tight and as clean as possible.
Unsure of how to do this….Simply ask. A great accountant and tax professional should be willing to assist you and teach you how to ensure your books are in good order.
3. Save on tax!!!
Seems pretty simple I know, but this is so under appreciated.
If your tax professional is doing their job well, then there should be far more value in the form of tax savings, deductions, and credits then what their overall cost should be.
But this seldom occurs.
Remember that employing additional imagination and creativity take effort. “Counting” does not…It’s simply paint by numbers. So it is up to you to push your tax accountant harder to provide you value. Because the more tax you save the less your net cost of the accounting becomes.
4. Expect more from your tax professional
Sadly, pretty much everyone on this planet (short of a few exceptions) is committed to doing as little as possible for the largest reward. This isn’t to suggest that accountants are intentionally acting not in your best interest. It’s just that the system is designed against you. The way accountants are compensated, for the most part, is in complete contradiction to what you are trying to accomplish as a customer.
They get paid on time spent…
While you get value from efficiency and tax savings.
See the dilemma?
So you have to ensure to work with a tax professional that is focussed on what truly is the task at hand….To save you as much tax as possible, while staying within the letter of the law.
5. Consider a holistic & integrated approach to your finances
The billable hour is very likely the worst concept ever invented in the eyes of the customer.
GOOD for accountants…BAD for their clients.
It neither promotes nor rewards efficiency on behalf of the tax professional. It explicitly stands in the way of a successful accountant / client relationship.
This billable hour model is broken. Now listen, you need to pay for your taxes to be filed both properly and accurately. That is common sense and goes without saying.
But where does the real value come in that process?
Consider a fresh new way to approach your tax planning…
By seeking out a holistic and integrated financial planning and tax planning professional, you very well can obtain the best of both worlds:
- The teams Financial Planner will ensure to do what is in your best interest to grow your wealth and ensure that you are actually getting closer to your goals with every aspect of your finances including your tax planning.
- The accountant will then ensure that your taxes are filed both accurately and according to the plan outlined by your financial planner.
But again….It is up to YOU to demand more as a customer.
Precedence Capital / Gravitas Securities Inc. –
The views, opinions and positions expressed by the author and those providing comments on these blogs are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions or positions of Gravitas Securities Inc.