Is My Accounting Firm Trying to Fire Me?

By Stacey Gorowitz, CPA, MBA

With the continuing mergers and consolidation in the accounting industry, if you suspect you’ve become a little fish in a big pond, you’re probably right!

As accounting firms move upstream and target larger prospects, they do not want to offend their existing clients by telling them that they are no longer an “A” client and it’s time to move on. Your firm may not directly tell you that your work is no longer a good fit for their firm. Even if you have a long relationship with your existing accounting firm, they may be trying to fire you if…

1)    They do not communicate with you throughout the year or return phone calls and emails in a timely manner.

2)    You feel like you’re training the person preparing your return because every other year there is a new staff person you have to educate about your business ,industry and the history of your family’s tax transactions.

3)    You’re concerned about the quality of the work because it feels rushed. No matter how quickly you get the firm complete information, your return is always filed on September 15 or October 15.

4)    They never ask you questions about the information they receive, nor do they offer suggestions on potential tax savings or financial strategies. It seems they’re only focused on getting your return completed as quickly as possible.

5)    Their fees feel exorbitant, and you hesitate to even ask a question because their fees have increased rapidly while the quality of service you get in return has decreased.

It’s great to see CPA firms growing and enjoying financial success. However, what’s good for the firm and its owners isn’t always good for existing clients. As the people who used to work on your account move on to different roles, retire or just disappear, it’s important to recognize that the firm may no longer be the best fit for your business or personal needs.

The ability to say, “It’s time to move on” to a client is a skill that isn’t taught in business management courses.  When your business and personal financial details are complex, you want to be sure that you are working with a firm that considers you an “A” client, not one they have outgrown…

Firms change over time. Your needs change over time, too, and often these changes are not in sync. If your accounting firm is no longer meeting your needs and exceeding your expectations, this is a sure sign that it might be time to make a change before the next tax season rolls around.

 

Comments

  1. Great article! It made me realize I need to move on and find better service.

  2. This is a great article that I will share with some smaller CPA firms.

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