By Stacey Gorowitz, CPA, MBA
Taxes are the first thing most people think of when they think of their CPA. In fact, the need for help completing their annual returns most likely drove them to seek the assistance of an accountant in the first place. It’s an important task, without a doubt. At the same time, preparing tax returns can almost be viewed as a commodity in some cases. Filling in the blanks is all it amounts to, sadly, from many service providers.
Finding someone to fill in the blanks on the right generic forms for your business or personal return isn’t a challenge. Finding someone who really gets to know you and your company, however, isn’t so easy. It’s worth it to make the extra effort and search until you’ve found the right fit though, because with a well matched CPA who’s motivated and knowledgeable, the difference is astounding.
By putting in the time and attention to understand the nuances of your financial situation – your goals, your unique business, your family, your time frame, etc. – the right accountant will open up a different world to you. Through changes and adjustments to your tax approach, you’ll create significant savings on what you owe now as well as in the future.
Even the forms you use might change, because with a deeper level of knowledge the right CPA could find new credits and deductions or simply a more appropriate approach for you to use.
Is your accountant interested in the details of your life? Does he or she delve into your goals and ambitions, your personal style and the nitty gritty of your business plan? The right accountant is not only someone who wants to know these things, but someone with whom you’re comfortable sharing them.
If you don’t have this kind of personal, intimate relationship with your CPA then chances are good that your tax returns aren’t as finely tuned as they could be. I encourage you to examine this relationship and think honestly about whether it might be time to look again for a tax partner who’s also your overall financial partner to help you build the future you want and deserve.