Although accountants may have the qualifications for the job, these qualifications do not necessarily mean they’re good at what they do. Much like any other skill set, a qualification doesn’t equate to performance. Some accountants may choose to cut corners, believing that if the number is close enough then it must be fine. This can be catastrophic when it comes to accounting tax services, resulting in incorrect tax returns and even an audit if worst comes to worst. Now, the majority of accountants are very good at what they do. They take pride in their work and work extremely hard to bring the best results to their clients. This is why it’s extremely important to notice a bad tax accountant when you see one. Here are some of the red flags you should look out for when hiring an accountant. If you notice one or multiple of these, then you may want to consider alternative tax services.
1. Slow Or No Responses
One of the key soft skills of any good accountant is their ability to communicate. A good accountant will always be available (or will let you know if they’re not beforehand). As the service provider, it is the accountant’s responsibility to be fast and reliable. Any good accountant will be fully aware of this and will return your calls, emails and texts as fast as possible. After all, good communication is crucial for any harmonious relationship.
It is of course important to remember that there will be times in which your accountant is slower to respond (such as the weekend or evenings). Nonetheless, systems should be in place such as answering bots, administrators or members of staff available who can help. The last thing you want to hear during a stressful day is that your accountant is simply too busy. A good accountant will always make sure they have something in place to accommodate higher fluctuations in work.
If you currently hire tax accounting services Singapore and are left waiting hours for a response on a business day every time you contact them, then it’s definitely time to look elsewhere. Accountants know what is expected of them and will be happy to accommodate to your needs.
2. A Reactive Approach and Mindset
According to a 2014 survey from the Sleeter Group, the number one reason for companies leaving their accountants is that they weren’t providing any proactive advice. As a business owner, you know that you’re not a tax expert, however, you know that accountants have the software in place to complete your tax return and therefore you should expect much more than a simple tax return. You should always be looking for tax advice. The tax laws can be extremely complex and therefore you always want new ways to help reduce your tax burden. This should be provided by an accountant proactively.
A good accountant won’t wait for their clients to call them. They won’t sit in their office waiting for the phone to ring or problems to suddenly pop up. Instead, they will be making a proactive effort to reach out to their clients. They will consistently ask to meet their clients throughout the year, providing them with up to date financial information and recommendations as to how they can improve their financial situation. Even if your finances are healthy, they can always be better.
Your accountant should work as your advisor and your consultant. They should be happy to help you with problems aside from your taxes, such as personal financial planning, business management, and insurance. As a business owner, you should always value having a financial expert on your team providing you with invaluable financial advice. If your accountant doesn’t offer this then you know where to send them.
3. Someone Who Isn’t On Your Team
Your accountant should be an extension to your current team. You don’t want someone to sit on the opposite side of your desk saying “You can’t do that.” As a successful business owner, that’s the last thing you want to hear. You want to get things done, finding solutions to every problem you encounter. A “no” is simply not an option. Now, we’re not saying you should ask your accountant to break the law. But you want to be discussing creative solutions in which you work together to discuss the risks and rewards of decisions that you make.
If it becomes clear that your accountant simply isn’t on your side then it’s time to find a new accountant. You want your accountant to help you minimize your tax liabilities whilst providing you with recommendations and the risks involved in each. If your accountant values you as a client, then they will be happy to provide you with any advice you need. You want them to stand by your side when making big financial decisions, not someone to work as a simple tax return preparer.
If you’re reading this article and have found that your accountant fits into all of these categories it’s time to get searching. With thousands of tax accounting services in Singapore, you will easily be able to find a list of candidates who can meet your expectations. Once you have found a good accountant, you’ll be able to work with them year after year to get the very best out of your tax return.