Are you paying too much ??
I bet you didn’t know that everyone and their dog is an “accountant.” If you don’t believe me, then try this social experiment. If you were to post an update on any of your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn accounts asking for a trusted, fair priced accountant, you’d get a bagillion comments and referrals within minutes.
Why do you think that is?
First off, you need to know that with a limited education and background in accounting, you have the “skill set” to prepare taxes. It is a very common thing for some “accountants” to do this work on the side from their regular career. Yes, they do it on the side from their 9-5.
So you decide to take one of your facebook friend’s word for it and reach out to their trusted “accountant.” Besides, your friend said how awesome their accountant is, so he/she obviously is. So you reach out for him/her to prepare your personal and business returns. He/she prepares your returns in only a few hours and charges a minimal fee for his “services.” Sounds like a great deal right? You’re taxes are filed and a huge weight is off your back.
Why are you paying too much then?
We classify these awesome accountants (Let’s not exclude bookkeepers too) as Plug and Chug. This is where they get your information and plug the information into a tax software and wahlah, it’s filed and done! But wait, where was the strategy? Where was the savings? Where did the collaboration of maximising expenses go? What about suggestions about increasing profitability? Not to mention having a continuous relationship, asking questions about your specific circumstances through business decisions and their affect on your taxes? Was this done? I mean, even implementing just one specific tax strategy into your situation will save thousands!
Now we don’t want you to take offense if you do work with a trusted family member or friend. They do get the returns filed… but think about how much they have cost you in not helping you save more and more money? Mind blown in 3..2..1.. you’re paying too much for this type of service!
We never promise to be the least expensive CPA firm but I know we certainly aren’t the most expensive. But we do save our clients more in taxes than what we charge. The few that we don’t, they value their time enough to trade our price for their time.
Sometimes we have a client decide to stop using us because they feel like we are too expensive. We don’t apologize for our prices. We know the value we create and we feel like we are a great deal.
Take this to Heart (story)
This year a client in the event planning industry decided to do just that. She sent me a very nice email explaining that she has always appreciated the good work I’ve done for her, but that she was going to find someone this year less expensive. I wished her luck and continued with tax season.
A couple months pass by and the client reached out to me saying that her tax liability on the return prepared by the new guy was really high and it didn’t make sense to her. She didn’t feel like she was getting a good service from him.
You see, the industry in general is very lazy. It has a plug and chug mentality like I mentioned and to further clarify. “Give me your info, I plug it into my software, and you pay a tax.” This is exactly what happened with this client.
So she came back to us and asked if we could do the taxes. When we looked at her business financials, they definitely looked off. So she gave us access to her QuickBooks online. After a couple hours of us reviewing the books, we found some serious accounting errors.
We fixed the errors, educated the client on how to properly account for some of her transactions going forward and saved her more than $4,000 in taxes.
All of a sudden that extra $300 she paid us compared to the other guy seems like a good investment.
Free has a price. Cheap has a price. You should be looking for value exchange, not a commodity.
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