Working with a financial planner anywhere is an investment, and hiring a Long Island accountant can be costly. If your CPA service earns you money and saves you from risk, it’s well worth the price, but how do you know if you’re getting your money’s worth? When it comes to accounting, “good enough” really isn’t good enough. Look at these signs your accountant may not be the right one for you, and you might find it’s time for an upgrade to a CPA who gives you more.
Financial Planners Who Aren’t CPAs – But Charge Like Them
If you’re paying rates for Certified Public Accountant but working with an independent financial planner who may or may not have the expertise of a CPA, it may be time to switch. Long Island accountants earn a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in a finance-related field, usually accounting or management, then take additional coursework and a rigorous exam to become certified. Ongoing education is also part of maintaining certification, and a financial advisor who isn’t a CPA may not have the same incentive to continue learning. Trusting your money to someone who keeps knowledge about tax law current makes good financial sense.
You Get Referred, Not Served
Ideally, your accountant is at the ready to work with you whenever you need financial advice. That isn’t always possible, but at a quality CPA firm, you get called back promptly and speak with a partner, not assistants or office personnel. Some financial planners specialize in areas that don’t serve your needs, leading to referrals to other accountants who may or may not be a good fit for you. Referrals within a CPA firm can be a useful or even necessary option to give you the most knowledgeable service, but it shouldn’t happen without consulting you and getting your agreement to bring in another CPA.
Your Accountant Thinks Too Small
Competent accountants handle everyday logistics capably enough, but they don’t always give you the strategic financial planning you need. Finance requires both a meticulous eye for detail and long-range vision that lets your CPA plan in advance. Your calendar already has built-in financial planning milestones and recurring events, including payroll, tax filing deadlines and the end of the fiscal year. If your accountant in Long Island is not preparing well in advance of these set dates and minimizing the impact of any charges, it could be time to consider a change.
You Get Charged the Maximum
When you place a three-minute call to your accountant for a straightforward question, are you billed for an hour of services? Do you pay premium fees for meetings and phone calls outside of business hours? Are you being charged full commission on top of your CPA’s usual fee for investment products you buy or insurance you obtain through your Long Island accountant’s office? Layering fees can add up quickly, and if you’re paying full price instead of getting a discount or having commissions waived altogether, you could economize by changing your accountant.
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