Who Makes A Great Client For Us?
One Who Aligns With Our Core Values, Of Course!
We've been helping people for a long time now, and while the vast majority of our client relationships have been tremendous, we do encounter some that just aren't a good fit. This happens for a wide variety of reasons, but in our experience, miscommunication, or non-communication, of expectations is to blame on both sides of the relationship. I guess if you think about it, that applies to ALL relationships, not just the Accountant-Client relationship, so this tidbit of wisdom can help make all of your personal and professional relationships better.
This page is designed to clearly communicate our values, so our expectations are clear before we enter a working relationship with a prospective client. In no particular order, we value: Responsibility, Promptness, Organization, Communication, Security, Integrity, Consideration, Completeness, Proactiveness, and Limits/Boundaries. We have prepared a list of our expectations of each value below, with the belief that this will create a happy and productive relationship with all of our clients.
1. Be Responsible. Paying taxes, while frustrating, is everyone's responsibility. We are here to do our best to help you pay the lowest tax legally possible. We expect that you face your tax liability proactively. We expect that our clients should have the financial ability and the discipline, to make their quarterly estimated tax payments. We recognize that not everyone is able to do that, at all times, however it should be their intent. Clients that are able to make estimated tax payments are best able to take advantage of our proactive tax planning advice. Our most successful client relationships are with those who are able to make their quarterly estimated tax payments.
2. Be Prompt. Tax season is short and intense. We request clients submit their info to us as soon as it becomes available to them. Do not wait for the last piece to arrive, submitting info to us quickly ensures we spot issues for you early in the tax preparation process. It also allows us to manage our workload and proactively make sure you receive every deduction possible. Our plan is to always file by the original due date, and only file extensions if there are extenuating circumstances. We support about 500 clients during tax season, and procrastination on the client's side is disrespectful to our office staff. Timely submissions = Better Planning, and more thorough reviews. To get the very best value out of your tax advisor, please send those forms in Jan/Feb when you receive them.
3. Be Organized. Most tax problems we have seen, started out as a bookkeeping problem. Business owners and rental property owners must have proper bookkeeping. We encourage you to allow us to handle the accounting for your business, to ensure all of your accounts are properly reconciled. Concierge Bookkeeping services ensure that you are tax-return-ready at all times. If you do not keep a "workmanlike" set of books that is deemed adequate by IRS standards, we really will not be able to help you. IRS standards are very high for Partnerships and Corporations especially, spreadsheets won't be sufficient for those entity types. It is a necessity to run your books in a businesslike manner throughout the year, or your tax season will be a disaster.
4. Be Communicative. Let us know how things are going for you and how we can help you. Let us know of major changes as they occur, so we can be proactive. Don't let it "wait until tax season", it is generally too late by then to reduce any tax impact! We also commit to communicating as things change. As much as we would love for all of our communications to our clients to be one-on-one, the demands of our profession and the size of our business does require for us to make a lot of one-to-all email and video messages, in order to be efficient with our time. We ask the you remain subscribed to our email contact list. We know, we are all buried in emails, but this is the most efficient way to communicate important information to all of our clients. We promise not to over-communicate, but there will be times when there is a lot going on in the tax world, and you'll see an increase in our communications when needed. We encourage you to connect with us on social media. Please read our office updates and tax alerts, and let us know if something affects you.
5. Be Secure. Perhaps our most important job, is to keep your personal information safe. We make a significant investment in annual IT provider fees and security features, to ensure the best possible protection of your info that we can afford. Please use our secure file portal or other secure form of file sharing service, when sharing your tax documents with us. Standard email service is not secure. This protects client, ourselves, and the rest of our client base. Data security is so very important!
6. Have Integrity. This should go without saying, but you'd be surprised at the lengths people are willing to go to in order to reduce their tax bill. Please disclose all income, foreign assets, and cryptocurrency to us, for proper reporting. This helps avoid major issues with the IRS.
7. Be Considerate. April 15 is not the only deadline our office has to meet. January 31, March 15, April 15, September 15, and October 15 are all major deadlines for accountants. Understand when submitting information, we will reply to you as soon as possible, but a deadline for another entity or filing requirement might prevent an immediate response. We try very hard to communicate the deadlines that apply to you and your business. Please submit your info at least 2 weeks in advance of those dates, to ensure we have time to process, review, and file on time. We work long hours at those times of the year, to take great care of the clients who are considerate enough to follow our process.
8. Be Comprehensive. We offer a very wide range of services for small to medium size businesses. We ask that you sign up for the service package that fulfills your tax and accounting needs. Please understand, as your needs change, our service package will need to be adjusted accordingly, or your out-of-scope requests would be billed separately. "Scope creep" is a challenge to any professional service business. We are happy to answer questions outside the scope of our service agreement, but please understand you will be billed by the hour for the services. Many of your questions/issues require research on your specific situation, review the tax law to see how it pertains to your circumstances, and time to run the analysis to calculate the impact, and time to communicate the results or make a recommendation to you. We strive to provide incredibly valuable service to you, and in return we need to be compensated for our expertise and our efforts to deliver that knowledge to you.
9. Understand Our Limitations. There are certain compliance limitations on the licenses and firm permits that we hold. Our office does not perform attestation services. That general means we do not prepare compilations, reviews, or audits of financial statements. It also means we are not able to provide banks with "Comfort Letters or "CPA Letters". We sign an affidavit annually stating that we will not perform these services, and we will not violate our license. We also do not handle any international tax issues or filings. If you or your business requires any of these services, unfortunately, we cannot help you.
Our office is completely committed to providing the best services possible, throughout the course of our relationship with you. We understand that we are not the aacounting firm for everyone, and that is okay. We look forward to an everlasting relationship with all that respect our values. Thank you for understanding!