We’ve talked about dealing with unresponsive clients. It’s frustrating and feels disrespectful. Unfortunately, I see it all the time as a CPA. Taxes are intimidating and people put them off until the last minute.
The truth is, when you’re unresponsive and fail to help out your accountant… You’re losing money!
As a CPA, my goal is to empower business owners to save the most money possible on their taxes. In order for me to provide that value, I need my clients to meet me halfway. Important action items and deadlines need to be met in order to ensure client success.
Your accountant is a valued member of your team. They are dealing with the most intimate part of your business, your finances. Here’s how you can contribute to your money success and make your accountant love you.
- Communicate your schedule.
No one likes to be ghosted… especially when there’s money on the line. Life happens, but you need to communicate. You don’t need to divulge your personal life to your accountant, but you do need to tell them if you are unable to respond or need an extension.
Agree on a mutual schedule, let your accountant know when they can expect to hear from you. When your accountant communicates action items to you, follow up promptly. Even if you are busy, let them know when you will be able to respond to the task.
Work with your accountant’s schedule by understanding their work hours and communication methods. I use a software called Calendly where clients can book meeting times on a calendar specific to my availability. That way you don’t have to worry about that fun email back-and-forth.
- Read your emails!
READ YOUR EMAILS… I can’t stress this enough. Set aside time (seriously even just 30 minutes a week) to read emails received from your accountant. Most of the time, we just want you to be aware of the things we need from you. Action items are small and VERY manageable if you read your emails timely. Emails are usually not frequent. If you let them pile up, that’s when your tax to do’s get stressful and overwhelming.
Why should you care? Because those emails give you steps to guarantee you’re not handing over the majority of your revenue to pay your next tax bill.
- Follow directions and use your portal
A supportive accountant should provide you clear instructions on important action items like: uploading receipts and providing past documentation. When those items come up, do them as instructed.
I use a client management/project management software called Canopy that is specific to tax professionals. This tool allows me to create tasks and lists for my clients to access. I provide clients with a login to gain access to a secured portal. They can upload files and tax documents here.
A secured portal keeps your identity safe from hackers and fraudsters. So PLEASE, when your accountant asks you to upload information to a portal… DO IT. Online theft and email hacking is prevalent, protect yourself. I promise, using a portal is pretty simple and easy to use.
The bottom line is: Your accountant is trying to save you money. Help us do our job. It only benefits you.
I am a CPA who values efficiency, I am generally proactive in my communication with my clients. I prepare before meetings. I send follow-up emails. I send agendas before meetings to help the client have clarity and feel more supportive. Serving my clients and providing transformative results is what I’m after.
I don’t expect everyone to have the same active communication style that I do, but from a business standpoint I expect action and responsive communication from my clients. We are all entrepreneurs trying to provide value to our community.