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19. How Working with A Crappy Accountant Can Change the Trajectory of Your Business

Air Date:

Oct 26, 2022


30 Min

Your peace of mind is your biggest asset, and working with a crappy accountant will cost you some. I had a conversation with a business owner I was consulting the other day, and they shared this story with me.

You could tell they were frustrated, annoyed, and fed up - and that's not what working with anyone you're paying money to should feel like.

This show episode discusses some of the "Crappy Accountant" red flags you should be looking for.

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Episode Show Notes :


The Blind leading the Blind

The phrase the Blind leading the Blind is often used when someone is following another person that really doesn’t know where they are going or what they are doing.

  • The dilemma - This may seem harsh to say but the Accounting & bookkeeping industry can really feel like this. So often business owners reach out to me and confess I have no idea what my bookkeeper is really doing and when I talk to their bookkeeper the bookkeep confesses I am not sure what they really need. 

  • The shady behavior - truth be told a lot of bookkeepers confess to me that they don’t know what to do to help their clients but they are still billing them for the services

Common complaints from business owners:

  • I don’t know what my bookkeeper is doing

  • I feel like my bookkeeper is just waiting for me to tell them what to do

  • I don’t regularly hear from my bookkeeper/accountant so I'm in the dark

  • They show up once a year and give me a big bill for thousands and I don’t know what I'm paying for

  • I don’t know what type of work to ask them to do but I keep paying them (I'm having issues that they might be able to help but I don’t know)

So here are a few basic ground rules of what business owners should expect from a bookkeeper:

  • Classifying transactions 

  • Bank reconciliations

  • Reviewing processes and providing recommendations - this is important because the client may have no idea what the implications are for their actions so you need to step in and provide some guidance.

  • Providing regular advise and reporting

  • Interacting with your tax preparer to provide financial statements

  • Timely responses

  • Optional items

    • Payroll 

    • Check prepping/printing

    • Billing and AR follow up

As an accountant you have to get proactive about spelling out what you actually will do because if you don’t the client will fill in the gap with their own expectations:

  • Create content - blogs, videos, graphics that talk about the types of problems you solve - because not all accountants are created equal

  • Detail in your contracts what services are involved

  • Outline the process with a graphic or flow chart

  • Set deadlines that you can actually meet

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