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CPAs: Help Me Help You And Make Me A Better Client

As a small business owner I know I need a CPA.  I value your services and I am grateful and willing to pay for good advice.  I fear my CPA, perhaps with the best intentions (keeping the billable hours down), does not respond to me out of a reluctance to hit the lever on the hourly billing.  Stop it.  Resist the urge.

Tomorrow I will visit my CPA with a folder fat with receipts, credit card statements, and invoices.  I am in a panic.  I have a hunch the folder should be an inch thicker.

As a business owner here are the things that populate my 80+ hour week:

  • Working my ass off for my clients.
  • Getting paid for my work.
  • Keeping up with email, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, my blog.
  • Traditional marketing of my business.
  • Seeking speaking gigs.
  • Writing.
  • More writing.
  • Expense Reports.
  • Saving receipts for CPA meeting.

I need a system for managing my business.

I am officially in the market for a new CPA.  I want to be coached.  I want tips on how to better manage the administrative side of my business.  I don’t want a hands off, low cost approach.  I want your expertise to guide me into some sort of order, zen and calm regarding my business.

Please coach me.  Please blog tips on how I can be more prepared when I meet with you.  Teach me to be a better business owner.  Guide me to a confidence that makes me feel better about our quarterly meetings than I do about dental appointments.

Am I asking too much?

6 Responses to CPAs: Help Me Help You And Make Me A Better Client

  1. Ed Kless says:

    Try to find one who will NOT bill you by the hour. If you are OK with it not being a local firm I can get you a few suggestions.

  2. evenanerd says:

    No you are not asking too much! You are expressing the needs of a million small businesses all over America. Why isn’t our profession doing a better job of helping people?

    I’m working with CPAs who are trying to break the mold but there aren’t enough of them. The rest are too busy watching the clock and cranking out billable hours and following the rules. They’re serving the investors and the taxing authorities NOT business owners. It breaks my heart that businesses have to pay the price when CPAs have the ability to make a difference for their clients. It’s time they start putting all of that knowledge to use in turning this economy around.

    Dawn, I’m sending your post to all of the CPAs I know. I hope it gets them fired up. It worked for me.

  3. Magen Smith CPA says:

    There is a better way! And shame on your CPA for not taking the initiative and teaching you! I find that a lot of people in my profession want to help our clients; we just have a communication barrier on what we can provide and what they want. I am so glad that you wrote this post because it is such an important topic to bring up and discuss. Have you expressed an interest in streamlining this process with your CPA? What suggestions, if any, have they given you? What happens when you bring your folder of fat receipts? I would love to have a more in-depth conversation with you about your experiences and your needs. Feel free to send me an email! I hope that you find a new and wonderful CPA, and if you are open to someone out of town (South Louisiana), let’s talk!

    • Dawn says:

      Hi Magen, Thank you for your comments. My CPA was very calm about the fat folder and chaotic receipts and invoices. I think it’s just the way she’s always done things or what she expects from her clients. I think there is such a huge opportunity for CPAs with blogs, social media, etc. – checklist and best practices for new business owners…that sort of thing.

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