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Working with an Accountant

The relationship between you and your accountant is one of the most important business relationships you will have. You will come to rely on your accountant for valuable information, advice and support for how to run and grow your business. You are an active participant in this relationship and there are things you can do to help keep the relationship healthy and your business growing.

In your first meeting you should have covered the expectations of the relationship for both parties. This important step will ensure your relationship gets off on the right foot. It ensures you will get the services your business requires to run efficiently and grow.

In addition, your accountant may have suggested ways you could help defer some of your accounting costs by doing some of the bookkeeping yourself. If you keep good records and keep a preliminary general ledger in house it will save your accountant time and save you money.

Most accountants would prefer you call with questions before they turn into big problems. Keeping the lines of communication open allows your CPA or accountant to offer judicious advice and save you time and money. But remember you are not your CPA or accountant's only client. It might take him a day or two to respond, but if you were smart then you covered turnaround time for phone calls and questions during the initial meeting so you already know when to expect a follow up phone call.

Of course, open communication is a two way street. So when you keep your accountant informed about the progress your business is making there aren't any surprises lurking in the shadows. In turn, the accountant should be keeping you updated with timely financial information and reports that can help your business make informed decisions, improve your performance and grow. Remember, open the communication channels and everyone wins.

One final key to maintaining a good working relationship with your accountant or CPA is to remember that good service isn't free. It's one thing if you feel that you are not getting what you are paying for. In that case, the best course of action is to schedule a meeting with your accounting firm to discuss your concerns before they go on too long. If you are unhappy your accountant would likely appreciate the chance to rectify the situation and make amends.

On the other hand, if your CPA is providing the services your business requires and the firm is meeting its obligations to you under the contract you signed then you should pay the accountant on time.

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