Important Red Flags to Watch for When Choosing an Accountant

September 27, 2018 1:45 am Published by Leave your thoughts

When you decide you’re going to work with a CPA, either for your own individual finances or for your business’s accounting, you’re going to want someone you can trust wholeheartedly to be meticulous, professional and communicative. As you go through the process of searching for someone to handle your accounting in Oklahoma City, OK, it’s just as important to be on the lookout for certain red flags as it is to watch for some positive traits that indicate the professional will be a good fit.

With this in mind, here are some of those red flags to watch for when selecting an accountant:

  • Their record is filled with short contracts: Whenever you see an accountant or accounting firm has a track record of short contracts (two or three months), this should be an instant red flag. Any accountant that performs well is going to be able to hang on to contracts and clients, because clients don’t want to have to go through the process of searching for an accountant all over again. This is also true for short permanent gigs that weren’t contract work.
  • Lack of credentials: Anyone is capable of filing tax returns, but not everyone is allowed to charge for this work under the law. Therefore, if you’re hiring a professional accountant who will be, among other things, handling your taxes, make sure you check their credentials, and specifically search for a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN). If they don’t have a PTIN, this is a red flag.
  • Lying to get you tax breaks: While every accountant should do everything they can to help you find deductions and other tax breaks for which you qualify, you should beware of any accountant willing to embellish or flat-out lie just to get you a tax break you didn’t earn. Eventually, this will come back to haunt you, and the last thing you’re going to want is to be audited by the IRS if your accountant has been gaming the system.
  • Big talk and promises: You should be wary of any accountant who promises to get you a big tax refund without conducting a thorough review of your finances and running the numbers for themselves. Accountants should avoid making any promises or projections until they’ve been able to review all of your documents. Otherwise, these promises are just hot air, made with the hope of getting you to commit to being their client rather than actually having any intention of following through on those promises.
  • Lack of communication: While you don’t need to be on the phone every single day with your accountant, you should expect some basic level of communication about your accounting issues, and you should be able to get through relatively easy to talk to your accountant whenever you have questions or issues come up. Lack of communication is a big red flag.

For more information about finding the right person to handle your accounting in Oklahoma City, OK, contact Chrisman & Chrisman Financial Services today.

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