Your CPA probably knows more about you than any other person. I sometimes feel like I’m part counselor, part advisor and part fortune-teller with my clients. We know the truth of our client’s finances, beyond what is visible to the average person. We know where the true assets, undiscovered opportunities (both in and out of the business) and risks are. When someone knows that much about you, how do you ever leave? How and when do you break up with your CPA?
Most of the time, my clients ask me for advice on way more than tax matters. That’s where my work and personal business and investing experience, education and most importantly, my point of view come into play. I like working with clients who want to be proactive in business and with their taxes, who understand the need to sometimes take risk, as long as the possible ROI is big enough, and are ready to grow, change and adapt as their market and industry changes.
I have clients leave me sometimes. I understand the need when their needs change. Usually it’s because their business has declined or they are just closing it down. In a few cases, their business has grown to a spot where they need special SEC-compliant work. I hate to see them leave, because I get invested in their businesses, but I understand that needs change. And I also understand that the decision to leave is a hard one for most people, no matter what the circumstances are. It’s only natural that it’s tough to change when you’ve got an advisor you’ve trusted and relied on and now realize he’s no longer the best fit for you.
If you’re at that spot now and feel that your current CPA no longer is the one you need to take you where you want to go, you’re probably struggling right now with the question of how to actually make the change.
Be honest and kind. And especially if it’s not because of anything the CPA did wrong, state simply it’s time for you to find someone who has more experience or better fits your needs. Thank your CPA for their work in the past. There’s no sense to burn bridges. There will also likely be past information that your new CPA needs and so anything you can do to ease that transfer will be good for you. Most CPAs are professionals and if they’ve had any experience at all, they know that clients come and go. In fact, if your CPA gets mad, than that should reinforce your decision that you made the right decision. (It’s a sure sign that they lack the professionalism and experience you need.)
Change is hard. But if you want to build a business and/or real estate investments, chances are that you’ll have to occasionally change some of the advisors you use.