Is it time to give your CPA the boot?

Give Your Current CPA the BootIt’s that time of year again to assemble all of your financial information and bring it to your Certified Public Accountant. However, some of you may be dissatisfied with your current Certified Public Accountant and are contemplating a change.
In a mailing to business owners back in 2003, I included the following list of the Top 10 Questions for them to ask themselves in order to determine if it was time to change certified public accountants:
  1. Do you grab your chest when you open your CPA’s bills?
  2. Do you feel shunned by your CPA whenever you call his office?
  3. Are you tired of seeing a new face handling your account each year?
  4. Are extensions your CPA’s MO?
  5. Are you no longer shocked when you receive an IRS notice?
  6. Do you find yourself auditing the work of your CPA?
  7. Do you suspect that your CPA never heard of tax planning?
  8. Can’t remember the last time your CPA discussed his findings with you?
  9. When you receive your financials, is it already time for next year’s?
  10. Do you wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat, worrying about an IRS audit?
A lot has changed since 2003, especially in regard to information processing. Moreover, the American economy has been suffering from a meltdown for over a year—which may last many more years to come. Consequently, considering whether or not to change CPAs may even be more necessary and urgent now than ever before. In light of this, in addition to the 10 questions listed above, I decided to compile a list of 10 things to be especially on the lookout for to assist you in deciding whether now is the time to change CPAs.
My Top 10 List for Knowing When It’s Time to Give Your Current CPA the Boot!
  1. Your CPA brags about all the money he made on investment referrals to Bernard Madoff’s Investment Securities.
  2. The cover letter accompanying your tax return is in Sanskrit, bearing a New Delhi address.
  3. You received a wedding invitation of your CPA’s marriage to his prison cellmate, Buster.
  4. Your CPA included your dog, Muffy, as a dependent on your 2008 Form 1040.
  5. Your CPA billed you for a 2008 Form 1040 tax return filed for Muffy.
  6. Your CPA’s tax organizer asks you for all of your credit and debit card numbers, CVV numbers, PIN numbers, expiration dates, and names as they appear on the cards.
  7. Your financial statements and tax returns appear on his website as testimonials.
  8. Your CPA off-handedly mentions that he recently hired some big mafooch named Guido to handle collections.
  9. Your CPA text messages his attorney always before signing your financial statements and tax returns.
  10. Over drinks your CPA lets it slip out that that correspondence course—found on the back of a matchbook cover—sure paid off for him.
Perhaps you have a few tips to share about knowing when to change CPAs.

Have a tax or an accounting question?  Please feel free to submit it to William Brighenti, Certified Public Accountant, Hartford CPA Accountants.  For information and assistance on any tax and accounting issue, please visit our website, Accountants CPA Hartford, and our blog, Accounting and Taxes Simplified.

If and only to the extent that this publication contains contributions from tax professionals who are subject to the rules of professional conduct set forth in Circular 230, as promulgated by the United States Department of the Treasury, the publisher, on behalf of those contributors, hereby states that any U.S. federal tax advice that is contained in such contributions was not intended or written to be used by any taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer by the Internal Revenue Service, and it cannot be used by any taxpayer for such purpose.  The above tax advice was written to support the promotion or marketing of the accounting practice of the publisher and any transaction described herein.  The taxpayer recipients of this offering memorandum should seek tax advice based on their particular circumstances from an independent tax advisor.

About William Brighenti

William Brighenti is a Certified Public Accountant, Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor, and Certified Business Valuation Analyst. Bill began his career in public accounting in 1979. Since then he has worked at various public accounting firms throughout Connecticut. Bill received a Master of Science in Professional Accounting degree from the University of Hartford, after attending the University of Connecticut and Central Connecticut State University for his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees. He subsequently attended Purdue University for doctoral studies in Accounting and Quantitative Methods in Business. Bill has instructed graduate and undergraduate courses in Accounting, Auditing, and other subjects at the University of Hartford, Central Connecticut State University, Hartford State Technical College, and Purdue University. He also taught GMAT and CPA Exam Review Classes at the Stanley H. Kaplan Educational Center and at Person-Wolinsky, and is certified to teach trade-related subjects at Connecticut Vocational Technical Schools. His articles on tax and accounting have been published in several professional journals throughout the country as well as on several accounting websites. William was born and raised in New Britain, Connecticut, and served on the City's Board of Finance and Taxation as well as its City Plan Commission. In addition to the blog, Accounting and Taxes Simplified, Bill writes a blog, "The Barefoot Accountant", for the Accounting Web, a Sift Media publication.
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