Is the grass really greener?
At Mazuma we pride ourselves on having high morals when it comes to growing our business.
We never directly target another firm's clients, we don't poach staff and we never ever speak ill of a another accountant.
Over the years we've seen clients come to us after having been let down by an accountant who promised the earth but didn't deliver.
We don't like to see any of our clients - past, present or future, have bad experiences. It makes accountancy as an industry look bad. So here are a few warning signs you should consider when looking for an accountant!
- Lots of sparkly new tax advice when they've never seen your books / accounts. - It's really easy to give generic, non-specific advice to someone. There are loads of rules out there that can easily be plucked from the chasms of tax law and made to seem exciting and relevant to you. Sometimes it can leave you thinking "well, why hasn't my accountant suggested this"? The thing is, unless an accountant has actually seen your accounts, knows your tax position, life goals and even potentially your spouses' tax affairs, then advice is very hard to give. Tax is complicated (which is why you hire an accountant). If someone is spouting off things that will "definitely save you tax" within the first meeting or phone call, then you may very well end up disappointed. If you're not sure about something - ask your current accountant. Chances are that they're acting in the best way for you. And if they're not, well then it's time to shop around.
- The price seems too good to be true. - Guess what? It probably is. At Mazuma we have always priced in a very transparent way. We're cheaper than some and more expensive than others - but you'll always know what you're paying for and what is included. An unscrupulous accountant will "low ball" the fee in order to win your business. Then you'll notice extra charges or the prices going up fairly soon after you join them, without much explanation. If this happens then you should look for someone else - if they can't be honest about the price then how can you trust them with your tax affairs?
- You can never get hold of them. - Were they super responsive during the courting phase but as soon as you're signed up then they are difficult to get hold of? We don't like that at Mazuma. We're very clear what our response times will be and all of our staff have their response times reported on daily. Why? Because our clients are really important to us! If your new accountant doesn't respond to your emails or return your calls in a reasonable amount of time, then it might be time to move on.
- They heavily criticise or are rude about your old accountant. - Well, this is just downright unprofessional. And in our experience, bad accountants tend to berate their predecessors in order to deflect attention from their own shortfalls. A good accountant will just quietly work away at your accounts and deal with the handover from your old accountant with no fuss and without negativity or name-calling. If you hear your new accountant bad-mouthing other people in their industry then perhaps you should look for someone with better ethics...
Whether you choose Mazuma or not, we hope these little tips will help you find the right accountant for your business!