What Makes a Good CPA?

I’m sure that you come across many Certified Public Accountants in even the smallest of towns these days. When you want to trust someone with your personal or business accounting and tax needs, what should your process of elimination entail so that you can narrow down your choices?

Apart from getting a personal recommendation from someone who can vouch for their expertise and other qualities, do you know what it takes to be a good CPA? My two decades of experience have taught me that there are three things that I can do consistently to keep my clients happy. I’ll share them with you here, and you can tell me what you think.

1. Return Phone Calls, Texts, and E-mails Promptly – Even if you don’t have an answer to their question immediately, the courtesy of a return call to confirm that you are actively pursuing the answer goes a long way. Rather than leaving a client waiting in the dark and wondering when you’ll even acknowledge him, you could say something like this:  “Hi. I got your message, I’m working on that for you, and I’ll call you back with an answer within the next 48 hours.”  It makes clients feel valued and respected when you give them a time frame in which they can expect to hear from you. By all means, make sure you have something to tell them within the stated time frame.

2. Show Them How to Save Money – Everyone wants to keep his or her bottom line as robust as possible. Saving a little here and there can really add up. When you suggest ways to spend less or hold on to more, your clients’ appreciation leads to happiness and loyalty. People love to save money, and they love just about everyone who helps them to do that.

3.) Keep Good Contacts for Client Referrals – I often hear, “Do you know a good …. (Retirement Planner, Plumber, Real Estate Agent)?” Because I like to network and build relationships with a variety of professionals, I have a list of reliable contacts whom I am confident will do a good job for whatever my clients might need. Come visit my office and see my business directory wall lined with Lucite card holders that are organized by business category. Pick a card. Any card!

I believe that these three courteous and professional practices make a good CPA. Why not go the extra mile and show people that we care? Everyone benefits, and there’s nothing to lose.

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