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We are hitting pause on our regularly scheduled programming to do a post-tax-season pulse check. Do any (or all) of these statements describe how you are feeling now that tax season has ended?

  1. “How in the world am I going to make payroll this month, write the huge check I owe for taxes, AND pay my accountant?”
  2. “Why didn’t my accountant warn me that this tax hit was coming earlier this year so that I could have put money away to prepare for it?”
  3. “How was I so unprepared for tax season?”
  4. “Why did it take 3 months to get my tax forms back from my accounting team? Were they afraid to deliver the bad news to me?”
  5. “I didn’t have any clue my tax bill was going to be THAT high.”
  6. “It was impossible to get ahold of my accounting team the months preceding tax season. Then, once I finally did, I get a tax bill that is astronomical. Why wasn’t I prepared for this?”

Despite recent tax law changes, if you have an accountant that is truly serving as your partner, you should never be surprised at a quarterly or yearly tax bill.

That may seem like a bold statement, but it’s the truth. As a business owner, the only surprises you ever want to encounter are the ones that put money into your pocket (not surprises that take money out). An accountant that serves as a partner, who is invested in your businesses success as much as you are, will take steps to educate, equip, and prepare you well before tax season.

If you are surprised by the amount you owe this year—consider it a warning flag that motivates you to re-examine if your accounting provider is truly in your corner helping you become one step better at your business—or if they are simply serving as a vendor.

Use the following list to evaluate your accountant and determine if they are or are not the business partner you are looking for.

  1. My accountant meets with me regularly.
  2. My accountant gives me unbiased, truthful advice that helps my business grow one-step better each quarter. (regardless of if the truth is a “hard” one that may be difficult for you to hear)
  3. My accountant has seen multiple opportunities to grow my business that I was not aware of.
  4. My accountant has challenged me to think about my numbers using different parameters that have led my business to become more profitable.
  5. My accountant helped me maximize my tax deductions and credits.
  6. My accountant has also helped me fully understand what I qualify for with each of these deductions and credits.
  7. I have confidence that my employees are classified correctly and their classification won’t trigger an audit.
  8. I am confident that my accountant knows (and has educated me) on how to avoid being flagged for an audit.
  9. My accountant provides regular, proactive accounting reports that they have taken the time to explain. (Hint: We make this information readily available—and FREE—to all of our clients and take the time to empower them to understand each one. See below.)
    1. How to make sense of your most important financial statements
    2. How to understand your balance sheet
    3. How to understand your income statement
  10. I know the 7 most important questions to ask and am confident that my accountant passes each question with flying colors!

Last but not least, has your accountant started talking to you NOW about next year’s tax season?

Our blog from last December talks about great ways to prepare for next year’s taxes. Use it as a guide to prepare now for the next tax season. Wait, are you advising us to start planning for 2020 tax season now? YES, we are! That is one way Patrick Accounting helps ensure that you live a surprise-free business-owner nirvana. We equip you all year long with tax and accounting tools to ensure that you are not blindsided—or worse, sidelined—by exorbitant tax bills.

Let’s face it, you may never look forward to tax season like our team at Patrick Accounting does, but with the right accountant in your corner, you don’t have to fear it. We love helping business owners just like you save the money you’ve earned, so reach out if you want some advice by giving us a call or visiting us online. We’ll be glad to take a look at your business to see how we can help you save your hard-earned money, instead of sending it to the IRS for unexpected tax payments.

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