People often fret about changing CPAs or professional service providers because change alone can bring forth fear, anxiety and self-doubt. This often paralyzes people into taking no action at all even when their current service provider is not providing quality service or any service at all. Think of the last time you had to do a “simple” change, such as a phone plan or upgrade.
Hesitant, I recently updated to the latest iPhone from an antiquated, slow-moving, battery-draining, outdated and “uncool” version (according to my niece). Can you tell how much admiration I had for the gadget? Worried about learning the new features and potential loss in transfer of contact information, apps and even photos, I ventured into my phone store early one weekend morning. Making sure I had a full coffee in hand, I was prepared to spend eons dealing with issues and kept thinking about the worst possible outcomes. However, in less than an hour my information was flawlessly transferred to my new communication device, thanks to the assistance of Adam, my sales rep. Through proper guidance, I was shown the upgraded features, and was ensured that my contacts, apps and photos were transferred over. Adam offered his support, in that if I had any questions or issues, they would be there. I left feeling that this decision should have been made months ago.
Leaving the familiar comfort zone, although however poorly performing it currently is, is not always easy without guidance and support. The following five steps should give you some relief in knowing that the change should not be a source of anxiety, but one of liberation that you are finding a better service provider. A knowledgeable professional will be able to coach and assist you in changing your CPA firm seamlessly.
- Remember it’s them, not you. If service is lackluster, calls are not being returned, requests are not being fulfilled, there is a problem. And it is not Being in a service industry, that is what should be expected – service! Would you continue to patronize a restaurant that consistently brought food out late, cold and not to order? Why should you accommodate the same from your CPA?
- Communicate and answer honestly. Although uncomfortable, the call or message will need to be relayed to your previous CPA. Everyone in the industry has gotten these calls. Be prepared to answer the “why” of your decision and be honest. Honesty will help you realize what you need and want out your service provider, and should help the CPA in realizing where they fell short, and hopefully start to change.
- Ask for information, or how to proceed. Often times in the industry, CPAs can be very closed to sharing client information, even with their clients. You will need to ask what your prior provider would like as far as an information request or information release to the new CPA. In the industry, we see a broad spectrum of CPAs that, most of the time, will share client information in the transition.
- Let your new CPA assist with the information request. Information requests can be pretty standard across the board, so let your new CPA assist you with what information they would like to request from the incumbent CPA and from you personally. This will help smooth the transition and let the new CPA learn even more about you and/or your business.
- Meet the new team. There is nothing better than putting a face to a name. So, request that the new CPA team members take some time to come meet you. Whether in your office, at your home, or out to lunch, this is a great way to get to know the team that will be assisting you.
Changing CPA firms can be an intimidating process, but don’t settle for mediocre service. The transition could be the upgrade you didn’t even know you needed, but will greatly appreciate. If you have any questions about when or how to move on from your current CPA, contact an Anders advisor and we would be happy to help you through the decision-making process.All Insights