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Client Concerns

Every CPA has client complainjts. Most of these are msunderstandings. (910) 399-2705

Every CPA has client complainjts. Most of these are msunderstandings. (910) 399-2705

Every CPA has Client concern issues. I’ll post on what concern issues I get in hopes that you, a potential Client, will understand how we work. There’s maybe three problem Clients, and one problem CPA, per year. If a Client complains about the previous CPA it usually has to do with responsiveness not accuracy.

  •  I answer the phones. Why? Because you didn’t call to talk with the secretary.
    • I talk with dozens of people a day 11 months of the year.
      • If you catch me away from my desk I may not remember some detail.
      • Here’s an example. A Client caught me while driving to pickup my grand daughter from pre school. I didn’t remember we couldn’t e-file her returns because of a technical issue she had with a W-2.
      • So that irritated her.
  • Responsiveness
    • I answer e-mails the same day and answer the phones.
    • That actually makes problems as Clients sometimes push for a concrete completion date or a guestimate of how much they might owe.
  • Speaking out of turn.
    • In a brick and mortar CPA firms we all talk about returns in progress.
    • I’ve haven’t got completely past that and sometimes talk with the Client while the Client’s return in progress, which can lead to bad juju.
    • I’m working on being quiet until I have the final figures.
  • Requests for redundant documentation.
    • With a virtual office Client info can come by fax, phone, e-mail or our secure Client portal.
    • Sometimes we just can’t find a piece of info and ask you to re-send.
    • This irritates some Clients.
    • We’re working hard on this issue because, frankly, a hallmark of a good CPA is documentation organization.
  • We’re not a chain tax mill.
    • We don’t prepare the return while you wait.
    • Most Clients understand this and recognize that I have some experience that will save them taxes. So waiting isn’t an issue.
    • But even the most patient Client sometimes has time expectations.
    • So they start to worry, even if they know no additional tax is due.
    • Some Clients with complicated returns like us and have us do their tax chain mill complexity tax returns in the following years. We’re actually cheaper plus you have a CPA signing off on it.
  • Extensions.
    • We probably extend a higher rate of tax returns then the average CPA firm because we have lots of Partnership and S corporations that have to be completed before we tackle the personal return.
    • Some Clients don’t like to extend.
    • We’re working hard to lower that extension rate.
    • But some clients like to extend because they think the IRS audits the Folks who file first.
  • Timelines.
    • Our complex tax returns makes scheduling difficult.
    • Clients obviously want a rigid timeline.
    • Some get irritated when I can’t provide one.
  • Price.
    • I’ve only had one time where price irritated the Client. He didn’t understand, despite our letter of engagement, that his return came in about $150 more than we quoted. Had he or I known these “hidden” issues, that wouldn’t have been a problem.
  • Security Concerns.
    • Most client’s don’t care about identity theft.
    • However, because I’m very concerned about confidentiality and occasionally a Client gets irritated because I stress info security.
    • I don’t like non encrypted PDF attachments to e-mail.
  • Version issues
    • There’s been a few times where we sent the wrong, e.g. earlier, file despite having the return properly completed.
  • Long distance CPA.
    • I’m surprised this doesn’t happen more often; how do you know I’m not a scam artist?
    • The majority of Folks read enough of my posts so they feel they know me.
    • Plus I actually talk to Clients, albeit by phone and e-mail, than most CPAs do.
    • It would be  hard to present a false persona on 700 +/- pages and posts.
    • The client testimonials help.
    • You can go the NC Board of CPA Examiners. Search me. I have a valid license with no complaints.
  • We generally collect in advance before releasing a return.
    • This concern happens maybe once a year. A Client who had multiple cancelled debt issues asks why I won’t trust him or her. Go figure.
    • I have no local recourse against bad debt.
    • Sometimes this hampers an IRS issue. The Client can’t pay the balance, despite it being well known.
  • We generally require a $225 retainer.
    • Lots of work goes into setting up a new Client file.
    • So if you go elsewhere I’ve covered our costs.
  • We don’t do anticipated refund loans or sell any bank products.
    • I worked for a chain and see that as price gouging. President Obama thinks so too and now the IRS won’t confirm a refund is due, making these bank products less reliable.
    • Direct deposit takes maybe 10 days from the IRS.
    • And I’m supposed to charge you $200 for it being nine days quicker?
    • So some chain mill Clients are used to the bank products and that sometimes causes them concern.
  • Disabled Clients.
    • Once of our specialties involves disabled Folks. I never refuse to take them on. But disabilities aren’t always physical. So some fret more than some other Clients.

I hope this page shows that we proactively think about client satisfaction. Bad juju is rare. But at least you know what to expect from us.