4 Easy Ways to get Fired By Your CPA…Guaranteed…


Last week we told you How NOT to Fire Your CPA.

This week we are turning the tables and showing you 4 Easy Ways to get Fired By Your CPA.

1) Don’t Sign the Engagement Letter

The industry, like the legal industry, uses the term, engagement letter. I prefer the term contract. Most people understand this term easier. This spells out the services to be provided, the estimated delivery time and a fee estimate.  At most firms not signing this document up front will mean they won’t be doing the work.


2) Treat the Staff Rudely

This is a very easy way to get fired by your CPA.  Some people are just rude.  Always have been, always will be. Life is too short to deal with people like this. Treat the staff rudely at your CPA firm and you will likely be warned.  Most people understand that everyone has a bad day once in a while. Treat the staff rudely a second time and you will likely be shown the door very quickly.


3) Take Inordinately Aggressive Tax Positions

Face it, not all of the tax code is black and white.  There are some shades of grey.  With that said, there’s grey, then, well, there’s excessiveness.  To practice in front of the IRS, the standard of care for tax services is what’s known as Circular 230.  This governs what tax preparers need to do when taking positions on returns. Failure to adhere to these standards may result in a preparer penalty or worse. Most smart CPA’s aren’t knowingly going to sign up for this.


4) Don’t Pay Your Bill

A CPA Firm is a business.  Like all businesses they need cash flow. This means you are expected to pay your bill.  On time.  With that said, most CPA firms understand the economy is not great.  They will likely work with you if you make monthly payments. If you don’t make monthly payments they really have no choice but to terminate the relationship and send the account to a collection agent.

Have you been fired by your CPA?

If so, why?

Photo From Creative Commons

Tom Scanlon has over thirty years experience in public accounting with an extensive background in the areas of financial, tax, and estate planning. He prides himself on providing in-depth and customized solutions to privately held businesses and their owners. He is a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Financial Planner®. Tom is a frequent speaker for area organizations and has  recently been quoted on CNBC, Fox 61 News and AARP's blog. Tom also has been a guest columnist for numerous publications including The Wall Street Journal, Barron's, Money Magazine, The Hartford Courant, The Hartford Business Journal, and The New Haven Register. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Connecticut Society of Certified Public Accountants, and the Financial Planning Association. Active in the community, Tom supports a variety of not-for-profit organizations.

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