Working with an accountant is a great way to help proactively and positively plan for your financial future as well as budget on a yearly basis. Too often, individuals see accountants as only necessary for the wealthy or only professionals that you need to see once a year when tax season rolls around.
By learning some of the hidden value that accountants have you can easily tap into their services on a year round basis to make the most informed financial decisions with virtually all aspects of your financial planning.
Important things to know about accounting services include:
- Ask ahead – if you have a change in income, either up or down, talking to an accountant before making any decisions about investing or liquidating assets is critical for your immediate and future financial health.
- Extensions are there for a reason – it is far better to talk to your accountant about an extension on your taxes or on payment of your taxes rather than fail to do so and have to deal directly with the IRS. Extensions are not problematic when they are filed in advance.
- Keep good records – it is important for yourself and for your accountant that you keep accurate information about all your possible deductions as well as your income. The more accurate your records are the more accurate your return will be and the lower the risk of an audit or a problem during an audit.
- When you don’t understand say something – often accountants have the habit, as do all professionals, of talking in professional jargon. If an accountant is using terms or talking about something you don’t understand ask for more information to ensure you are clear on the concept and the decision you make.
- Don’t wait to the last minute – tax season can be a very hectic and busy time for your accountant. Instead of waiting until the last minute schedule an appointment in advance and then just ask to wait to e-file.
Remember that you can always schedule an annual financial wellness check with your accountant that is separate from tax preparation. This allows you to focus just on finances for one meeting rather than trying to do both taxes and finances at a very busy time of year.