While preparing and filing your taxes is an important part of what your accountant does, if this is the only time you see your accountant, you are not taking advantage of the education, information, and potential money-saving options your accountant can provide.
As this is often a slower time of year for everyone, why not plan to meet with your accountant to review your financial plan for 2016 and the future? With this meeting you will be able to:
• Take a close look at your monthly budgeting practices and plan. Bring your current budget or at least a list of all your expenses and payments as well as your income. You don't need to create a full budget with the accountant, but he or she can be instrumental in getting you started in developing a spending plan.
• Review your investments and make changes based on any life changes. This is particularly true if you have married, divorced, had a child, started caring for an elderly payment, changed jobs, lost a job, or any other type of major life event.
• Review risk factors for investment based on life events and where you are in relationship to your long-term investment plan. Typically most people move from high-risk to low-risk investments as they get closer to retirement to protect their investments.
• Learn about tax credits and deductions you can take advantage of in the upcoming tax year. This can include maximizing your retirement investments, taking advantages of tax credits with regard to specific types of purchases or home improvements, or other types of tax programs.
• Set long-term financial goals that will allow you to retire, invest, fund college for the children, or even pay off your home early.
The more you plan and work with your accountant the more benefits you will find to create the type of wealth you need. This is true if you are just getting started in life or if you are close to retirement: It is never too late to get started.