It’s Nice If Your Accountant is Congenial – But Don’t Forget Their Primary Function

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When it comes to working with an accountant, there are generally two ways clients will determine whether or not you’re right for them.  On one hand, they can judge you primarily on how well you seem to do your job, whether or not you accurately account for all of their business or personal finances and tax liabilities and deductions.  On the other hand, they can judge you based on personal rapport, basically how well they get along with you.  There are many reasons for them to choose the former over the latter.  Here we will take a look at some of those reasons.

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Accounting is Primarily About Business – The first thing to remember is that clients hire an accountant in order to perform a specific job function vital to the proper tracking and allocation of their business or personal finances.  As such, an accountant should always be primarily judged based on how well they perform their job.

Being Accountable – Accountants are responsible for knowing about acceptable accounting practices, tax laws, tax breaks, account reconciliation techniques, and other accounting practices.  It is far easier for clients to hold you accountable for knowing the ins and outs if the relationship stays 100% professional.

If a client goes with the next guy just because he or she is a nice person, they may realize too late that they are incompetent, or even misallocating funds on purpose.

Avoiding Conflicts of Interest – Having a close and personal relationship with your client could lead to damaging conflicts of interest.  This is because the more personal your relationship becomes, the more likely you may feel pressure to meet their expectations, which may at times be unrealistic.

Part of your job is to speak to your clients frankly about their finances. Anything that makes that conversation more difficult is undesirable.