Help! I Need An Accountant


Get expert advice from Bernadette Johnson Hairl, President of By The Book Accounting. It’s tax time.  Are you ready?

As our lives progress and things change, our taxes tend to become more complicated. Now you own a home, have rental property or even a part-time business. Not to mention all the recent changes in the tax laws. Who can keep up?

Whether you file your taxes yourself or pay someone else to file them, you are ultimately responsible for what’s in your tax return. So choosing a tax preparer is a task that you should not take lightly.

Here are some tips that will help:

1. Be knowledgeable. Although you are not (nor do you desire to be) an accountant, you should have some degree of knowledge when it comes to taxes. If you don’t know, you need to find someone who does and can explain it to you.

2. Word of Mouth. When searching for an accountant you want to find someone who is reliable and trustworthy. Word of mouth is the best mode of advertising so ask for referrals from family, friends and co-workers whom you respect and trust.

3. Availability. Having an accountant who’s readily available to you is invaluable. When you have questions after tax season or the IRS sends you a “love” letter, you want someone who will be there to meet your needs.

4. Simplicity. It is a known fact that the U.S. Tax Code is written in a language that we don’t speak. You want an accountant who can “translate” the code into plain English.

5. Qualified. This goes without saying but I thought I’d say it anyway: choose someone who is qualified. Check out their educational background and experience. Be sure the person is current on all of the tax law changes and has experience in your area of need. Be leery of someone who claims to know it all. You know how the old adage goes, “Jack of all trades, and master of NONE!”

6. Guarantees. Listen carefully to the guarantees an accountant gives. If they guarantee you a refund without assessing your financial situation, you should run the other way. A true tax professional knows that you cannot give that type of guarantee without knowing your situation.

Choosing a tax preparer can be a difficult task but these tips can make it a lot easier.

©Copyright 2006, By The Book Accounting, INC. All Rights Reserved.

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Tags: Accounting Bernadette Johnson By The Book Accounting Hairl IRS Taxes




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