“Can I Ask You A Question?”

This is something my clients get sick of hearing me say all the time and I can understand, but there’s a reason why.  I don’t like to always assume things if I’m not sure of what the answer is nor second guess, and a lot of things I’m able to figure out on my own.  However, a client told me years ago that he understood that accounting takes a lot of time to make sure that it gets done right, because it’s more than just putting numbers on a page and collecting a check.

For an introduction to any new client, these are some of the basic questions I ask them whether they’re a potential QuickBooks® or a tax client:

  • What version of QuickBooks® do you currently use (a lot of people aren’t aware of the answer)?
  • How many people are using the software, and do they have their own login information and passwords?
  • What type of entity is the company set-up as (again, a lot of people aren’t aware of this answer)?
  • Are the business and franchise tax returns caught up?
  • What are the challenges with the company financial reporting in terms of where the biggest holes are that you need to fill?
  • Do other businesses you’re trying to get a loan from look at the financials and can’t make heads or tails of them, but you never hear this from your tax preparer?
  • Do you have some type of flow as to how things get paid, verified, and there’s no potential of fraud going on (often they will respond that they can never imagine an employee stealing from them or making mistakes period)?

Believe me this has run the gamut on the responses I get, and sometimes the situation works out and we move forward.  On the other hand, we don’t move forward because with any relationship, there needs to be give and take on both sides with a common goal.  Yes, everyone works on shortcuts to save money and hope that they can make out a living, but a lot of times not having questions asked can be often more costly than asking them in the first place.

So, what’s your questions?

Dwayne J. Briscoe