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How To Qualify An Accountant - Choosing Your Corporate CPA - A Must Read PDF Print Email
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Written by: James Scott   
Wednesday, 26 May 2010 12:39
I was recently on a conference call with a new client and their accountant who insisted on meeting with me because he wanted to pre qualify me. After a few questions when I was setting up the call I could tell right away that this accountant was a pure amateur and was trying to look like the 'big dog' to his clients, being one who invites and enjoys confrontation I took on the meeting. I love negotiating and debating on topics in which I'm well versed so I knew this would be fun.


I was recently on a conference call with a new client and their accountant who insisted on meeting with me because he wanted to pre qualify me. After a few questions when I was setting up the call I could tell right away that this accountant was a pure amateur and was trying to look like the 'big dog' to his clients, being one who invites and enjoys confrontation I took on the meeting. I love negotiating and debating on topics in which I'm well versed so I knew this would be fun.

The call started with the accountant jumping in to take control of the conversation and asked me if I wouldn't mind explaining what I am planning to do for this client. From beginning to end, this individual was completely out of his element as he's never had direct contact with an IPO or Global strategies facilitator or someone with international legislative contacts to put to work on behalf of the client to expedite growth and revenues.

After my brief 30 second presentation there was silence on the other end of the line which typically means the opposing party cant intellectually formulate a response due to the sheer lack of experience in this field. So then I continued but instead of a presentation, I became concerned that I was getting involved in a project that had flees and I may need to step away if too many unqualified people were involved.

I proceeded to ask him the following questions that any consultant should ask of a person who claims to be an insider with your client. "How big is your accounting practice"...2000+ clients he boasts. My next question was "Wow! Great then please give me the breakdown of the inter-client base strategic partnerships you have created on behalf of this client to speed up their growth and increase their revenues?" He couldn't respond because he didn't know what strategic alliances were. I continued, being that this company has been trying to raise capital for over a year, with 2,000 clients obviously you have access to accredited investors, how much money have you raised and what SEC approved vehicle did you use to distribute shares for equity?" again, there was silence on the other end of the line. This was the way the entire call went which demonstrated to my client that they will obviously have to break out of that relationship for and experienced accounting firm who understands how to work with clients in expansion mode.

When you hire an accountant to do the books for your company, of course you want to make sure that they can perform the general tasks of numbers but you also need to evaluate their current client base and their track record for setting up partnerships between their clients? An accountant who doesn't network his client base isn't worth the fee. In this economic environment you need to choose your accounting professionals based off of strict criteria.

You don't need a number cruncher. You need a number crunching networking executive with a strong and influential contact base to set up round table meetings, make introductions and help grow your company. Anyone with a general comprehension of tax law, book keeping and QuickBooks can be an accountant but few are able to facilitate all the additional services needed for an expanding corporation. You should pick an accounting firm based off of 10% expertise, 30% fees and 60% contacts and track record for helping expanding companies. Don't settle for anything less.

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