Many potential clients start a conversation with me like this, ” My last accountant/bookkeeper didn’t know a damn thing and was never available.” My first question usually is where did you find them? 9 times out of 10 it was a referral from a family friend or someone they knew. The other question is how much are you paying them? This is where the conversation takes an awkward turn. When they realize they never took the time or effort to look at what they needed and skill set required , coupled with their unwillingness to pay more than a basic wage, then they usually get what they pay for.
Most small business bookkeepers tend to be glorified data entry clerks that know how to work a program. Accountants are professionals who dig deeper, prepare adequate and detailed documentation, and make sure the books are balanced and make sense. Many times the awful truth is that business owners don’t want someone who knows or is willing to enforce ASPE/US GAAP/IFRS and CRA rulings. So they hire a bookkeeper who doesn’t ask questions. Little does that bookkeeper know that any information that is not in compliance with CRA policy gets linked to them and recorded in CRA’s database for follow up.
The moral of the story is, make sure you find the right accountant. They may cost more, but in the end they will do a better job and let you sleep at night.