That’s right, we’re not for everyone. Unlike most accounting practices, Red Earth is for a specific type of client.
Accounting is a profession that every business, government and household needs. But we can’t serve everyone. While we exist to serve people and we love helping our clients reach their goals. We always want to be confident we’re a good match.
Not to be confused with a tax practice, we’re interested in growing a practice serving far fewer clients year-round. Rather than string you along questioning a culture fit, we’ll just let you know who doesn’t fit.
Here are five groups of clients better served by another accountant.
1. You only need a tax return prepared
Taxes may be one of two certainties in life. The consistency with which taxes roll around is beautiful. The government is looking for that return by March or April 15th and you know you need someone to fill out the return and file it.
Fortunately for you, there are more than 768,000 active federal tax preparers, many of whom can do this for you. Yes, you may have to travel a bit if you want to meet in person, but in the increasingly connected world you can have a video call with your preparer and submit all documents electronically.
Tax practices are the most common for CPAs to start. CPAs easily “hang their shingle” and have clients lining up for services. As a result of this, many prospective clients expect a CPA firm to primarily churn out hundreds of tax returns each year.
Tallying a year’s worth of data at the exact time everyone else wants service is a recipe for career burnout. I’d like to stay in this profession and eventually grow the careers of other accountants. Limiting work hours during busy season is a primary goal of my practice.
As a result, we don’t say yes to tax return only work.
If you are only looking for someone to file a return and only want to talk with them once a year, you’re a better fit with another accountant.
2. You’re looking for the cheapest option
That whole, “you get what you pay for” mantra is still around for a reason. With the rise of the do-it-yourself tax filing software, it is a wonder there are still so many tax preparers.
There are options for filing taxes online and sending work overseas to keep costs down. In a high cost country like the US, you can always outsource your work.
Red Earth is not interested in the race to the bottom. We are creating a high touch firm, tailored to the needs of a modern business.
We do not match the lowest price online because we are in the business of relationships, not tax preparation.
We aim to be available to clients and willing to help them when they need it, in real time. Attention you need when you need it is a service not often found in accounting firms. The business model is designed for personal attention and availability, not the highest transaction count.
3. You’re not into the “whole cloud” thing
You’ve heard me talk about the cost of cloud accounting, the move from QuickBooks Desktop to their cloud option, how to choose a cloud-based software and how to switch to cloud accounting.
I’m not pulling any punches here.
The future of accounting software (and arguably the present) is in the cloud. Scrap that local server and sign up for a subscription. Log in from anywhere, manage and work remotely.
The accounting industry is moving to the clouds. Red Earth is a cloud accounting firm exclusively.
4. You’re married to your accounting software
Closely related to the prior objection is your existing software. You spent thousands of dollars choosing an industry-specific option. You invested hundreds if not thousands of hours learning the software.
You have a personal relationship with their support hotline.
While you may not love the software, the thought of learning a new system makes you break into a cold sweat.
I don’t want to belabor our relationship by debating this. I respect the past management decisions which led you to the current software setup. You made the best decision possible at the time you made it.
We made our decision too.
We support QuickBooks Online and limited software applications that talk with it. We don’t support other software for several reasons, but chiefly because we’re not very good at it.
It is a waste of your time and money for us to learn software for one client. Instead, we study one software solution and learn it well rather than to dabble in many solutions. We don’t want to end up groaning about charging you (or writing off) the time spent on software we don’t know. It’s a lose/lose situation that we choose to avoid.
5. You don’t want anyone “up in your business”
If you don’t want too many questions, don’t want someone asking about your goals, or don’t want to know your accountant, then there are better options for you. This type of client generally is similar to a tax return only client; they have a very specific scope of work.
The client who is bothered by someone asking questions about their business, seeking to understand predictive indicators, relationships between financial statement metrics, interest in using finance to grow their business or anything outside of a narrow scope doesn’t work well with Red Earth. We don’t support a highly transactional environment.
Our primary purpose is to help our clients succeed in business, not to do taxes.
We are interested in growing a business that is most useful to our clients. To do that we use technology and consistent communication to assist our clients to accomplish their goals.
Our business model does not fit every client. If you think we might be a good fit, fill out the connect form here.