Now that we are through tax season, I have some thoughts about bookkeeper interactions with their client’s CPAs/tax preparers.
This alliance is a natural partnership, as we work for the same client and have interconnected roles. However, I find myself wishing that more CPAs worked in collaboration with their client’s bookkeepers.
I often run across CPA firms who just want to burn and churn a tax return, and are unresponsive to bookkeeper’s questions. I can only assume the reason is to keep costs down, but in my opinion, this does not best serve their client’s needs.
What Kinds of Questions Do Bookkeepers Have for CPAs?
Here are some typical interactions I may have with a CPA/CPA firm/tax preparer, and some of the less than stellar responses I have encountered:
1. Are the books Cash or Accrual?
When I ask my clients, they often don’t know, and they don’t provide me copies of their tax returns. So I have to ask the CPA.
The answer to this question is particularly important if I have inherited a QuickBooks (QB) file for which cleanup needs to be done to the Accounts Payable and/or Accounts Receivable reports.
If I need to clear out years-old uncollectible invoices, the method I use will differ if the books are Cash vs. Accrual, as Cash books cannot have Bad Debt Expense, while Accrual books can. For one client’s file, they have invoices with small open balances, many of which are over five years old.