Why your CPA can’t really help you.
Angie M Grainger
I often hear the frustrations of not getting the help or answers you need from your CPA. That’s more common than I’m sure you’d care to hear.
But, you’re not alone. There are some bigger CPA industry problems that I‘d like to share with you.
Here are some reasons why you may be feeling left out in the woods alone when trying to get help with your finances:
1. CPAs are primarily tax preparers.
In fact, only about 10% are planners. Many CPAs are very good at knowing how to file what you deliver to them at tax time. But during tax time, it’s too late. What happened last year has already happened, and oftentimes it’s too late to change it.
2. CPAs look back, not forward.
It’s true, CPAs are good at knowing and understanding the tax codes, spreadsheets, and numbers; but accounting is using historical numbers, not future numbers. Many CPAs are more comfortable focusing on the certainty of data that’s already happened in the past than they are with planning ahead. When creating plans with your money, you have to use assumptions and projections, which planners really enjoy—yet accountants typically like a lot more certainty.
3. CPAs choose numbers over people.
You have to get to know the person, the family, and their hearts’ desires that lie behind the numbers to really make a difference in someone’s life. That means being able to have heart-to-heart conversations with families, getting to know what they want to do with their money, and developing a caring relationship that can be relied upon. Many CPAs are more comfortable in the tax code or the numbers than they are sitting face to face with a client who may break down in tears, or a couple who starts arguing. It’s the people-side of finance that creates great planners.
4. CPAs are not trained in personal finance.
Although the CPA exam is an intensive sixteen hour exam, and is nearly the hardest professional exam there is, it still doesn’t cover personal finance. It covers a huge range of topics including auditing, business, regulations, ethics, reporting, tax and professional standards, but it doesn’t teach your most trusted advisor how to help you with your personal finances. Our goal is to help you live and enjoy prosperity, which is flourishing both financially AND personally. That’s why the personal side of finances is what matters most to us, because it doesn’t matter how much you make if you’re miserable and don‘t enjoy life.
5. There is a shortage of CPAs in the world.
With the complexity of the tax laws, it takes longer and is more stressful to prepare tax returns, which means there’s less time and energy for CPAs to take on more clients. At the same time, people like you are expanding and growing with bigger tax questions and more tax returns. There’s always more people who need our help than who we can actually take on. (That’s also why we only take on tax clients who want help with their overall financial picture, because we want to be more available to those who want to keep expanding and growing!)
We do things differently because we KNOW we can’t help everyone—but we CAN help the leaders of the world, who can then lead others into prosperity too.
Let’s discover what we can do together.