Actually we fired them last year. We had worked with them for almost five years and the sum total of the value they added was a big zero, maybe minus zero.
Now, we have a great accountant who sees himself as a business partner, someone who helps us. He’s like D, the accountant I have worked with in the states for more than 25 years.
Our new accountant gives advice. He helps us grow our business. He’s even less expensive than the accountant we fired. He’s someone who takes care of all of the paperwork and quarterly reports. He’s someone we can call for advice, someone who gives us options and someone who comes to our home when it’s time to sign papers.
Compare that with the accountant we fired. He would come to our offices and check over every single one of our receipts and question us about expenditures. He sat in the corner, checked the receipts and sales, and then left. Believe me when I tell you a government tax examiner would have added more value and asked fewer questions.
H would get upset every month getting things ready for the old accountant’s visit. Sometimes the accountant would bother H when he was talking with the customers. Talk about not adding value!!
As I think of it I wonder why we stuck with them for so long. No doubt it was inertia. We should have gotten rid of them five years ago, but as a small business, we just thought we couldn’t do any better.
After all, we reasoned, who would want a small client ? We were very wrong. We had many small accounting firms that wanted our business. H talked to several of them and chose the one he felt could add the most value.
May sound hard to believe, but our life is better with the new accountant. H doesn’t get upset on the day of the accountant’s visits and I don;t have to deal with H’s anxiety on those days. No more wasted meetings. No more explaining our business to someone.
The transition too was easier than we thought. We engaged the new accountant and politely told the prior accountant we were going to make a change.
And is if to prove that we made the right decision, when we asked the previous accountant for copies of some of our prior data, they told us there would be a charge of 75,000 yen, about $1000 USD. Our new accountant said to “forget about it” and he would get copies at the tax office for free. He’s someone who really wants to help.
Too often, we suffer with less than the best. We stick with doctors, dentists, friends, teachers, lawyers out of habit more than anything else. It’s when we make a change that we realize what we are missing, and we could do a whole lot better.
I’ve stayed with my American accountant because he has continued to provide value all these years.
I think the same is true in love and with friends too. We might stick with a relationship that is less than the best, because we’re used to each other. If you have a sneaking suspicion that some of your relationships, business and personal are less than the best, it may be time to make a change.
Life really can get better when you rid yourself of those relationships that aren’t working and have no hope for revival.
You can fire your accountant, lawyer, “best friend”, personal trainer or even your boss. Just be sure that the one you choose next is better.