I'm going to let you in on a trade secret most accountants would be mad at me for telling.
We might be charging you more than we normally would.
Most entrepreneurs do not realize that the tax prep fee they pay is very subjective. The first impression you give your accountant could end up costing or saving you hundreds in the fee alone. The best way to ensure a smooth relationship with your accountant and minimal fees is to be the kind of client your accountant will love.
What does your accountant look for? Here are just some things that can factor into a fee:
(1) The books: Are they in good shape or are they messy? I have been known to joke around that I charge double if someone wants me to prepare their taxes with no bookkeeping. I am not really joking.
(2) Your professionalism: Are you on time and responsive? We like to know that if we take the time to prepare the work, that you will get back to us and respond to questions timely. If we have a feeling this could get rocky, we will charge more.
(3) Your attitude: If you are willing to learn and stay engaged with your accountant, this is just one of the ways into their heart. I love it when clients ask thoughtful questions and actively participate in the conversation.
In short, the more pleasant you make the working experience and the more time you save your tax professional, the lower the fee will be.