This is short and sweet. I have the best CPA I know and he is very law firm savy. But even he can misunderstand something I translated to him for our company. I was reviewing my return and spotted something that didn’t make sense to me. I called him and he is reviewing. He always tells us to make sure we check everything before he files. By the way he is always calling me with suggestions on how to save money or take different routes to maximize our company!
This past week I was working with a new client and financials and spotted something that didn’t seem right on old returns. Client understandably upset as the right questions had been asked by the client and answered even if incorrectly. Client had even felt uneasy. They are now having another CPA review. This client was very good and knew the figures. I find most lawyers don’t.
The bottom line is this: Just don’t sign! You should know your books and at least know some basics on what is covered. If you blindly sign you you approve the form it is going to be embarrassing when you are audited. While I admit there is a certain degree of trust the buck does stop with you on accuracy of figures, etc. I don’t take anything on blind faith.
And you should know your bookkeeping system. Admittedly I am a QuickBooks Pro fan and I recommend it higly. The right chart of accounts with built in safety controls for staff or bookkeepers who do your work will keep you safe. And don’t say it can’t happen to you. I have had two clients who had major issues with posting, monies and/or lost funds. What are your checks and balances?
Finally please pick a CPA who is familiar with law firms, trust funds, overhead and your accounting system. This is not the time to have a personal relationship with the person who oversees your financials. Be professional and expect professional results.