Happy National Women’s Day! You’re Fired.

I’m fairly well-organized, but spreadsheets befuddle me. For the past few years I have worked with one accountant. Every year, when I send him my To The Best of My Ability profit/loss spreadsheet for Cydney Scott Photography, I cringe because I know there are mistakes in there. I don’t have a problem with making mistakes and having them pointed out to me. I have a problem with my CPA responding to those mistakes by making me feel stupid.

For years I’ve thought, well, I do do a bad job on my spreadsheet and I’m sure all my questions are annoying, so yeah, I get it. And then it occurred to me that my financial planner, another person who does things for me that I don’t really understand, never makes me feel that way when I make mistakes (thanks, Adam!).

So this year, when I sent my CPA my spreadsheet with the note “I’m sure I’ve done something wrong because there is no total at the bottom. Please advise”

His response, while informative, was generously peppered with unprofessional comments like “I see a couple of items dated 2017!!”. The 2017s, of which there were two out of about one hundred entries, were clearly simple typos. Not typos I would expect him to correct, but also not typos worthy of two damning exclamation points!! Sheesh, dramatic much?  He also told me how I’d done some other things wrong, even though I did them exactly as I have been doing them for the past few years.

So since no one needs people in their life making them feel stupid instead of helping them be better at the part they bring to the tax table (“try computer program A,B, or C for your bookkeeping. It’ll make tax time easier”), I broke up with my CPA;

Mr Accountant,
If I handed you my Nikon D5 or my Canon 5DMarkIV with speedlights, would you have any idea how to use it? Not likely. Spreadsheets, while they may not seem complicated to you, are something I use once a year, when you and I work together. I used the same spreadsheet you gave me to fill in last year, using the same format.
I often get questions from my photo clients when they get confused in the online ordering process. I have never and would never start an email in response to any of those inquiries with a demeaning “Not sure where to start”.
If the tables were turned, my email would’ve looked a little more like this; “Cydney, thanks for sending this along. It looks like your income is listed at the top. You’ll want to move those profit numbers over one column to the left. Also double-check your dates cause it looks like you have a few typos with 2017.” and so on.
I seem to be a rather frustrating client for you, so I will have someone else do my taxes for me from now on.
I appreciate your expertise thus far.
Cydney Scott
(Just kidding. I didn’t add that PS.) I hit send and got in touch with another CPA.
She came highly recommended.



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