Should You Get a Second Opinion on Your Accountant’s Work?

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Should a taxpayer and/or business owner get a periodic second opinion on their accountant’s or tax preparer’s work?

That question was posed to me at a presentation I was giving earlier this year to a group of people trying to get businesses off the ground.

The business owner said they had “heard” (they didn’t say from whom) that it was a good idea to go to a different accountant every couple of years to have a review of tax returns to make sure your “main” accountant wasn’t screwing things up.

Someone else in the room chimed in to say that was a good idea, and they invoked the name “Bernie Madoff” on the danger of being too trusting of the professionals you work with.

I was also asked if I had ever been asked to review an accountant’s work.

This discussion threw me for a loop, but here’s how I answered.

Reviewing Other Accountant’s Work

I have never had someone come to me to review their accountant’s work unless the person was planning on switching to me. I’ve never had someone just contact me and say “hey, I want you to look at this to make sure my accountant isn’t screwing things up.”

Should You Get a Second Opinion?

I think I’d be wounded if one of my clients went elsewhere to get a second opinion on my work. The foundation of a successful relationship with any professional is … trust.

If you trust your accountant or tax preparer so little that you feel compelled to go get a second opinion on their work, perhaps you need to re-evaluate your relationship with that person.