Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about working with S+C Partners:
How do I know when I have outgrown my existing accountant?
Sometimes it is obvious when you have outgrown your existing accounting service provider because they are unable to provide you with the services you need on a timely basis. Your current accountant may feel uncomfortable about requests to attend a meeting with your banker or bonding company. If you have started working in the United States or other parts of the world, there is likely additional reporting that is required that your existing accountant may not be able to assist you with. Often it is a banker who will suggest that a business should move to a larger firm, as larger credit facilities are being requested.
Is it difficult to transfer my accounting work to a new firm?
The professional bodies that govern Accounting mandate that the transfer of a client from one firm to another should be seamless and effortless for the client. In larger assignments, we may require the former accountant to provide us with some information, but in most assignments, we are able to facilitate a transfer of work using just your staff. We also confirm with the other accountant that there are no professional reasons for us to not accept your engagement.
How do you support me in the event of a Canada Revenue Agency Audit?
A CRA audit can be a stressful process. The best support we can provide is to act as an intermediary between you and the auditor. Audits demand a considerable amount of time and auditors can monopolize your staff for days and weeks on end. If possible, we make our offices available to the auditor and insist that the audit takes place here without any interruption to you or your staff. When this is not possible, we will make ourselves available to the auditor to ensure that questions are asked of us, rather than of you or your staff.
Can you meet with my banker?
Many clients have us meet annually or more frequently with their bankers, financial advisors or bonding companies. We are happy to provide this service when needed. Larger companies often have a Chief Financial Officer on staff that has experience with these types of meetings, but others do not, which is where we fit in and support you.
Can you help me hire accounting staff?
Our firm has assisted many clients in the hiring of accounting staff. We can assist with your accounting hiring needs whatever they might be. Some clients have requested us to sort and filter resumes and select candidates who they will then interview. Other clients have requested that we perform a complete executive search including interviewing and present only the best 2-3 candidates to them for a final interview.
How do you keep my information confidential?
Confidentiality is of great importance to our firm. Your financial information is never discussed with other clients. We will communicate with your other advisors only when we have been granted permission from you directly. We regularly update and improve our computer firewalls and security to ensure the integrity of the information on our servers. Our computers, telephones and mobile computing devices are all password protected. When we work in the field our team members do not save data on their laptops, but rather connect remotely to our secure servers.
How do you manage staff turnover?
We work hard to ensure continuity of staff on an engagement. This means that you might have 3-4 people working on your engagement, but at the very least, the 2 lead people will be the same from one year to the next. In the event that one person does leave our firm, the second person is knowledgeable and familiar with your particular needs and is ready to take over. To further support you, we try to ensure that each client has both a partner and manager assigned to their engagement so that there is never a shortage of people available to assist you.
When can I expect a response to an email or a voicemail message?
Our firm does its best to ensure that each email and voicemail is returned the same day. If we are away from the office and unable to return a call or email immediately, our automated answering message or email “out-of-office” response is set to clearly let you know our schedule and when you can expect a response. More importantly, our firm is organized in such manner that if your particular contact person is away from the office, you can always speak to a different person who will also be very knowledgeable about your business needs.
How do you ensure that you hire only the best employees?
We have an excellent track record for hiring co-operative students from Ontario universities. In fact, many of the firm’s client service partners and client service managers are co-op graduates. We attract the brightest and best co-op students because of the breadth of work we do in our office and because we can provide training to assist these students in their pursuit of their CA designation.