Sparring with the Accountant

Feb 28, 2008

  1. Delta76
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    Delta76 Guru

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    I already wasted an hour and a half this morning sparring with an accountant for one of my small groups. We want to put in a Premium Only Plan to let the employees pre-tax their group health premiums. The account came back and said this isn't a good idea, it will create an administrative nightmare.

    I've done this many times, all we are creating is a summary plan description that will be update by a third part annually. The business only has to pass them out to three people. Because there are under 100 employees, no 5500 form necessary. The employer pays $200 the first year, $50 after to keep it updated. He saves over $1000 annually in payroll taxes. The employees also save the same in total. Should be a done deal.

    The employer is loosing trust in me because the accountant is making his life a hassle, he called three times yesterday warning him about the administrative nightmare and that I'm just looking for extra commission. I don't even get paid on these plans! Has anyone else found accountants to be extremely distrusting?
     
    Delta76, Feb 28, 2008
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  2. moonlightandmargaritas
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    Did you explain/discuss this with the client just like you did here?

    Maybe some other agenda going on between accountant/client that you're not privy to?
     
  3. Delta76
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    Did you explain/discuss this with the client just like you did here?

    Maybe some other agenda going on between accountant/client that you're not privy to?


    I have explained to the client, just sent him a similar email, less sounding like a crying baby though. I find that when something doesn't make sense, there is always something hidden I'm not seeing. I know the accounting firm has a flex administrative department, that's a possible conflict. However, it could be something else also.
     
    Delta76, Feb 28, 2008
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  4. bluemarlin08
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    I assume you have addressed each of the issues the CPA expressed, if the client still listens to the CPA, drop it.
     
  5. Delta76
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    Delta76 Guru

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    I'm over it and yes I addressed the accountant's issues:

    1. No 5500 filing.
    2. No daunting administrative tasks.
    3. Cost to Benefits makes sense.

    In the end, I've had this group for three years and serviced them well. I'm looking out for their best interest. If they decide not to take my advice, I get paid the same. I have developed enough of a relationship where they are not going to kick me out the door.
     
    Delta76, Feb 28, 2008
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  6. LGilmore
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    LGilmore Guru

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    Well, you have to show the accountant how this won't be a problem. I am curious as to why the need to charge for a premium only plan? Most payroll software accounts for it and it used to be like six lines on the 5500. There are boilerplates out there (even check irs website).

    Could it be you are doing more or the accountant thinks you are doing more than pre tax premium? Are you considering reimbursements or does the accountant think you are?

    I don't see the need to charge for this. As you said you get paid nmw for this group. Present it and let it go.
     
    LGilmore, Feb 28, 2008
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  7. moonlightandmargaritas
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    Just my opinion, but I don't think it's a "money" or comp issue - the guy is trying to do the right thing for the client!

    I believe no 5500 'til you get to 100 ee's.
     
  8. LGilmore
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    "Just my opinion, but I don't think it's a "money" or comp issue - the guy is trying to do the right thing for the client!"

    And do you think for sure the accountant isn't? Aren't both of them thinking they advising what's best? I guess, I missed my point. He needs to educate the accountant about how a premium only works. He needs to make sure the accountant/bookeeper isn't thinking of something else.
     
    LGilmore, Feb 28, 2008
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  9. moonlightandmargaritas
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    Yes, I agree totally.

    My experience has been; if you invite the accountant to lunch, and educate them as to how it works, they will refer additional clients to you.
     
  10. Delta76
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    The rest of the story came out today. The accountant is on board with the POP plan now that he understands how it works, his main concern (although he didn't tell me upfront) was the employer funding a portion of the HSA. The business is struggling and trying to pinch pennies anywhere they can. Thanks for the good advice and phone call.
     
    Delta76, Mar 6, 2008
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