Last year was the first year we used a private CPA office instead of a popular nationwide chain to file our taxes. Our guy, let's call him Doug*, did a fine job. It was simple, we met, talked, handed over our paperwork and a few weeks later we got our return. Easy peasy.
This year, Doug called my husband giving us a friendly reminder to make an appointment for this year's tax season. My husband, being one that doesn't handle such things, relays the message to me. So, I dropped a short email explaining we are just waiting on some paperwork to come in the mail and we will surely be making our appointment. I mean, last year was so stress free and simple. A couple of hours later I received an email from one of the owners of the firm and his reply surprised me. Apparently Doug no longer works at the firm, and quit suddenly a couple of weeks ago, but not before taking the client list. EEEEK. Doug had been calling all these clients implying he was still with the firm. Not sure if he actually said he was still with them, but he omitted the part about him now being independent or with someone else or whatever the case may be. Now if Mr. Tax Firm* had not emailed me back I wouldn't have known until the day of the appointment. Even then, would Doug have then told us he was now on his own or would he have just told us he was remote? Maybe he hoped we wouldn't question the new location at all. I have no idea. All I know is that he wasn't completely honest with us. He took information, I'm assuming by Mr. Tax Firm's reaction, that he wasn't allowed to have. So now I question Doug's integrity. Which means if given the chance to work with Doug again, I'm not going to trust him with something so important. Something that if done incorrectly or dishonestly could cost me a lot money, time, or worse.
Our integrity is a very important thing, that if tainted can change other's view of us. I'd like to think that Doug* had a good reason for leaving the firm, that he was just desperate to have clients this tax season as not to struggle financially himself, and maybe that's the case. Maybe he was done wrong by Mr. Tax Firm, maybe he was underpaid and over worked, maybe he needed to work from home..but because he wasn't forthcoming with the fact he was no longer with The Tax Firm*, and he took information he shouldn't have... I can not trust him to do the right thing when it comes to our taxes.
Stay honest, don't skirt around the truth, and be bold. It's OK to be out on your own, but don't do wrong to others to make it.
* Names of the firm and person in question have obviously been changed. Please do not assume otherwise.