Are Professional Services Really Looking Out For Your Interests?

When we call somebody a ‘professional’, we mean he or she is competent or skilled in a particular activity. This is why when we are looking at professional services firms, we expect that they will satisfy our needs with their deep knowledge, practical experience and high ethics. After all, we ask them to help fix the problem we ourselves could not deal with, we trust them, and we pay a lot of service fees (and taxes).

Do Professional Services Really Have Your Back?

How do we know whether those ‘professionals’ are bluffing about their capacity and/or charging unnecessary fees? How can we judge the ‘professional services’? This post is to help consumers judge the professional services they receive, especially before making any decisions. It is never easy to ask for a refund or cancellation once the contract is established. So, please carefully read the below guidelines for each industry and make a veteran decision.

Silhouetted professionals stand around in front of a virtual background
Professionals are paid to offer their services, but are they really looking out for your best interests?

1. Medical Care

A veterinarian examines a cat.
You put your life literally in the hands of medical professionals.

You know how important yet difficult it is to find doctors in your area who fit your needs. The doctor-patient relationship is of course something that needs to be worked out. Schedule a time to meet your doctor and consider the clinic’s philosophy and feel. A lot can be said for that gut feeling.

Having a primary care physician is realistically the best if you have qualifying insurance. The goal of having a primary care physician is to minimize unnecessary hospital or ER visits because you can get personal care from a doctor who knows all about you.

Choose urgent care over ER. Non-critical but severe problems need to be treated in a timely manner. Urgent care centers are designed to provide convenient and affordable care around the clock. Increasingly, urgent care centers are equipped with X-ray services and quick check-ups.

Visit WebMD and search doctors by specialty or condition in your area. The website also offers health news and advice. Information regarding symptoms checklist, medication information and blogs of physicians will be extremely helpful.

2. Law

Lawyers are good at budgeting their time. If you are down to a final decision, ask how much time will be devoted for your case or if you can talk to any clients as references. Lastly, ask if your lawyer has any questions for you. The more passionately your attorney understands your situation, the more engaged he or she will be. Note: the specialization and double-check their websites/LinkedIn profile. Some lawyers may not know all possible legal issues you might encounter, depending on your business category. If a lawyer has prior experience helping clients in your industry, you will get an idea how he or she can make your life easier.

Check the fee structure early. You may want everything for remarkably cheap or for free. Spend some time to look for counsel that is up front with the fee structure. If the firm is not bound by any obligation to continue the initial rate they offered, they can charge you more as the situation escalates.

Visit Guru and refine the category with different variables. Narrow the list down to a few based on the area and basic profile. Send messages or leave notes with a brief description of your issue. Then wait for what they have to say. Read how prior clients wrote about the lawyer or how they have rated him. That’s when you need to get in touch.

3. Accounting

Saving money by eliminating the possibility of mistakes is important. You don’t want any problems with the ATO including fines. Finding a qualified accountant is not difficult, but finding a reliable one is. Make sure your prospective accountants can elaborate how they could help you develop your business. Choose an accountant who has clients with businesses of your size. Not all accountants are interested in working with smaller businesses. Then ask if your potential accountant understands the differences between the tax and legal domain specific to your business.

Hire a tax accountant so that you get a greater tax return. Tax accountants are qualified to deal with capital gains, shares, negative gearing and complex deductions which can be overwhelming for you. They will suggest ways to improve your tax return.

Visit NAEA for a list of enrolled agents and federally licensed tax practitioners. EAs are tax professionals who often specialize and are best for complex tax situations. Unlike CPAs and tax attorneys, EAs are tested directly by the IRS, and focus exclusively on tax accounting.

4. Web Security

A woman uses a laptop on the floor.
Understanding cybersecurity has a big curve.

Jargon, jargon, jargon. Remember, if they are really professional, they should be able to make themselves clear about what their product or service does and how it works. Compare several products based on the coverage and the price. Check if the company has been recognized by researchers and prestigious institutions or won awards. Check if the free version includes all of the features. Oftentimes, the price would exceed your budget if you want to include all the features. Free and inexpensive solutions might not be helpful at all, if they only screen your website and ask for further payments when they need to take further protection measures.

Try the demo to see you can understand the material. You would only be more confused if the protection report is written in a whole new language. Make sure the protection algorithms are well explained and the dashboard is easy to navigate. Visit Cloudbric for enterprise-level security solutions for free up to 4GB of bandwidth usage. Attacks are illustrated with maps and charts and you can easily see how they are dealt with.

5. Psychotherapy

You need to find a good and qualified counselor who is caring and experienced. In the film Hector and the Search for Happiness, the psychiatrist Hector gets frustrated when he realizes all he faces every day is groaning and griping. Although it is good for him to go on a journey to find the secrets to happiness, you don’t want a counselor who needs to seek mental help in the middle of your session. Ask your friends or family members if they can recommend someone. If you don’t feel like going to their psychotherapists or counselors, ask them for a referral. They can probably give you a couple of good and qualified ones in the community.

Use resources at work and school. An employee assistance program is offered by many employers to help employees deal with personal problems that can affect job performance. Universities and schools should have qualified psychologists, social workers, or counseling centers.

Visit Psychology Today for a detailed lists of psychologists, psychiatrists, therapists, counselors as well as treatment centers in the United States.