46th Annual Society for Case Research & Global Jesuit Case Series Summer Workshop 2024

Experience level: 
Intended Audience: 
Stacy Vollmers, University of Wisconsin-River Falls, Dawn Hukai, University of Wisconsin-River Falls, Janet Ratliff, Morehead State University

Do I need a New Accountant? An Accounting Firm’s Service Failures

Marie Springborn was concerned when she received a letter from the Wisconsin Department of Revenue indicating that they had not received all the documents needed to process her tax return for this year. She had used a small Midwest tax firm, Wiley, Kellett, Coverly, and Associates (WKC), to file her taxes each year for over a decade, and her parents used the firm on her recommendation. This mistake by the firm, coupled with several mistakes her parents had experienced with the same accountant last year and this year made her wonder if she should perhaps start looking for a new accountant. Marie knew that in small businesses, quality management was essential to entrepreneurial success. As someone who taught services marketing, she recognized the challenge in creating consistency in service quality, the inevitableness of service failure and the importance of service recovery. It seemed to her that WKC could use some help in this area. In addition, there must be quality control processes adopted by accounting firms to guard against mistakes like this. Maybe she should talk to her accounting colleague about this.