It’s a fact – the success of your business partly depends on the quality of professional advice you receive. Selecting the right CPA for your specific situation is crucial, but if you’re uncertain where to begin and how to start your search, just keep to the basic considerations and you will go far.
Experience in Your Industry
First off, the accountant you hire should have other clients who are in the same market you’re in. Several industries are distinct when it comes to the best ways to monitor and optimize business costs. A seasoned CPA will help you steer the course efficiently and productively. Furthermore, make sure you verify how many years of experience the CPA has been practicing the profession, and whether or not they will be personally attending to your concerns. Take time to interview at least two or three prospects, and don’t be swayed into choosing one because of pricing alone. Although a CPA’s experience and qualifications have a huge impact on their fees, there are several other vital factors to consider.
Local vs. National Firm
A bigger firm will naturally charge higher fees and provide less personalized. On the other hand, if the firm is too small, you may not get the expertise or variety of services you need to help your business.
A lot of CPA firms provide an entire line of services, such as tax preparation, business consulting, etc. In any case, make sure the CPA you choose specializes the specific service or services you’re looking for.
How easy is it to contact the CPA or the firm? Who will be directly working with you? That person should be reasonably easy to get in touch with and have the necessary professional qualifications.
Picking the right accountant is critical if you want to make the most of your business’ potential. Instead of going with the first licensed CPA you come across, ask them for client references. Word-of-mouth is always a great, if not the best, place to begin. Also consider reviews online but stay with trusted third-party consumer websites for credibility.
When talking to references, ask as many relevant questions as you can. For example, does the CPA or respond to service requests or queries in a timely manner? Do they update their clients regarding tax law changes and other related business information? What efficiency-raising technologies do they use? How are they when it comes to staff turnover?
Keep in mind that interviewing your potential CPA is a lot like talking to a potential employee. Make sure you are professionally as well as personally attuned to each other, if only to maximize your benefits from the business relationship.
Finally, if you’re a small business owner, know that supplementing a CPA’s services with those of other accounting professionals (bookkeeper, tax preparer, etc.) is a common practice that you might consider.But, of course, it is necessary to have the right CPA to sign off on all of those, and most importantly, a CPA who can perform sound financial analysis and use it to provide effective business advice.