Are you considering changing your CPA or Tax Accountant? I am hoping this blog post can help you make the right choice this time.
Let’s start with basic, your CPA or Tax Accountant should already have a client base similar to you. He should be able to understand your business and advise you on the financial aspects and pitfalls of this kind of business. If you are set up a corporation or LLC than also make sure your CPA has specialization in this field. You may want to find out how many financial statements, audits and corporate tax return your CPA is currently making. This will give you a good idea about his practice.
Interview Potential Certified Public Accountant
You are about making an important hiring decision. You should interview your CPA just like you interview a potential employee. Great CPA can bring lots of value to your business. He or She can save taxes and protect your bottom line. Make sure to ask all of your questions along with a reference. Also, make sure to see and verify their license. You can also ask the CPA about their competitive advantage. In other words, How do they differ from the rest of CPA’s in your area?
Cheapest Is Not Your Best CPA
This may sound obvious but you do need to carefully analyze the cost of CPA services. One CPA charging more may be providing extra services and therefore you need to ask your CPA to justify the cost. Find out if they have a rate chart that contains the details of their service. You may also want to ask them about the monthly fees instead of the yearly costs.
Do They Do Bookkeeping
Don’t settle for a generic answer; Yes. Ask more detailed questions like what program do they use and why they use that over the other. Is that program compatible with the program you are currently using at your business? Will you need to buy an additional program? Are they going to do bookkeeping at your site or remotely? How will you get your paperwork to them?
Can They Estimate Your Next Year Tax
This is a great way to see how qualified your CPA is. Simply give them your last year's tax return and give them an estimate of your revenue increase or decrease this year and let your CPA give you a guesstimate for next year's taxes. You will understand a whole lot of tax management with these simple questions
How Do They File Your Tax Return
Find out how your CPA wants you to do bookkeeping and accounting. Their suggestion can save you lots of time during tax time. Ask your CPA if they can file and what documents do you need?
Your CPA is a Corporation or an Individual
With so many CPA’s at your service, it can be hard to pick the right one. But you can at least make an attempt to find a perfect match. If you are looking for a big corporate office with lots of employees then you may want to find a large audit firm but if you want personalized service than look for an independently owned CPA firm. In either case, find out who you will be working with and make sure to interview that person.
Hours of Operation
Make sure your CPA is available when you are ready to meet with them. Find out if they are open on weekends? Do they respond via email? How easy or hard it is to get an appointment. Do they give special treatment to yearly clients vs walk-ins?
Once you have interviewed and pinned down the right CPA, make sure to set some expectations. For example, after the submission of paperwork when can you expect your work to be done. This will come very handy during the next year's negotiations.