10 things to consider before hiring a CPA

When you begin looking for a CPA, you not only want someone who can help you avoid possible trouble with the IRS and save you money, but someone who can also provide you with useful information. While some people consider accountants as the “number people” the fact is that good CPAs will do much more than just work with numbers. They will also let you know what the numbers mean. Before you hire just any CPA, 10 questions you should ask are highlighted here.

1. What types of clients does the CPA currently serve?  

You need to ensure that the CPA you hire will understand the type of work you need completed. For example, if you own a restaurant, you will need a CPA who can deal with wages and tips, which is different than the needs of a construction business.

2. Are they available all year?  

There are quite a few tax firms that close their doors once April 15th passes and don’t reopen until the following tax season. However, when you own a business you need to find a CPA that you can access 12 months a year.

3. Will the same person always work on your account?  

Ideally, you should have the same person working on your account, not just whoever is available when you call for service. This will help to build a relationship and let the accountant get to know your business and needs.

4. What experience do they have with the IRS?  

From time to time you may have issues with the IRS. You need to ensure that the CPA you hire has prior experience dealing with the IRS so that they can handle your situation.

5. Are they aggressive or more conservative?  

You need to find a CPA who will be willing to do whatever it takes to minimize your tax liability and maximize your deductions. They should be seeking continual education to ensure that they have the latest knowledge in regard to the tax code and law.

6. Do they consider themselves tech-savvy?  

There are all sorts of new technology and software programs to make tax time easier. You should ask your CPA what they recommend for your books, since they are likely going to have the most updated knowledge.

7. How do they bill for their services?  

There are some accountants who will charge you by the hour, while others bill at a flat rate. You need to consider how the CPA charges so you know what to expect with your bill.

8. Why should you use their services?  

Ask this just see what they have to say. It is a good idea to find a CPA who actually cares about your business success.

9. What is their policy for returning phone calls?  

An all-too-common complaint with many CPAs is that they wait too long to return phone calls. This is why you should ask about their average turn-around time for this.

10. What are their hours of operation?  

Most CPAs work for themselves. This means they can also make their own schedule. It is important you find out ahead of time their work schedule so you will know when you will be able to easily reach them.

 Asking the right questions makes the difference in the service you receive when hiring a CPA. Take some time, ask these questions and you will find the right CPA for your business. 

Posted on May 11, 2015 | by Damien Gold in Taxes, Accounting | Tagged IRS, Hire a CPA, Hiring a CPA

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