Your business has just reached a milestone in sales or customers and you realize you now need a CPA firm to handle your taxes and financial reports. Good information is the only way to continue growing your business. But you don’t know anything about CPA’s and what they should do for you. Here are some ideas to consider when selecting a CPA firm.
- Is the firm full time or are they in business just during tax season? Taxes may be the reason you are starting this search, so be sure that your CPA will be available year round for tax planning and questions as needed. If you have a question or problem in June or October, you may not be able to find them.
- Does the firm do work for other businesses like yours? Some firms only deal with larger clients or businesses in a certain industry. Be sure your CPA if familiar with the accounting issues of your industry or business.
- Does the CPA bill on a flat fee or hourly basis? Depending on the services you need, one or the other may be better for you. If you just want year end taxes done, an hourly rate may be best. If you want more extensive tax planning or other services a flat monthly fee may be best. Find out how often you can talk to your CPA or meet face to face for that flat fee.
- How big is the firm? If the firm is too large, will you get lost in the shuffle? If too small, can they handle all the things that might come up? And who will you deal with? Will it be a partner, only staff, or a supervisor? Ask for the background and qualifications of the person who will be completing your work. Will tax returns be reviewed by partners if they are prepared by staff?
- Perhaps the most important question to ask is, are you comfortable with the CPA and the firm? Interview two to three different firms to see which feels most comfortable and easy to work with. Always talk with the person who will be actually doing the work and whom you will call with questions. Make sure they really listen to you and your needs.
Taking the time to think about what is most important to you and your business will lead to the perfect CPA firm for you. The time you invest in the decision will be well spent.