Many small business owners recognize the importance of hiring a CPA, yet underestimate how essential it is to choose precisely the right one. If you would like to know how to find the perfect CPA for you, a good way to start is by ensuring you avoid some of these very common mistakes.
Mistake #1: Not Knowing Exactly What you need a CPA For
Certified public accountants perform a multitude of functions, which is why it is important to know what services you need ahead of time. Think about whether you only need help with managing expenses or also require assistance with filing taxes or putting together a financial plan. Once you have established what your needs are, finding a person with the right qualifications will naturally become easier.
Mistake #2: Choosing a CPA with the Wrong Background
If your CPA is to represent you effectively, he or she should have a solid understanding of your business. That’s because a CPA will eventually become involved with every component of your company, whether directly or indirectly. Certified public accountants will also interact with your employees on a regular basis, so if that person does not understand industry lingo, there could be a breakdown in communication. To avoid this issue, look for an accountant who has experience in your same line of work. At a minimum, you should choose someone who has kept records for other clients who perform the same or similar services.
Mistake #3: Hiring Someone who Doesn’t Communicate Well
It’s not enough to find someone who can “talk shop” with you. It is equally important to find an accountant who is ready and willing to communicate. You are trusting your most delicate assets to this person, so you should never settle for someone who talks down to you or doesn’t ever seem to be available to answer your phone calls. Consider things such as response time when choosing a CPA-after all, do you want someone who is going to take forever to get back to you? If you have difficulty communicating during the hiring process, the problem will only get worse once you sign that contract.
Mistake #4: Not Interviewing them for the Job
Just because a CPA works outside your office does not mean you shouldn’t interview anyone you are seriously considering. Don’t be afraid to ask tough questions in order to determine if a particular CPA is a good fit for your company. The hiring process should also include a thorough check of one’s credentials to verify licensing and education. Ask for a list of satisfied references, and don’t be shy about calling those people to see how satisfied they are with that person’s services. Should you come across someone who doesn’t want to answer questions or provide references, this is a sign that you should continue looking elsewhere.
Mistake #5: Not Knowing Exactly Who will Handle your Work
This may not be a problem when dealing with smaller firms; however, it does become especially important when working with bigger ones. Some larger firms actually outsource certain functions to smaller firms, or have multiple accountants juggle different aspects of your work. Unless you ask, you can’t be absolutely sure who is truly overseeing your account.
Hiring a certified public accountant requires a great deal of thought and effort if you are to choose the right one. Here at GML CPA, we understand that completely, which is why we are not afraid to answer the tough questions you may want to ask during the hiring phase. If you would like to know more about the services we provide, please contact us so that we can get to know you a little bit better.