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Five Things To Think About When Hiring a CPA Firm

Posted on January 11th, 2021

Hiring a CPA firm for your business or your personal taxes  can be a daunting task.  After all, you are trusting virtual strangers with your very private information as well as taking a risk that they are experts in their field and are up to date with all of the latest professional rulings and guidance.  Here are five things to keep in mind when interviewing a CPA Firm:

  1. How long has the firm been in business and who will you be working with on a day-to-day basis?  Firm history is important because many businesses fail within their first 2 years of business, so you want a firm that has a strong history of surviving through good economies and bad.  Also, who will you be assigned to work with on your taxes or audits?  Many times, the Principals of the firm come to the initial meeting to “wow” you and then you are handed off to a Junior person.  Make sure you meet the staff member that you will be working with.
  2. What is the size and capabilities of the firm?  If you run a small-mid-sized business, you don’t need a Big 4 accounting firm.  You need a firm that understands the challenges of running a small business. Learn about their specialties.  If you need a firm to help with back office accounting and bookkeeping or to help with QuickBooks, ask about their strengths in those areas.
  3. What vertical market are you in?  If you run a restaurant or retail store, it is good to have a firm with similar clients so that they understand your industry.  If you run a non-profit, it is essential to hire a firm with non-profit experience and clients in the non-profit space. Does their client roster consist primarily of business-to-business clients or business to consumer clients?
  4. Do you have rapport with the firm? It is crucial to have rapport with the firms’ Principals and staff members.  They should respect you and work with you as a partner, explaining things along the way and not try to intimidate you with “CPA” language.
  5. Lastly,  Ask for references, don’t just rely on reviews and testimonials on their website.  Get at least 3 client references that you can call and get personal feedback on their experience working with the firm.  Have a list of pertinent questions available when you speak to them so you can address issues that might affect your business.

 It is best to interview at least 3 firms before hiring one.  Take your time, do your homework and you will find a firm most suited to your business or personal needs.


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