Have you ever wondered what questions to ask an accountant before partnering with them?
Hiring the right Certified Public Accountant, or CPA, is crucial in adding value to your company. You will want the expertise of a tax professional to help keep your business’ finances organized and ensure regulatory compliance – no matter the size of your company.
In order to make sure you find the right fit for your company, we have outlined ten important questions every business should ask when looking for a CPA.
1. Do you have a PTIN (Preparer Tax Identification Number)?
This question should be among the first that you ask any CPA or tax professional. The IRS has outlined that, “anyone who prepares or assists in preparing federal tax returns for compensation must have a valid 2021 PTIN before preparing returns.”
2. Who will be handling my account?
When hiring a CPA outside of your business, it is crucial to know who exactly will be working on your account. When interviewing a firm, ensure you meet with the person who will actually be responsible for the day to day of your account.
3. Do you work with other clients in my business’ industry?
Having an experienced CPA is great, but you specifically want a CPA who is experienced in your industry. Even if they have hundreds of high profile clients, this does not indicate that they will be the best fit for your business. Use this question to identify what the CPA’s experience is and who their preferred clientele is.
4. What is your tax speciality?
Not every CPA will have the same tax background or experience. For example, some CPAs may focus solely on W-2 taxation while others may have their expertise in international taxes. Use this question to identify if this CPA can best assist your business’ specific tax needs.
5. How do you charge your clients?
You want to ensure that your CPA gives you a clear price and timeline for your tax return. Additionally, establish if their rate will be flat or hourly.
6. Does your fee for my tax return include tax advice throughout the year?
This question is a direct follow-up for the previous question. It is important to understand up-front what you will be receiving from your CPA. If your business is seeking annual tax planning advice (which may be beyond the scope of the tax return fee), ask your CPA what other services their firm offers. They may be able to help you with other financial aspects of your business.
7. How have you benefited businesses like mine?
Ask the CPA for specific examples and results of how their firm has benefited business’ like yours. This is a great way to discover if your business could benefit and grow in similar ways.
Hiring a qualified and trusted CPA is crucial to managing your business’ wealth. Semaphore is a trusted CPA firm located in Irvine, California. Our team of experts can customize tax strategies that are designed to maximize your financial health. From personal to business taxes, we’ve got you covered. Get in touch with us today and we’ll answer any questions you may have about our tax services.