4. Is the CPA experienced with areas beyond core functions of accounting and taxes such as information systems, business forecasting, valuations.
Will the CPA be readily available to provide you with answers by telephone or email?
5. Does the personality of the CPA mesh with yours? You need to feel comfortable with this professional.
6. Do you feel confident that issues will be explained clearly so that you are able to make informed decisions? You don’t need a CPA who talks to you in technicalities. The last thing you want is to be left even more confused after a conversation with your accountant. Rather, you want someone who is a good communicator when it comes to explaining business matters that affect your growth and viability as a business.
7. Is the accountant technologically progressive? This is very important. Look for an accountant who fully uses technologies for paperless operations, secure client portals and other cloud based technologies. These tools will make your working relationship with the accountant much easier and efficient.
Remember, a good CPA can be a tremendous asset to your business. There will always be situations that arise from time to time where you need the experienced perspective of an accountant to assist you. This becomes even more critical to a smaller business. That’s because, unlike a larger business which can afford to have their own in-house accountant on the payroll, most smaller businesses do not have this luxury. Thus, finding and selecting a CPA you are comfortable working with is very important.
CPA's can be an invaluable source of knowledge in handling financial matters, funding, accounting systems, business records and taxation, etc. Also, it’s important to realize that CPA’s, because they work with many different businesses, really have their finger on the pulse of understanding all the issues that a business can face. After all, although you may think that your business situation is unique, you may be surprised to learn that it is not and that the CPA has already seen and solved problems just like yours for other businesses.
How to Select a CPA to Work With You
There are many factors to consider when selecting a CPA to work with you. Remember, you are looking to establish a long term relationship with someone who is to be your trusted business advisor. For starters, make sure they are interested in your business and that they are comfortable working with your business size. Here are some questions to ask when selecting a CPA:
1. Does the CPA understand the type of business you operate?
2. Does the CPA have experience with your industry and serve other clients like you?
3. Does the CPA seem genuinely interested in helping your business be more successful and can they contribute to that success? Look for more than just a bookkeeper and tax preparer?