January 27th, 2021
At this time of year, many businesses come to the realization that their current accounting provider is lacking in their communication and results, and now is the time to find a better fit for an advisor.
All this month, we have been sharing questions to ask a potential accountant through our social media platforms.
Here are the Top 5 Questions to ask when interviewing a CPA:
Question 1: What kind of clients do you work with?
Picture this scenario: You hire an accountant based on the assumption that he or she understands the basics of your business. Then, you find out that they have never worked with a business like yours before and have only prepared tax forms for individuals that are not self-employed. You are paying for their education.
Avoid that problem by asking the accountant the makeup of their clientele. Do they have experience in your industry? Do they work exclusively with businesses? Be sure to also ask how busy they are and if they have the time and resources to support you in the manner you wish.
Question 2: What kind of advice will you offer me?
A good accountant can handle any work necessary to keep your business in compliance and out of trouble. A great accountant can help to grow your business and your profits all while creating a trusting professional relationship. Ask them to offer three ideas on how your business may be able to save money right now.
Additionally, ask them for three examples in which they offered useful advice to other clients that helped make them more money. Knowing these answers can help you determine their ability to deliver advice that is beneficial to you and your company.
Question 3: How do you calculate your fees?
Ask the accountant you are interviewing about their fees. Will you be charged by the hour or on a fixed-rate basis? What does this include and what does it not include? Are free phone calls part of their service or will you be billed anytime you contact them? Sometimes hourly billing dissuades business owners from contacting their accountant, reducing the communication between them and their CPA. Having a CPA that fits your communication styles will ensure you both are on the same page.
Question 4: How do you help your clients grow their businesses?
In addition to accounting assistance, can the potential CPA provide you with referrals to grow your business? Ask if the accountant can introduce you to clients and others who may be useful to you, including customers, suppliers, bankers, investors and so on. Request examples of how they have helped do this in the past with their existing clients. The right fit for an accountant is one who provides value rather than being an expense.
5.Why should I work with you?
Ask the CPA why they feel you would benefit from their services and expertise. Will they help the growth of
your company for years to come or do you view their work as a “necessary expense”? There are plenty of
accountants who fit both descriptions. Choose the one who will become a partner and trusted advisor to
you and your business.
If we can connect you to the perfect fit from among our pre-screened accounting firms, please contact us and let’s have a chat.