Finding the right local CPA for small business is an important decision. Your CPA (Certified Public Accountant) plays the key role in your business operations and they can help you achieve various financial goals.
Ultimately, the right CPA will provide a level of expertise and guidance that will allow you to make more informed decisions, increase profits, and save time on tedious bookkeeping tasks. At the same time, it can be a challenge to find a reputable CPA in your local area who can meet the unique needs of your business. In this blog post, we’ll explore how you can go about finding a local CPA that is the right fit for your small business.
We’ll discuss the various factors to consider when evaluating potential CPAs, where to look for professional referrals, and the key questions to ask during the interview process. For those seeking a qualified CPA for their small business, we can provide guidance to ensure you make the right decision.
“Ultimately, the right CPA will provide a level of expertise and guidance that will allow you to make more informed decisions, increase profits, and save time on tedious bookkeeping tasks.”
Accountant are the professionals who work with the essential numbers-related tasks that come with managing a company. What exactly do they do? They produce financial documents and statements; they do bookkeeping; they work with financial planning. A Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is actually also an accountant. The key difference is they also satisfy the experience/educational requirements of the state they live in and they passed the standard CPA Exam.
That essentially means that all CPAs are accountants. However, not every accountant is a CPA. Certified Public Accountants are more “strategic”. While CPAs can’t make business decisions instead of you, they can offer you solid advice and support you in making better business decisions.
They can do all of that besides handling all the important accounting tasks:
As you can see, CPA can help you with much more than only bookkeeping or taxes filing.
Like with many other service providers, a great way to find a Certified Public Accountant is to ask for a referral. The more candidates the better – try to arrange a list of three or four potential accountants. This can be as simple as asking your friends, family and co-workers for referrals.
CPAs and accountants usually focus on specific niches, industries, and processes. For example: small businesses, wealthy individuals, or companies within specific industries. So, usually it’s a good idea to ask people you know with needs similar to yours.
The I.R.S. maintains a directory of P.T.I.N. holders (C.P.A.s, enrolled agents and attorneys. They are all professionals who have current credentials recognized by the I.R.S. The directory also includes professionals who went through the Annual Filing Season Program. You can search the directory by your ZIP code to find local CPA for small business near you.
If you make less than $56,000 per year OR you’re over 60 years old, you can consider having your tax return prepared through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) or Tax Counseling for the Elderly (T.C.E.) Programs.
These programs are sponsored by the I.R.S. and staffed by volunteers trained to provide basic tax-prep services to the public. And these services are free. If you qualify, you can use the VITA/T.C.E. locator tool to find a service provider near you.
Now you have some options. Let’s find the perfect candidate for your business!
This step is especially important, if you found the candidate through a referral. Then it’s wise to find out if the person has the credentials they claim to have. The easiest way to do it is to search cpaverify.org or your state’s board of accountancy website to verify the credentials of a CPA.
You can read online reviews on Yelp, Google, Angie’s List, Thervo, and Facebook. You can also Google their name. Scroll through the first few pages to make sure nothing is buried.
Professionals who work with the public quite often have a negative review posted by an annoyed client. But if your research uncovers a pattern of client complaints or their unprofessional social media posts, move on to your next candidate.
Now that you’ve narrowed down your list to the most promising candidates, reach out and ask them to meet in person or via Zoom. The sooner the better, especially if the tax season is around the corner.
When you meet with a possible CPA, make sure you have a copy of your most recent tax return. Reviewing it is probably the best way for the tax professional to assess your business and give you an estimate of how much they might charge you.
Be ready to share with you potential CPA any important (personal) life changes during the past year. Such as getting married/divorced, investing in property, or starting a new business.
In conclusion, finding a local CPA for your small business is an important step in ensuring the financial health of your business. By doing your research, finding referrals from trusted sources, and having a clear idea of what you need from your CPA, you can make sure that you are in excellent hands. With the right CPA in your corner, your small business will be in the best possible financial shape.
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