The right certified public account (CPA) can be a lifesaver for a small business owner, eliminating uncertainty and taking the finances off of your hands, so you can focus on what you do best. However, hiring an accountant also means giving someone else control over your funds, so it’s important to ensure you make the right choice. Before deciding on a CPA, schedule face-to-face meetings with several candidates, and be sure to ask the following questions.
What Questions Should You Ask Before Hiring a CPA?
Can you describe your fee structure?
Most accounting firms charge an hourly rate, but some do provide flat-fee services. While hourly fees do make giving an exact quote difficult, an experienced CPA should be able to give you a rough estimate of how much their services will cost every month. If the accountant you’re meeting offers a flat fee, ask what’s included in that price and what surcharges there might be for additional services.
Have you worked with businesses in my industry?
Every industry has different needs and priorities, so look for an accountant who has experience working with businesses in your field. For instance, service-oriented businesses have more payroll and billing tasks, while manufacturers may need an accountant with expertise valuing equipment.
How do you approach deductions?
Some CPAs are extremely aggressive about claiming deductions, while others have a more conservative philosophy. While each approach has its merits, you’ll want a CPA who matches your style and shares your priorities. Finding an accountant with a similar outlook will help prevent unnecessary conflict and stress later on.
For over 35 years, Tostrud & Temp, S.C. has provided in-depth accounting advice to businesses throughout the La Crosse, WI, area. No matter what industry you’re in, you can rely on their CPAs to handle everything from taxes and payroll to legal compliance issues. Visit their website for an overview of their services, get more tips and advice on Facebook, or call (608) 784-8060 to schedule an appointment with a member of their team.