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How to Choose a Certified Public Accountant for Your Business

Home Business Magazine Online

If the thought of preparing your own business tax returns is daunting, you’re not alone. According to research information, there are thousands of tax returns defiled every year, and over half of them are prepared by certified public accountants (CPA’s).

Unfortunately, because these professionals are in high demand, you may not necessarily know how to choose the right one for you. Apart from having the best qualifications, you’re looking to avoid shady tax preparers. There’s no need to look any further, we got you covered! Here’s everything you need to know about choosing a certified public accountant for your business.

Step 1: Compile a list of certified public accountants 

Your business is much like your baby. You’re looking for the best person to take care of it. Doing your due diligence is the first step to getting there. Public accountants are a dime a dozen, but want to narrow them down to the best candidates you can get.

Before going straight to the internet, ask for references from friends, family and other business owners you may know. Certified public accountants who come highly recommended are the best to work with.

If references are not an option, a Google search will always come in handy. Search for highly qualified business accountants in your area and look up their services and testimonials. You can go a step further and call some of their references and past clients to hear more about the services they offer.

Step 2: Search the I.R.S. directory

Once you’ve narrowed down your candidates, it’s time to search through the I.R.S. directory. Every paid tax preparer carries a Preparer Tax Identification Number (P.T.I.N) that can be found through an online search. However, this number isn’t indicative of the skills a certified public accountant has, it’s simply a requirement.

The I.R.S maintains a directory of these numbers to show that the professionals are currently recognized by the revenue authority. Remember, not every certified public accountant prepares business taxes, so you’ll have to take your research a step further to inquire.

You can also confirm with your state or national association. States have boards of societies and CPA bodies that maintain online directories and provide a list of certified business accountants upon request.

Step 3: Verify credentials 

Just because an accountant states that they have worked with major business and have all the proper qualifications doesn’t mean that it’s all true. Well, it could be true but the only way to confirm this is by verifying their credentials. States come with CPA Verify, which is an online repository of information about certified public accountant.

It’s a great source for verification and will highlight all the qualifications and experiences your chosen accountant has. It’s also best to look at the tax preparer’s website and social media accounts to see the kind of things they post online. Google their name to see what comes up and ensure that nothing is buried.

Step 4: Interview your prospects 

Now that you’ve narrowed down your prospects, it’s time to reach out to them. But be warned; if you wait until tax filing season to make appointments with prospective accountants, you may have a hard time finding someone to sit down with. Even if you don’t have all your tax documents ready, set up a meeting as soon as possible.

When you meet with your prospective accountants, bring a copy of your latest business tax return so you can review and evaluate it together. Be open and honest about any significant business changes, to help them assess the situation better. Ask questions like how long they have been preparing taxes, their specialties, rates, billing principles and whether they work as part of a larger team.

With these questions, you’ll easily find the accountant that will meet your business needs and you relate to the most. Once you do, organize a subsequent interview where you’ll discuss your expectations.

Bonus tip

Don’t be afraid to expand your horizons and consider certified public accountants who live in different areas. If you don’t find the professional you’re comfortable with around you, consider looking outside your location.

Ask yourself…

Is a face to face connection really that important to you or are you open to going remote but still taking good care of your business taxes? No matter who you choose, never sign a tax return document before carefully going through its contents. Take time to hire a pro who’ll always have your best interest at heart.

The post How to Choose a Certified Public Accountant for Your Business appeared first on Home Business Magazine.

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5 thoughts on “How to Choose a Certified Public Accountant for Your Business”

  1. Крупный учебный и научно-исследовательский центр Республики Беларусь. Высшее образование в сфере гуманитарных и естественных наук на 12 факультетах по 35 специальностям первой ступени образования и 22 специальностям второй, 69 специализациям.

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