10 Basic Questions to ask your CPA Firm

by Zaara 18, Apr 2018

Are you looking for the top CPA firm in your city?

If your answer is ‘yes’, you have come to the right place. In this article, we’ll be taking you through some basic questions that you should be asking your potential CPA (Certified Public Accountant) firm to ensure that you hire the best option out there for your business. Today, whether you are an organization or a private individual, you can benefit from hiring a CPA firm.

Your CPA firm can be very helpful in making sure you are on top of the new tax regulations and are making the most of your opportunities by providing services like developing budgets, financial advice and setting up and monitoring your financial strategies. Whether you need a CPA firm to look over your payroll activities, prepare and file your taxes or provide financial services, it is critical that you outsource to a firm that has all the necessary capabilities to optimize your performance and productivity.

To help you hire a top CPA firm, here are 10 basic questions to ask any potential firm, which will help you make the most informed decision.

1. What is the Fee Structure of your firm?

You are most likely to have a budget set before actively looking for your CPA firm, and asking about the fee structure is about as basic as it can get – as most firms will have different charging methods. However, two commonly used fee structures by CPA and accounting firms are charging by the hour or charging separately for each activity or task. Make sure the firm you chose offers market-competitive prices and is under your budget.

2. What is the expertise of your firm?

Most accountants and CPAs usually specialize in one or more specific areas or industries, depending upon their experience. This enables them to utilize their expertise for better quality services. For example, a farmer can most benefit from hiring a firm that has experience and expertise in working with agricultural and rural clients.

3. What certifications does your firm hold?

When looking for a CPA or accounting firm, it is essential that you know what kind of services you need, and then look for a firm with those certifications and expertise. If you need simple tax preparation services, then an accounting firm with a qualified team of tax preparers should be sufficient. However, they won’t be the best option if you are looking for in-depth financial advisory services. As in this case, the distinction of a CPA can really increase the quality of service you get.

4. Do you offer business and financial advisory services?

You need to know if you prefer your CPA firm to give you constructive advice and feedback that can help improve your productivity and make you more informed, or you want your CPA firm to limit themselves to the tasks and activities they have been hired to do. It can make your work relationship more fruitful if your firm naturally works the way you prefer. Moreover, determine in advance if the firm offers advice as feedback or as one of the services they charge for.

5. What is the range of services you offer?

When looking for your CPA or accounting firm, make sure it not only offers the services you need now but also the ones you might need in the future. The process of finding the right CPA firm requires time and effort. Hence, it is smart to hire a firm that gives you some space to grow.

6. How often do you contact your clients?

For the success of any association, effective communication is very important. Hence, make sure your firm is a good communicator, that they have a representative available for you, and they are timely in their communication, whether personally or through email or a phone call. However, if you prefer minimal contact, then make sure to mention that.

7. How do you try to build a personal connection with your clients?

Finding the top CPA firm is not the most important thing here. Rather, finding a firm that works the best for you is the goal. You need a team of professionals who can create a productive and comfortable space for you, where you can discuss and make decisions about your finances and legal matters.

A little personal connection and comfortable workspace can make a long professional relationship possible between you and your CPA firm.

8. Do you take part in goal setting and monitoring for your clients?

Some CPA firms offer the services of planning and monitoring your financial strategies and goals, which can really affect the overall efficiency of your performance and resources. A team of qualified professionals with experience in the relevant industry can give you an outsider’s point of view and valuable insights that one only learns with time and experience.

9. Do you offer audit support to your clients?

To most of us, our CPA firm feels more like a blessing during that time of the year when the Internal Revenue Service comes knocking on our door. At this time, having your CPA firm can be very reassuring because you have the legal representation you will need to get through what can be quite a stressful situation.

Moreover, some accounting and CPA firms offer you their own workspace to carry out your audit work, and they assign a team specifically to represent you.

10. Can we speak to your reference list?

No matter how much you have looked into your potential CPA firm, you should make the final decision after talking to the firm’s reference list. You can get the most relevant information about a CPA firm and their services by speaking to their existing or former clients.

Moreover, make sure to go prepared and have the questions that you need to ask. Make sure to build the questions around the concept of what they expect from the firm, how they provided their services, and what outcomes they experienced.