Accounting firms must stay abreast of laws and requirements for tax, accounting and audits. Many accountant offer financial advice and help individuals and small businesses develop budgets and set financial goals. Whether you need someone to handle weekly accounting/bookkeeping services or you just want reliable tax advice, you’ll be happier with your choice if you ask some preliminary questions.
Certification - Tax preparation firms hire and train tax preparers to assist the public in filing income taxes, but these firms can’t offer in-depth advice to small businesses. In general, the greater your accounting needs, the more you’ll benefit from a general accounting firm that employs certified public accountants, or CPAs.
Fees - Accounting fees vary, so it is important to gain an understanding of how the firm you select charge for services.
Service - If you need complete bookkeeping services, look for a full-service accounting firm that employs bookkeepers who handle day-to-day client transactions. If you need some sort of assurance service, you will need a CPA.
Firm Goals - Some accountants offer to help clients set goals and monitor financial progress, which can be very helpful if you’re just starting out in business. Find out the firm’s policy on goal setting and if you’ll be charged an additional fee for the service.
Relationship - You can hire the highest-priced accounting firm in town, but if you don’t feel comfortable discussing your finances, you aren’t getting the service you need. If the accountant talks in terms you don’t understand or if you feel intimidated, look for a different firm.
Questions to ask when hiring a CPA