Selecting Your CPA Firm

Every CPA firm is unique in their strengths & abilities. Here’s seven easy steps to finding a CPA firm that perfect for you.

1.     Compile a list of candidates. Ask your business attorney or trusted friends and colleagues to recommend a CPA firm — one with a reputation for favorable results.

2.     Schedule an interview with the candidates. (Most CPA firms offer a one-hour evaluation appointment, free of charge.)

3.     Prepare a list of detailed questions that relate to your particular issue, situation or need. (Be very specific.) Also ask standard questions during each interview:

o    Why does the firm want your business? (Is the firm familiar with the uniqueness of your type of business?)

o    How big is the firm? (Is it large or small enough?)

o    What experience and educational background — including continuing education — have firm members acquired? (Are you impressed, especially in relationship to your specialized needs?)

o    What computing technology does the firm use? (Does it fit your immediate or anticipated technology profile?)

o    In what format does the firm accept accounting information? (Is the format satisfactory? Do they know your particular accounting software?)

o    What are the fee structures and billing policies? (Does it suit you?)

4.     Ask if the CPA candidate has any questions for you. (Are the questions on target and address your concerns?)

5.     Evaluate the personal “chemistry.” (Are you able to communicate easily?)

6.     Consider the firm’s location. (Is it convenient?) and how often are they willing to meet with you?

7.     What can you expect in turnaround for questions? (an hour, four hours, a day)

Once you have interviewed all the potential firms score each on the above questions and rate based upon your most important criteria.