What Questions Do I Ask When Hiring a CPA For My Small Business?

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, as of 2018, there were 3.9 million small businesses in the state of California, comprising 99.8 percent of all California businesses. But, as often touted, only about 50 percent of small businesses survive longer than five years. If you’re a small business owner looking to beat the odds, having a trusted CPA in your corner is vital. Your CPA will be able to take stock of your business’ financial health and aid you in crafting a clear-cut business strategy outlining your company’s goals. This is an often over-looked key component to your business’ future financial viability and ultimate success, and for many small business owners, choosing a CPA can be a daunting task.  At Hall & Company, an Orange County CPA firm, we’re in tune with the fears many first-time (and veteran) business owners have. Our knowledgeable team has amassed over 100 years of expertise in all areas of business accounting, including business consulting, cash flow and budgeting analysis and sales tax services. We are experts in business accounting, and we want your business to thrive, too. As such, we’ve put together a few questions of what you should ask when searching for the right CPA firm for your company.

1. What are your fees?

Be sure that the company’s fee structure aligns with your expectations. Do they bill hourly, or do they offer a monthly rate? What does the monthly rate entail? Make sure you both are on the same page.

2. What are your service offerings?

You want to ensure that the CPA is capable of meeting your business’ unique financial needs. Are you looking to build a continuity plan for your business, or do you need to payroll services? These are considerations to take when trying to decide what CPA firm or individual you should hire.

3. How many tax audits has your potential CPA team participated in?

Although unlikely, you want to ensure that your CPA firm or individual is experienced in handling tax audits if your business gets audited. All CPAs (but not necessarily uncertified accountants) will be qualified to represent your business before the IRS, but you want to ensure that they have practice in this area should the need arise.

4. Are you experienced working with businesses from my industry?

The more experience a CPA has working within your business’ domain, the more familiar they will be with handling the books and maneuvering the financial landscape associated with your type of company. As with anything, the more practice, the better the performance. Remember this when seeking an appropriate CPA for your business.

5. Can you represent me in all the states where I conduct business?

Although your CPA may be licensed to practice and work with you locally, you need to assess whether they can represent your financial needs in the other states where you conduct business. Be sure to inquire whether they are equipped to handle your business interests outside your state.

6. How often should we meet to discuss my business’ taxes?

Tax consultation is one of the top reasons individuals seek out a CPA. As such, you’ll want to be on the same page regarding any necessary preparations and soft deadlines that necessitate meeting with your CPA throughout the year to ensure that these meetings scheduled and within budget. 

Are you a small business looking to hire a CPA? Hall & Company is based in Irvine, California, but is qualified to represent your business’s financial interests nationally. If you’re ready to put your business into experienced hands, contact us today. We’re here to take your business to the next level. For more financial tips and information, take a look at our blog

5 Responses

  • Well, If I’ll run my start-up business someday, I’ll make sure to work with an accountant who will be able to help me with my taxes because as we all know, the process is quite complicated. I agree with you that businesses must ask, whether their prospective service bills hourly. You’re also right about the importance of asking the accountant regarding the other financial needs he offers.

  • I agree with you that start-up businesses that wish to hire a CPA must make sure to ask their prospective service regarding the hourly or monthly rate. You’re also right about the importance of verifying whether the accountant is experienced enough in handling tax audits. Well, if I were to run my company, I’ll make sure to do the same because this type of professional will not only help me with filing the taxes, but will also assist me in fixing the payroll.

  • In my point of view, businesses must hire an accountant who will be able to help them handle their finances and taxes. It’s a great thing that you were able to elaborate here that companies must asked their prospective servcie regarding their monthly or hourly rate. Of course, you’re also right about the importance of verifying whether the CPA is experienced enough when it comes to handling tax audits.

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