What You Need to Know When Choosing a CPA Firm

Every company needs a financial and tax consultant. Regardless of whether you’re a start-up or a thriving enterprise, having a CPA or business advisor can pay huge dividends.

Finding a CPA Firm isn’t hard, finding a great one can be. Here are a few considerations when choosing a CPA Firm. Advantages of a CPA Firm for Your Business The first decision you must make is whether your company needs a CPA Firm. The short answer is, yes. CPAs offer businesses several strategic advantages. CPAs are more than accountants

All CPAs are accountants, but not every accountant is a CPA. To become a CPA one must obtain a state-issued license. To earn this license, an accountant must pass a rigorous exam that covers current federal and state taxation, business laws, ethics, and other relevant areas for accounting standards and best practices. Additionally, CPAs must maintain their licenses through continuing education. These requirements are not required for accountings, they are only mandatory for CPAs.

CPAs can be very cost-effective

One of the reasons many businesses avoid hiring a CPA Firm is that they fear the expense. However, smart business owners will tell you, the best way to grow your business is to focus on your core competencies and find external partners to execute the business processes with which you’re inefficient.

This concept is important for understanding why CPAs are valuable to your business. It is much more cost-effective for you to focus on growing your business and improving your operation processes than to try and navigate the convoluted and complex world of taxation and financial accounting.

CPA Firms are versatile

Many CPA Firms, like Rivero, Gordimer & Company, offer a wide range of financial services. From audit and assurance to sales tax and bookkeeping, there are separate CPAs on staff who specialize in specific financial areas of your business operation.

The advantage to hiring a CPA Firm is the immediate access to these specializations. If you hire an internal CPA or just use an accountant you could face bandwidth issues or a lack of expertise which could hinder the financial growth of your company.

Find a CPA Firm with Experience in Your Industry Another consideration to make when choosing a CPA Firm is to what extent that company has in the industry you operate. It’s important to understand that most CPAs gain experience in a few different industries, but the more specialized they are to your industry, the more valuable they become.

CPAs that have a wealth of experience working in your industry can become more than just a bookkeeper or auditor. The longer they work in your industry, the easier it is for them to navigate the intricacies of your industry’s tax or financial laws. They can even add value by providing financial analysis and strategic business recommendations.

Rivero, Gordimer & Company has CPAs with experience in the following industries:

Consider a Local CPA Firm As you start evaluating different CPA Firms, you’ll have a checklist of variables that you find important. One of these variables should be the location of the firm. Hiring a local CPA Firm isn’t just a great way for you to improve the local economy, it also provides value to your business partnership.

Local CPA Firms can offer a more seamless communication channel. Technology has improved firm and client communication, but no technology can replace the value of in-person meetings. Working through audit questions and explaining business recommendations are done more efficiently in person. Finding a local CPA Firm makes face-to-face meetings much easier. Find Out Their Fees CPA fees are different for every firm. When choosing which CPA Firm to work with, make sure you fully understand their fee schedule and process. Do they charge hourly? Do they charge by the minute? Maybe they charge set rates for specific services. Whatever the case, if you aren’t fully aware of how the Firm charges, you may be surprised when you receive your invoice.

Knowing how they charge is important, but you also need to be aware of their billing methods. Some CPA Firms offer net payment terms, others require upfront retainers or invoice upon completion of a service. Your company’s cash flow may dictate which billing method is most appropriate. Outlining billing and fee methods before entering an agreement with a CPA Firm is critical. Take Time Vetting Your Options Finally, when it comes to choosing a CPA firm, you need to carefully evaluate all your options. You may find that many of the Firms you compare check off the boxes above, so you may need to dig a little deeper than just location, fees, and experience. Look online to see if there are any Google Plus reviews for the Firms. Check out their Facebook, Twitter, and other social profile to see how they interact with their customers.

Additionally, ask the Firms for a customer list within your industry or look on their website to find any clients that you can reach out to and ask for feedback about their experience working with the CPA Firm. Moreover, take the time to meet and talk with as many of the CPAs at the Firm that you can. Many times, the deciding factor can come down to how much rapport and personal connection you have with a Firm.

Choosing a CPA Firm is an important move for businesses looking to take the next step with their financial management. From tax planning and bookkeeping to business valuation and audits, a CPA Firm can provide that expert assistance that gives you peace of mind while allowing you to focus on your core competencies as a business. Keep the considerations above in mind when you’re deciding on the perfect CPA Firm for your needs.

Feature image via Vimeo.

http://www.rgcocpa.com/news/choosing-cpa-firm-need-know/

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