The right accountant can make or break your business. That’s why hiring one that’s knowledgeable and honest is essential. Those who go with accountants that don’t have their best interests at heart or are just in it for the money often see consequences when it comes to profit. An account performs a very serious job, especially at tax season. Having an accountant that doesn’t know what he’s doing can mean getting audited. Besides that, the knowledge he has of taxation matters. It is important to know some tips to find the best tax preparer near you especially if it is your first experience. If he isn’t aware of all the deductions your business could potentially be entitled to, you will lose money.
It’s important to have the right questions at hand when you’re interviewing an accountant. The questions you ask will let you know whether or not he is the right fit for your team. You may have one or two interviews with him. It’s important to get all the details possible during that time to get a sense of how this employee is going to perform. Let’s look at some of the best questions you can ask your accountant:
What Are Your Services?
Not all accountants provide all tax preparation service. Some accountants have a specialty in one. You should consider hiring one that is well rounded if you are only looking for one accountant for a small business. These are the typical tasks of an accountant that you should see if he or she does:
- Payroll processing and taxes
- Audit representation
Can You Help Me In All The States I Have or Do Business In?
You may have a company that has offices or stores in several different states. Accountants are only licensed for the state they practice in; however, a lot of states have reciprocal agreements that allow accountants to practice in or for them as well. If you have an accountant that can practice in only your state, that is not that accountant’s fault. It’s the state laws in your area. In this situation, you should consider hiring accountants from other states as well.
Can You Provide Audit Representation?
Getting audited happens. It has nothing to do with a crime on the business’s part in the vast majority of cases. Companies get audited by accident all the time. The IRS is super incompetent. It’s important to hire an accountant who isn’t. An accountant is the first line of representation if your business gets audited. The accountant you hire should know all about the legality behind the IRS and how it affects your business.
Have You Worked For A Business Like Mine Before?
An accountant is an expert in one or more types of accounting. It’s easy to understand that they know nothing about selling shoes; however, you should find one that’s used to working for retail if this is your line of business. It’s important to find one that’s able to understand how taxation works for your specific type of business. Not all know the ends and outs of every type of establishment run that needs an accountant.
How Many experiences Do You Have?
There is nothing wrong with hiring a fresh-faced CPA who just pasted the exams. With that said, it’s important to understand the level of experience your CPA has if you are concerned about his ability to handle the position you wish to assign him. For simple matters such as bookkeeping, a young and new accountant should be enough. If you’d like to hire one for IRS representation, you may want someone with a little more experience as this is a matter that could result in legal consequences. Federal prison isn’t fun. You should also have an idea of how much do tax preparation services cost. Experienced CPA charge higher than the new ones.
Use Your Judgement
It’s best to go with your instinct when assessing a candidate after all the needed information is gathered. The accountant who answers all the questions to the best of his ability, and they seem to meet your needs, is the best accountant for your business. CPAs are in demand. You should hire a quality one right away. You never know if someone else is going to snatch him up. Be sure to get the information you need as after the last interview is over it’s too late.
These aren’t all the questions you should ask. An accountant should know what is tax preparation services and how it works to avoid issues in the future. There may be some that are less generic that pertain to your business. Best of luck!