Depending on the size of your business, you could end up paying $400 an hour for CPA services. This is one of the biggest reasons that small businesses skip out on hiring a CPA. But if the needs are minor, you could spend less than a tenth of that to get help from an associate who could save you from a frustrating audit.
Since about 75% of small businesses are nonemployer businesses, meaning the owner is the only employee, thinking about adding an employee can be daunting. But with all of the extra considerations you need to be worrying about as a business owner, you can’t be on top of every accounting issue.
A qualified CPA can ensure that you don’t overpay or underpay your taxes. They can find the right amount of write-offs that will allow you to save money. Here’s how to find the best CPA services for your company.
1. Make Sure They’re Licensed
Depending on which state you live in, you could have very rigorous certification standards for CPAs. Every CPA has to take a basic assessment exam and meet some required educational level.
What determines which CPAs get licensed is up to your state government. Before you hire any CPA services, you are well within your rights to ask your CPAs certification status and educational history.
Some states will require their CPAs to take a new test every few years to ensure they are up to date on what’s changed in state and federal tax laws.
2. Make Sure They Know Business Taxes
If you can hire an enrolled agent, you’ll be getting the most experienced accountant possible. Enrolled agents know something about every part of the tax code from estate taxes to personal loans or else they’ve worked for the IRS.
You’ll get insider’s knowledge from an enrolled agent. In addition to continuing education courses and their required ethics courses, they’ll bring an informed perspective to your business’s taxes.
Enrolled agents know all about federal taxation, but you might find a CPA has more knowledge about your field. If your CPA has specialized in working for firms related to your field, they’ll have a leg up on the more specialized enrolled agents.
3. Know What Qualities To Look For
The size of your firm will determine what you need from a CPA. If you’re far enough away from tax day, you can start planning how to prepare your records for the maximum amount of benefits and write-offs. If you’ve just hired a lot of new employees, you might need help structuring the programs for employee benefits.
There’s a right way and a wrong way to afford benefits to your employees. The right way should ensure that you are getting tax savings as you help out your employees.
It’s essential that your accountant offers the kinds of CPA services you’re looking for. If they don’t specialize in what you’re looking for, you might not want to work with that accountant.
Get to know your CPA and how they work. Everyone has their quirks, schedule preferences, and a work style. Ideally, your CPA should work how you work. If your accountant holds a very different schedule or avoids your calls after 5 pm and on weekends, you might need to look for someone who works similar hours.
4. Know Where To Look
If you know other business owners of a similar size in the area, ask where they get their CPA services from. Recommendations can save you a lot of time looking through directories and searching the internet for a CPA.
Ask anyone who recommends someone why they like working with that person. Search them and see if they’ve got any ratings, good feedback, or certifications available online. Most businesses and professionals in your area should be on Yelp, LinkedIn or other business related directories.
Your state board of accountants should have some recommendations. Call them to see how you should access their database. It might be online or it might be faster to go down to the office than to wait for them to send you information.
5. Consider Price And Fees
Once you’ve got your list narrowed down, you can start calling around and inquiring about prices and services. Price is one good metric for finding out about an accountant, but remember that lots of business owners overvalue or undervalue their businesses.
Ask if they have any additional fees you should be worried about and how many hours they expect to spend balancing your books.
If you just need something like “monthly bookkeeping”, ask what that service entails. While some CPAs might just put receipts and disbursements into your software, another could also add some expository information.
Getting a breakdown of losses and comparison between months can help you get a view of how your company is doing and where you’re headed.
6. Book A Meeting
The accountant offering CPA services should be prepared to engage in a sort of job interview. During this meeting, you can ask any questions you have, show them around your facility and get an idea of how well you’d get along.
Before they come in, you should ask for references. Having some references can be a deciding factor in whether or not you can trust the life of your business in their hands. Like having a good lawyer, a good accountant will make or break the financial health of a company.
Once you’ve found one you feel comfortable and you can trust, get down to the business of making your business as profitable as it can be.
CPA Services Can Save Money
The tax code is changing as we speak and there are lots of new allowances and write-offs you might qualify for. Unless reading the tax code is your strange hobby., you might miss out on them while you’re worrying about every aspect of running a business. A CPA is tasked with taking your taxes off of your mind.
If you’re ready to hire CPA services for your company, contact us to find a great match today.