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What Size CPA Firm Is Best for My Business?

October 31, 2012 by Ed Becker

As your business starts to expand, the need for expertise from an outside advisor, either a CPA or accounting services firm, becomes more critical.  You can no longer piece together your accounting records once at the end of the year and know what is going on with your business. You need useful, accurate information every day in order to make informed decisions.

The combination of a bookkeeping services firm and a CPA firm that is right for you is a cost effective solution. The bookkeeping service firm can keep you on track on a daily basis. This is much more cost effective than hiring or having your CPA firm provide this service. You should utilize your CPA for complex tax matters and tax planning as this is where their expertise comes into play.

Some things to consider when selecting a CPA firm:

1. Does your CPA have experience in your industry?

  • Ask specific questions about your industry.
  • Ask for references within your industry.
  • Determine how long your CPA has been in business and how many years of expertise they maintain.

2. Do you comfortable after meeting with your prospective CPA?

  • Some people make quick decisions when selecting a CPA.
  • OSYB  recommends meeting at least 2 to 3 CPA’s and interviewing them to see who you feel is a good fit for you.
  • Decisions should not be made based on tax filing deadlines and should be made when you have time to make an informed decision.
  • Lets face it, they will know more about you and your business then you might. Make sure you like everything about them.

3. Is the size of their firm the right fit?

  • Are they too big that I will be overlooked?
  • Do I fit into their normal client profile?
  • Will I be dealing with a staff person, senior, supervisor or partner? How often will they communicate with me?

4. What is the annual cost and what do you get for it?

  • The fee for services should be determined as part of the initial hiring.
  • An engagement letter will be provided by your CPA and this should outline services, fixed fees, hourly rates, project costs and other factors.
  • Now you will know when you will see certain costs and how much you should budget.

5. Does your CPA/tax preparer know what they are doing?

  • This can be hard to determine.
  • Do your research and ask friends for referrals as they often know from experience.

Don’t be afraid to make a change in your CPA.  If they are not providing a service or benefit, or if you have lost trust in them, make a move.


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