Not all CPA's are created the same and that's why choosing the right CPA can have a significant impact on how much tax you pay. Below are a few tips and tricks that we have come up with to help you select the perfect CPA that's right for you!
Before I go over how to sift through a good CPA from a not-so-good CPA, it's important that you learn how to find CPA to interview. There are several ways to go about find CPAs, but I am only going to list the ways I believe you will find good candidates as soon as possible!
- Ask a few friends and family members who they use to prepare their taxes. Now, I would only ask the friends and family members that seem financially responsible, but that's just me!
- If you happen to have a financial advisor, ask him or her who they would recommend you hire to prepare your taxes. Try to get a couple of names.
- If the top two don't get you any good CPA prospects, Google is the next best option. The difficult obstacle to overcome with Google is now it's up to you to research their firm to decide if you should interview them or not. Getting a referral is always best to start with.
Right out of the gate, I think it is always best to ask a few questions before you get down to business. You just want to make sure the CPA is a good candidate before you hand over some of your personal information. Obviously, you have to be the judge of that!
Interview questions to ask a CPA
- How many years of tax experience do they have?
- Who will actually prepare your tax return?
- Will they represent you if you are audited?
- How many times per year do you talk with your clients about their taxes?
- How proactive are you in finding ways to save taxes, can you give me some examples?
- What fees do they charge?
- Is there anything you can do to keep your fees down?
Next, check out the CPA. Below is a link to the IRS website where you can look up CPA's and what credentials they have.
Lastly, once you feel comfortable to hand over any or all of your information, let the CPA's compete for your business. How would you go about that? I thought you would never ask!
Give each CPA your last two years of tax returns and have them look through them and find out what suggestions they might have to save you taxes. Once you get a CPA to find something and suggest a change. Bring their findings to the other CPAs to see if that is a viable solution. If it is, then you may just have found a good CPA!
This material was prepared for informational and/or educational purposes only. Neither Insight Folios Inc nor its affiliates offer tax or legal advice. It is always best to consult with a qualified tax or legal professional regarding the best options for your particular circumstances.