If you are considering getting a CPA, then chances are you do need one. Most business owners get the chills just from the thought of doing their taxes, that they would rather leave this task to others. But you can’t just let anyone carry out this tax for you. You need a professional that knows exactly what they are doing.
While some people settle for just any tax preparer, it is often in your best interest to get a qualified Certified Public Accountant instead. This is because anyone who knows enough about taxes can pose as a tax preparer and this can adversely affect you. But with a certified accountant, you can be sure that your taxes are being handled by a professional.
Every year, the Internal Revenue Service publishes a “dirty dozen” tax scam lists. You can visit https://www.irs.gov/ to see an overview of the 2022 IRS dirty dozen tax scams list. The majority of the scams on this list are often because of the actions of shady and incompetent tax preparers. So, it is always best to have a professional handling your taxes for you.
There are several CPAs out there with each claiming to be great at what they do. Now, you can’t just take their word for it. Before you hire a certified accountant, you need to vet them and be sure they are good at their job. Luckily, this article will discuss steps that you can take to help you identify and hire a good CPA for you.
Make A List
The first step in getting a good certified public accountant is finding three to five CPAs and then streamlining your options from there. Do not make the mistake of hiring the first accountant you come across on your search. Remember, you are trying to find the best.
There are so many ways you can go about this step. First, you can start by asking for recommendations from your business associates and others around you. Most CPAs often have niches, so asking your business associates for recommendations is often a good step. While at it, find out what they think about the professional, did they enjoy working with them and do they think they’ll offer the best services to you.
Another way to go about this is to check the Internal Revenue Service directory. The IRS has a paid tax identification number (P.T.I.N) holder directory where professionals with IRS-recognized credentials are listed. This is a great place to start your search and find Advise RE accountants in LA who can help you with all your needs as regards your taxes. You can use your ZIP code to find professionals who are closer to you.
Streamline Your List
Once you have a list of about three to five professionals, the next step would be to streamline your options. There are so many things you need to consider at this stage to help you get the best. Let’s look at two of the most important ones below.
When streamlining the list, the first thing you need to check is the credentials of the professionals on the list. If you got the CPA’s name from the IRS or even a state accountants’ society or board, then chances are their certificates and credentials are legitimate. But if the accountant was referred to you by a friend, family, or business associate, you can’t be certain of the legitimacy of the credentials they say they have.
In this case, you need to do your due diligence to find out whether their credentials are legitimate or not. You can check CPA Verify or EATAx.org to find out the status and credentials of the CPAs on your list. You can also use the accountancy board website of your state to verify.
The next thing to consider is what the previous clients have to say about the CPA. The best way to find this out is by reading online reviews. While you can check the CPA’s social media platforms or websites to see their customer’s reviews, do not rely 100% on these.
This is because some people can use fake reviews on their platforms to attract clients. You can click here to learn more about fake online reviews. Instead, use 3rd party review platforms like Google, Thervo, Yelp, and Angie’s List.
Interview the CPA
At this point, your list should be down to two CPAs. Now, you can book an appointment with both professionals so you can make your final decision. You will need to interview them to learn more about their processes and work ethics so you can choose the best.
Take your time to ask relevant questions that will give you an insight into what to expect when working with them. Ask how long they have been in this field, their area of specialties, how available and flexible they are, and the estimated cost of their service. You can then use the answers to these questions and others you ask to make your decision.
Getting a good CPA is key to ensuring you do not make costly mistakes when doing your taxes. The steps discussed in this article will not just help you get a good professional but will also ensure you get one that suits you best. So, before you hire that accountant, go through these steps to ensure you make the best choice.