Are you an entrepreneur? A small, mid-size or large business owner? No matter where you settle on the continuum of conducting business, you are likely going to need a certified public accountant. There are only so many hours in a day and tracking your company’s finances without the expertise and rigorous training of a professional accountant can endanger the health of your finances long-term. So, once you acknowledge the need for a CPA and commit to engaging his or her services, the next question is what should you look for in a qualified and competent accountant. What follows are some guidelines for finding and hiring the perfect CPA that will help take your business to the next level of success. 

Begin by asking colleagues for recommendations. Then take your search further using common sites that will provide names and evaluations of CPAs that specialize in your type of business. Whittle the list down to five or ten candidates then take the time to make a personal contact with each. Remember you are interviewing them for a position with your company. They will have access to your most coveted financial information, so you want someone trustworthy and able to maintain confidentiality.

Assess their level of professionalism according to your expectations. How do they conduct themselves over the phone, in person and on their social media platforms? Do they make a presentation that you are comfortable with? Trust your instincts, take notes and reflect before choosing the CPA you will work with. Do not make a long-term commitment until the CPA has demonstrated their competency and proven that they meet your requirements.

What is the CPA’s experience and education? Have they graduated from a recognized institution? Are their credentials readily available and verifiable? Do they have references that you can check to determine their background and experience? In these circumstances, it is worth the time to check into their background before opening your books to a stranger!

Is the CPA knowledgeable about your particular field? For example, if you are a hardware retailer, does the CPA have insight into this industry that can enhance the relationship?

What is the CPA’s standard of reporting? Do they embrace the best practices in the field? Is there any other information they can provide that will sway you to opt for their services?

Remember, familiarize yourself with the responsibilities of a CPA and define the expectations you will have of this individual as it relates to your business. The professionals at ORT Accounting believe we meet all the requirements of an exceptional accounting firm. We invite you to contact us and allow us to share our expertise in your search for the perfect certified public accounting firm.