No one ever said that hiring a certified public accountant (CPA) would be easy.
In fact, the process of finding and then vetting potential candidates can be downright daunting.
But it's crucial to do your due diligence, as making the wrong hire can lead to costly mistakes.
So, what should you look for when vetting CPAs?
First and foremost, make sure they are licensed in your state.
Beyond that, here are ten mistakes you must avoid...
1)) Overlooking Industry Experience
You should not overlook the industry experience of CPAs at any cost.
It is the most important factor for hiring CPAs.
Consider the number of clients served by them, the nature of services provided, the quality of service, the type of people employed by them, etc. before hiring them.
2)) Hiring Based Solely on Fees
This is a common mistake that clients often make.
They hire based on the fees and overlook the quality of the service.
Certified public accountants (CPAs) are professionals who have passed a rigorous examination to become certified.
They are supposed to be experts in financial accounting and tax preparation.
But that doesn’t mean you should automatically hire one just because they charge high fees.
You should weigh the nature and quality of services being provided vis-à-vis the cost and then hire the best CPA based upon a combination of factors.
3)) Hiring Without Understanding Your Requirements
You should start the process of hiring a CPA only after understanding your business requirements.
Ideally, you should assess the CPAs based on their expertise to provide the kind of services you require.
Selecting CPAs without assessing your business requirements will usually lead to a faulty selection and cost you big time in both the long and short run.
4)) Hiring Without Thorough Background Research
Not doing a proper background check of the CPA firms before hiring will make your hiring process faulty.
You should check the number of clients handled, the quality of services provided, the feedback of past clients, etc. before making your selection.
Don’t be in such a rush that you make the wrong decision which can destroy your financial health and take years to clean up.
So, take your time to do some background research on the CPAs that make your shortlist.
5)) Hiring a CPA with a Different Vision
When it comes to hiring a certified public accountant, or CPA, it is important that they share in your vision and can help you achieve your financial goals.
A good CPA will be able to provide you with the resources and knowledge needed to make sound financial decisions for your business.
They will also be able to provide valuable insights and advice on ways to save money and grow your business.
The goal here is a customization that’s specific to your enterprise’s needs.
6)) Biased Hiring of Larger Sized Firm
Most clients have an inherent bias toward hiring larger firms.
However, this may backfire as they already have enough clients, and you may not be their priority.
Always hire CPAs who will give your priority and preferential services.
7)) Hiring Only Local CPAs
Some companies hire CPAs based on their proximity.
This is a mistake as you should hire CPAs based on their quality and experience and not their geographical location.
It may be possible that the best CPAs matching your need may not be local and that’s ok.
However, if you’re able to find a great firm that meets your needs locally, that’s a huge bonus.
8)) Hiring Without Checking Availability
Hiring CPAs without checking their availability is a common mistake that businesses make all the time.
When you hire a CPA, you should ensure that they are available throughout the year and not just during the tax season.
They should be there to support you when you need them the most.
9)) Hiring Without a Clear Action Plan
You should not hire a CPA without knowing and discussing their action plan.
A good CPA firm will provide you with a clear action plan with details of the person who will manage your accounts.
You can verify the credentials of the person and whether they are consistent with delivering your business needs.
10)) Lack of Written Agreement
When you hire a CPA, you should ensure there is a written agreement between both parties.
This lays down a clear scope of work and defined responsibilities.
The agreement reduces the amount of ambiguity and increases the chances that the firm will deliver the services promised, which can eliminate future conflicts.
Certified public accountants can help business owners make sound financial decisions that could potentially save them from making costly mistakes.
However, it is important to hire the right CPA to maximize these benefits.
By doing your research and asking the right questions, you can ensure that you find a qualified and reputable accountant who will help your business grow.
By reading this article, you now have a better understanding of what to look for in an accountant and how to find the best one for your needs.
Don’t wait any longer, begin your search for the perfect CPA today!