On today’s episode of the podcast, the team along with Jordan Sute, CPA go over how to find the right CPA for you. When hiring a CPA to prepare your tax returns, it is important to determine if he or she is equipped to service your needs. Many people think a CPA understands all aspects of the IRS code. This is an unrealistic assumption. There are certain questions you should ask a CPA when interviewing them to make sure they are the best fit for you. If you want to learn more about finding the right CPA and other useful tax tips, click here to download our FREE guide on “10 Important Things to Know About Taxes.“
Hiring a certified public accountant (CPA) and creating a relationship with them is important because it can be a lifelong relationship. It is not a commodity-based relationship. You cannot trade them out every year and expect to get the same result. CPAs have specializations, business models, and are trying to attract a certain type of clientele. It is important to ask about the CPA’s background, what kind of work they do, and what kind of clients they work with. For instance, some CPAs do RMD credits (for manufacturing and design). Until the 2017 taxes, airline pilots had a lot of tax credits for per diem. Finding a CPA that understands your situation is important. Trusting your CPA is one of the most important factors in choosing one.
Contacting Your CPA
If you are just doing your W2, you probably don’t need to contact your CPA very often. The answer should be unlimited within reason. You want someone who can be flexible with you and that can be available for you. Setting expectations with your CPA about expectations and billing at the beginning of the relationship is very healthy. People usually set hourly rates and a minimum. This helps people find the right fit because clients are able to gauge how many returns they really need done each year and whether the firm can serve them well.
Are they Proactive?
In financial advising and accounting, the great ones are proactive. They should be aware of how a tax-law change would affect clients and who to contact. Reaching out via phone call, newsletter, or an email – you should expect to hear from them. Ask them how they are staying up to date and educated in their field.
How to Identify a CPA vs a Non-CPA
There are “tax-preparers” and then there are CPAs. Anyone can go out and get a P10 to prepare a tax return, but not everyone can speak to the IRS on your behalf. You want to know that if your tax return is ever questioned, they can go with you to the IRS to back you up. Verifying their credentials and looking at their previous work is a must in finding the right CPA.
Can they review a prior return?
According to Jordan, this is very common. Clients will bring in prior returns with questions of its accuracy, wanting to compare previous CPAs, and wanting to compare their previous return.
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