Last updated on May 16, 2017 at 02:40 pm
Over the last several months, I have been blogging ideas and tips for small and mid-size business owners on topics that are relevant for them regarding various tax and business concerns.
One area that is as important for everyone, and should not be overlooked, is the choice of a CPA. It is not only large companies that need a trusted accountant to help them understand their financial picture and provide advice on attaining and sustaining profitability. Almost every company needs to have someone knowledgeable on their “advisory” team to help them navigate the financial, management and operational challenges they face as owners.
It is not an accident that CPAs have earned the title, “your trusted advisor.” As such, I would suggest that any business owner who is in the position of needing an accountant make time to look not only at the capabilities of the individual but at the reputation of the firm itself.
Today’s businesses are more complex than ever and CPAs are not limited to providing basic accounting and tax services. Instead, business planning, long-term tax strategies, succession plans, financing options, forecasting, leadership training, family business advice and other consultative options head the list of value-added services.
The selection process can be daunting, but the relationship between owners and their accountants is worth investing time to ensure a good fit. Here are some suggestions on how to select a CPA for your business:
- Outline what services you need; what qualities and special expertise matter to you; and what additional criteria (location or fees for example) will be taken into consideration.
- Next, ask your colleagues whom they recommend. Check not only with other business owners but with bankers, attorneys or consultants you have interacted with through the years. Be sure to confirm references as well.
- Lastly, conduct an interview much as you would when hiring new staff. Ask questions that are critical to you and your company – and then evaluate the responses to make a final decision.
Ken Bagner is a member of Sobel & Co. LLC. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants. Plymouth Rock is proud to partner with NJCPA to bring you valuable tips for about your financial health. Qualified members of the NJSCPA can receive a discount on their car insurance through Plymouth Rock Assurance New Jersey.