Public accounting firms - what you need to know.

Public Accounting Firms

Public Accounting Firms

If you want to find a CPA in the USA, it helps to know what you need to accomplish in the first place.

After all, a certified public accountant can often do much more than just produce financial reports.

In many respects, a CPA is a trusted business advisor. He or she can offer an independent perspective on the health of your business, identifying trends and opportunities and alerting you to problems with your company.

Worried about the IRS? Get a CPA involved. But first you need to find a CPA.

Yes, friends and associates can help. However, you’ll still want to ask a lot questions to ensure that the CPA firm and its team are a good fit for your small business. Although CPA firms often specialize in tax issues, look for them to offer everything from financial advice to estate planning. In other words, it’s not just about preparing a tax return once a year.

Given the sensitivity of your financial situation, you may want to take great care with how you search and ultimately the options you explore when you decide to find a CPA. Our directory is a good start, but you can take this research and compare that to what friends suggest. Consult the Better Business Bureau. Get more information from state societies and other organizations that support accountants and promote them through directories.

Ask potential accounting firm executives key questions as they relate to your most pressing concerns like auditing, management advice, taxes, payroll and general accounting needs.

Find out about fees, specialties, hours, locations, years in business. By all means, get references, especially those that most closely match your personal or business situation.

When you find a CPA, focus on the credentials, not just who is a certified CPA. Explore other ways to track the firm’s reputation – read articles by them, note their memberships, review their honors and more. Each state typically has a CPA society.

Your accountant should ask you questions as well, including how you’ve managed your finances in the past. Be up front. Be clear about your expectations.

Locating a CPA isn’t too difficult. It takes time and diligence to identify the accounting firm that will best address your needs.

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