5 Questions to Ask When Choosing a CPA Firm in Irvine
Are you interested in hiring a certified public accountant, or CPA, for your business located in Irvine, California, or the surrounding area? There are a variety of reasons you might be seeking the help of a CPA in Irvine.
Maybe you’re looking for someone to audit your company’s operations so that you can cut wasteful spending. Perhaps you’re wanting someone to help you prepare for the tax season before it begins, to ensure there are no unpleasant surprises later. Whatever the reasoning, you want to make sure you find the best CPA for the work at hand. Use the questions below to help find the best CPA fit for your company.
1. Do you have a specialty?
Even though many CPA’s choose to serve a broad variety of industries, you want someone who has the most experience in your industry. A CPA who works in your specific industry will be able to pinpoint irregular expenditures and find tax breaks with a finesse that someone with broader experience might not be able to.
If the industry your CPA has experience in is not your primary concern, you might want to search by accounting-related specialty. For example, you might hire a CPA to try and pinpoint the source of irregular spending from one of your employees.
In that case, you would want a CPA that specializes in audit and review services. This tells you that your CPA has worked on cases similar to yours and is highly qualified to manage your case.
Even if you are looking to benefit from a CPA with broader experience, knowing about their past work will help you gauge their level of expertise, as well as the room that your CPA offers to grow with your as your business expands and evolves.
2. How long have you been in business?
One of the first questions you should ask any service provider is how long they’ve been in business. In this case, there are two different ways you can frame this question.
First, you can ask how long the company through which the CPA has been in business. Next, ask them how long they have had their individual CPA certification.
The longer the company has been in business, the more you can trust the judgment of the CPA’s they’ve chosen to hire to work in their firm. Firms with more than fifty years of experience, like White Nelson, have a higher standard for the CPA’s they hire.
Experience matters, especially in accounting because it ensures that the CPA has experienced a variety of technical intricacies. Take an audit, for example. An experienced auditor will be able to identify certain trends that they’ve seen in the past, thus connecting the dots with more success.
3. Who will I be working with?
An accounting firm is likely to have several qualified CPA’s that can help you with different accounting aspects of your business. Each CPA will have their own strengths and weaknesses.
It is possible that the option will present itself to work with the same CPA throughout your time with a firm or to work with several different CPA’s within the same firm. These options can depend on your needs as well as the workflow of the firm you hire.
If you’d like to work with the same CPA the entire time, your firm is likely to accommodate. However, working with a team of CPA’s can also yield results, as you get to benefit from the strengths of each CPA–your own financial wonder team!
4. What are the fees for your services?
There are many, many different ways that CPA firms charge their clients. Because of this, you will want to ensure you understand a firm’s fee structure prior to choosing to retain their services.
Some will charge a pre-set rate on a task by task basis. Others will charge down to the very minute that they service your account. Neither way is right or wrong, but you’ll want to be clear on how you are being charged to prevent any miscommunications later.
Feel free to ask how CPA’s track their minutes when you are not around, or what their fixed-rate price offerings are. Asking these questions will help you decide which way you’d prefer to be charged, in order to continue on the path to meeting your financial goals.
5. Do you work locally?
If your business is in, or near, Irvine, California, then you’ll want to hire a CPA firm that can say the same. A local firm can ensure you are following federal law, state law, and local ordinances that out-of-town CPA’s are unlikely to be aware of. Some cities even offer tax breaks, and you will certainly want your CPA to be up to speed on those!
More importantly, their proximity to your business will mean that you will always remain a priority. You’ll always be able to meet in person and benefit from conveniences like being in the same time zone.
Ask These Questions to Find an Irvine CPA Firm
Now that you’ve gathered multiple questions to ask while searching for the perfect CPA firm in Irvine, California, it’s time to head out and find the right fit for your needs, as well as the needs of your company.
For more inquiries, please feel free to reach out via our contact page. We will be happy to assist you further!