Business owners are pulled in multiple directions every day. Therefore, it is important to invest the time and energy into finding the right advisors to help you on your journey. These advisors will vary depending on the industry you are in. However, there are a few that are consistent across all businesses, including a good CPA. As you form and grow your business, this role should provide vital assistance to you. Your CPA is integral in the success of your business. As such, you need to take the time to meet and discuss your business in depth with several individuals before selecting the best one for you. Some important questions to consider are:
- Do you have experience with my type of business? For example: If you are a service business – what other service businesses have the CPA worked with in the past or currently?
- Are you able to represent me in all jurisdictions? Are you a multi-state employer – if so, you will want to ensure your advisors are able to handle any and all states that are applicable.
- What are your fees? It is always important to understand the fee structure before signing on with a new advisor. However, do NOT go with the cheapest provider – skimping on the cost will only help you in the short-term; it can be extremely costly long-term if you do not get the right guidance for your business.
- What type of support do you provide throughout the year? Many people only think about their CPA when it’s time to file their taxes, but as a business owner, tax planning and business consulting is just as important as the actual tax return itself.
- It would also be good to ask a question specific to your industry to see how their specific knowledge may help you.
Once you feel as though you’ve found a good fit for you and your business, seek their counsel. Your CPA is there for you to guide you through the various stages of your business and help you make decisions that will positively impact your business long-term. And, as always, if a relationship isn’t working, don’t hesitate to change. Having a consistent, trusted and effective CPA will allow for intimate knowledge of your business. However, if the service is consistently falling below your expectations or you don’t feel you are getting the guidance you need, you should look for a better fit.
Erin Ryan, Controller