Choosing Your Accountant
Choosing the right account is important.
In a previous article, I discussed what CPA means and why it is important to choose an accountant with the CPA designation. Now I want to talk about other considerations when choosing an CPA that is the right fit for you or your company.
Does your accountant have relevant experience?
First, I would like to talk about experience.
- How long have they been working in public practice?
- Have they been around for many years or did they just decide to open up shop one day and may be gone the next?
- What about the type of clients and industry they have past or current experience with?
When meeting with a potential new accountant, you should feel free to ask how long they have been in practice. You should also ask about their existing client base to find comfort that they have experience in your industry.
What is the accountant’s availability and communication like?
Another important consideration is availability.
- Does your accountant return your phone calls and emails in a timely manner?
- Do they have a partner or staff that can assist you with urgent matters if they are on holidays?
It is imperative to know that if something unforeseeable happens that prevents your accountant from continuing their practice that there is someone available to assist you.
Does the accountant have a strong professional network?
It can be beneficial to clients when an accountant has a team of people that they can rely on to take care of the needs of their clients.
- What about their contact sphere?
- Do they have other professionals they trust and work with regularly that you may also need?
- If you find yourself in need of a new bookkeeper or a corporate lawyer, does your accountant have connections that may help you?
Are you comfortable discussing hard topics with the accountant?
Now let’s discuss comfort level.
You only need to talk to your accountant once a year so it doesn’t matter if you like them and feel comfortable with them, right? Wrong!
Your accountant should know all your confidential financial information and you should be comfortable to discuss this with them. The more your accountant knows about you, the more likely they will be able ensure that you are utilizing all the tax credits and deductions available to you. The more comfortable you are with your accountant, the more likely you also are to ask questions if you do not understand something.
It is important for a taxpayer to have some basic understanding of their financial statements and income tax return.
The partners of Richardson Miller LLP Chartered Professional Accountants have a combined 35 years of experience in public practice in several different industries. Our clients are important to us and we pride ourselves in our client relationships. We know that the world of tax is complex and confusing, so we aim to educate our clients in a way that is understandable and relevant to them.
Bobi-Rae Miller has been working in public practice since 2000 and received her professional accounting designation in 2005. She focuses on working with small to medium-sized businesses and feels it is important for business owners to understand the financial side of their operations, so she takes the time to ensure that this happens.