If you’re in the market for a new accountant, it’s important to choose someone who can handle all your needs. While many CPAs are generalists, there are some who specialize in specific areas of accounting. For example, some are tax specialists while others are audit specialists. Some focus on small businesses while others handle only high-net-worth individuals.
If you have a lot of complex tax issues or other specialized needs, you want to make sure that person is available to you. If you’re just starting out and need help setting up your books, however, it may be more cost-effective to have a generalist take care of everything.
When choosing an accountant, ask about what areas they specialize in. Then make sure they’ll be available to take care of any specific projects you’ll need help with down the road.
If you don’t have a CPA or if you’re thinking about switching accountants, here are some tips to help ensure that your relationship with your accountant is a fruitful one:
A good accountant will be able to help you minimize your taxes and keep better track of your financial situation, but only if he or she understands what’s going on with your business.
If you say: “You don’t know my industry.” Accountants and CPAs work with a wide variety of companies and individuals every day. Though they may not be familiar with your particular niche, they can probably draw on their experience with similar industries to help you out.
If you say: “I’m not paying for that.” Your accountant’s job is to ensure that you’re taking advantage of every possible deduction and credit possible. If you’re not using all the resources available to you, it’s the accountant’s fault — not yours — if something is overlooked.
If you say: “I don’t have time for this.” The worst thing a client can do is leave something important until the last minute. This means more work for your accountant and could potentially lead to mistakes.
© John A. Warekois CPA