The number of licensed, active CPAs in the United States currently stands at 658,267 members. According to the National Association of States Boards of Accountancy, these numbers will continue to grow steadily as more enter the market. Certified Public Accountants play an important role in streamlining the financial functions of an organization.
With such a huge responsibility, you must hire the right person for the job. Most human resource managers and business heads find it hard to make the right choice when hiring a CPA. Is it time to hire a certified public accountant for your company, and you wonder how to navigate this process?
In this article, we let you in on the things you should know when hiring a CPA. Read on to learn more.
When hiring a CPA, location matters because the professional will need to access your business premises from time to time. In other cases, more so when you require consultancy, you might consider meeting the CPA at their convenience. If this means traveling long distances to access such services, then you might end up wasting time and money.
The best way to hire a certified public accountant is to consider working with a CPA closer to you. Most successful businesses consider location as an important factor when choosing a CPA to handle their functions.
Are you looking for “a CPA near me”? It would help to consider certified public accountants who are close to your location. This move will minimize the time and cost incurred when meeting with these professionals.
Communication Skills Count
When thinking of a certified public accountant to handle your financial functions, it’s important to look beyond qualifications. While papers matter, the ability to communicate can make or break your relationship. First, seek to understand how first or soon they respond to queries.
Some CPAs are too busy to respond to calls, emails, or messages. Dealing with a poor communicator can frustrate you, especially if they are dealing with sensitive matters. Further, good communication skills also refer to the ability to pass a message across in a way that a layman can understand.
If it’s your first time hiring a certified public accountant, you might wonder, “What is a CPA?” Every CPA must pass a uniform CPA exam and meet the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) requirements. These stipulations are important, considering that CPAs handle highly sensitive business-related financial functions.
This distinction sets a CPA apart from a typical accountant. Before you hire a certified public accountant, it’s recommendable that you consider the level of their qualifications. You will be making the worst mistake if you settle for an individual who lacks the requisite experience to handle your CPA needs.
Experience Is a Deal Breaker
All CPAs are qualified in their own right through education and training. However, it takes experience to set a CPA apart.
Unless you want some shoddy results, it will help look for a CPA or a firm with years of experience in the field. Some of the important functions you might want to be accomplished by the CPA may prove too technical for newbies.
You also want to deal with a professional who speaks from the point of authority when managing your financial functions. And it can only be possible if you work with certified public accounts that have been in the industry long enough. Perhaps this also shows the important distinction between a CPA and an accountant.
An accountant may gain some experience through on the job training. However, it takes years of work to gain the level of knowledge a seasoned CPA needs.
Proof of Previous Work Helps
It’s not enough for a CPA to tell you that they have done this for a while. There’s a need for proof that, indeed, they have the requisite experience. The best way to prove this is to show evidence of previous work. Any seasoned CPA worth their salt should have adequate proof of work they have completed.
This will give you the confidence that the CPA is not treating your company as a dummy. Such evidence of work done also helps to affirm the years of experience the CPA may have quoted in their resume. If it’s’ your first time hiring a CPA, insisting on proof of previous work done will help you avoid surprises.
Most certified public accountants handle multiple financial functions for businesses in a cross-section of industries. The best way to ensure that you get the best individual or firm for the job is to go for a CPA who has handled financials for business in your sector or industry.
If you can get a CPA with experience in your specific sector, you’ll have the assurance that they know how to meet your needs. The financial and accounting standards differ from one sector to the next. Further, what you might want for your business may differ from other businesses’ financial functions needs.
As such, it’s important to hire a CPA who understands your business needs. This will ensure that the individual can meet your expectations.
Cost Can Be Deceiving
One of the realities you must grapple with when selecting a CPA is entrusting an outsider with delicate company information. As such, lower costs should not entice you into settling for a bogus CPA. You would rather pay more for the services than end up risking such critical information in your quest to save on costs.
The cost of hiring a CPA may differ based on numerous factors. Even so, your decision to hire a CPA should be more result-based as opposed to focusing on the cost implications.
Consider These Things When Hiring a Certified Public Accountant
Due diligence matters when hiring a certified public accountant. In the end, you’ll be entrusting the individual with important company information. Unless you get the hiring process right, you might end up frustrated.
Are you looking to hire a competent individual or firm to help you with all your financial functions? Hiring a CPA who is closer to you, qualified, and with good communication skills matters. You should also consider the individual’s experience and previous work before getting into a binding agreement.
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