When it comes to finding the right CPA consulting firm for your business, there are several questions to ask.
These questions should help you determine if the firm is right for your business, and more importantly, they can be used to assess whether or not the firm is working within your best interests.
If you would like to work with a firm that brings value and expertise to your business, one of the best ways to make sure this is the case is by asking:
1. What does your team bring to my company’s picture?
The best CPA consulting firms will have a team of experienced and qualified individuals who can provide valuable insight to your business.
When interviewing firms, be sure to ask about the team’s experience and what they can offer your company specifically.
This prove that the firm is invested in their clients and has the experience needed to provide value.
2. What experience do you have As a CPA Consulting?
Having experience is not enough; you should also look for a firm with the specific experience needed to provide value to your business.
For example, if you work in import/export, or have an international presence, make sure that the firm has expertise in this area.
If you run a small company and are looking for strategies to grow, you’ll need a different set of skills than if you’re in a mature market.
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When speaking with firms, ask about their experience and how it can help your business specifically.
3. What can I do if I am unhappy with your services?
A business partnership is a two-way street, and the relationship between your CPA consulting firm and your business should be no different.
Before signing a contract, ask how you can address issues if they come up during work. This way, both parties will have an understanding about expectations going forward.
This question also prevents surprises and unprofessional behavior.
4. How do you ensure accuracy, completeness, and conformance to standards in accounting records?
What separates good CPA consulting firms from the great ones is attention to detail.
One way that reliable firms can assure clients of accuracy, completeness and proper accounting procedures is by having extensive monitoring systems in place for client accounts.
Ask how they monitor their work to ensure it meets with professional standards.
This also gives you an idea of the firm’s commitment to quality.
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5. Could you provide an example of when your ethics were tested?
No one is perfect, and even the best CPA consulting firms will make mistakes from time to time.
The important thing is how the firm deals with these errors when they happen.
Ask them if they have ever been in a situation where their ethics were tested. How did they respond?
This can be an indicator of the firm’s values and how they handle difficult situations.
6. How do you ensure compliance with tax requirements when computing taxes owed and preparing tax returns?
Taxes are a complex area, and even the slightest mistake can lead to big penalties for businesses.
That’s why it’s crucial to work with a CPA consulting firm that is well-versed in tax law and can ensure compliance with all tax requirements.
Ask them how they ensure compliance and what measures they take to avoid mistakes.
This will give you peace of mind that your taxes are in good hands.
7. What is your greatest professional achievement As a CPA Consultant?
Everyone has different strengths, and a good CPA consulting firm will have a variety of strengths represented on their team.
When interviewing, ask him about their greatest professional achievement. This can give you an idea of the areas in which they are most experienced and knowledgeable.
It may also be a good indicator of the company’s dedication to quality.
8. What do you know about our competition?
Every industry has competitors, and these businesses will often share resources.
Before signing with a CPA consulting firm, ask them if they know anything about your competitors.
Is there any overlap in clientele or resources?
This can help you determine the firm’s expertise and the validity of their claims.
The CPA consulting firm should assign a specific team to your account depending on the needs and goals of your business.
When interviewing different firms, ask how they assign teams to accounts and who you can expect to work with going forward.
9. What is an audit process?
An audit is a thorough review of client accounting records and business operations.
It can be useful for identifying and correcting weaknesses and determining overall financial health.
Different CPA consulting firms will have their own processes for conducting audits, including using different tools and data sources to collect information on the business.
Ask each firm how they conduct an audit and what their process is like.
This will give you an idea of what to expect if you decide to work with them.
10. What is your tax background and/or specialty?
Before deciding on potential CPA consulting firms, ask them about their tax background and what areas they specialize in.
This will give you an idea of whether or not they are qualified to handle your work.
Their tax background can also tell you how experienced they are and what kinds of clients they normally work with.
11. What do you expect from them each year?
The CPA consulting firm should provide an annual work plan to outline the goals for the upcoming year.
This document should also include what services will be provided and how much it will cost.
Ask the firm what they expect from you each year and how often you can expect to hear from them.
This will help you stay on track and avoid any surprises.
What we recommend
When interviewing firms, be sure to ask the above questions to get a better idea of their capabilities and what they can offer your business.
We also recommend asking questions about the size of their team, their expertise, and experience, what services they offer, how long it will take them to complete your work, and what results you can expect.
If you’re unsure where to begin, we’d love to hear about your concerns and worries so we can schedule a free consultation call with Alan Chen (a CPA with +20 years of expertise).