So you’re madly in love and you think this might be it. The CPA you’ve been seeing all these years might be ‘the one’. Smart, has lots of friends, is good with numbers – and don’t get me started on those tax deductions.
But then again you’ve thought the same thing about the last one. They stopped answering your emails and even forgot your birthday. But jokes aside, how do you know your CPA is the right fit for you. Accounting services, specifically CPA level services, can be quite expensive. To be sure your CPA is right for you look out for these 5 signs.
1) They Call You
The first sign of a good CPA is that they are proactive and not reactive. A good sign for a CPA is that they call you to make sure everything is OK even when it’s not busy season. If the only time you talk with your CPA is when you receive a tax notice or have a large tax bill then your CPA is reactive.
Proactive CPA’s will try to resolve problems before they even occur. Making sure you’re up-to-date with state and federal compliance, ensuring your business has the right safeguards in place and consulting on the latest accounting technology are just a few signs your CPA is proactive.
2) They Introduce You to Their Friends
Having a large network is a must for a CPA and the best CPA’s have a Rolodex full of contacts from different industries. If you are having trouble getting a loan, have questions about which insurance to buy or want to market your business more effectively, then chances are your CPA knows the perfect person for the job.
If the only go to your CPA for tax advice then chances are you are leaving money on the table. Tap into their network to access top notch talent and advice. The best CPA’s will have a diverse network so see who their friends are before you make the commitment.
3) They Take You Out On Dates
A good CPA will invite you to dinner every once in a while. The bad ones don’t want to see you until the following tax season. If you are spending thousands of dollars on CPA level services then the least thing a CPA can do is buy you dinner.
Even if it’s not dinner but its coffee instead, this is still free time you can catch up with your CPA without being billed by the hour. Ask them a ton of questions and bounce off some ideas. These free interactions with your CPA could spark meaningful conversations that could make a huge impact on your bottom line.
4) They Have Many Passions
If your CPA only knows about tax then chances are you’re going to get bored quickly. Great CPA’s will have a diverse background and a capability to offer an array of services. Full service tax and consulting firms offer a wide range of products that meet the needs of all types of businesses.
If you’re really in it for the long run then you want a CPA that is going to meet your needs as you grow. From starting a business to retirement, you want a CPA who is there for you every step of the way.
5) They are a Planner
One of the most important qualities of a great CPA is their ability to plan for the future. If you don’t know how much tax you’re going to pay until April 15th then chances are your CPA is not a planner. Great CPA’s will ensure that you’re financial needs, both long term and short term, are met. They will sit down with you before the end of the year and tell you what to expect for the upcoming tax season.
Additionally, great CPA’s will advise you on ways to save for retirement, protect your assets and ensure your family is covered in the case of death or disability. You want someone who is going to help you achieve your financial goals and not just someone who is going to do your taxes.
Finding the right CPA can be difficult but once you find a CPA that meets these qualities you know you’ve found the one. Good CPA’s are proactive, have a diverse network, care about you and your needs and help you plan your financial future.
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