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Do You Need a CPA? Find Out How to Choose the Right One

Adrian Borja

marzo 7, 2023

tax refund

A firm that helps build business through relevant experience is best suited to help through future challenges and market changes. Aside from vetting a tax preparer, there are some other considerations to keep in mind when looking for tax help. Here are seven tips on how to find the best tax preparer or tax advisor for you. When it comes to taxes, in particular, there are certain things you should always review.

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If you hire a CPA on a contract basis, they charge you per hour or contract, depending on the agreement. One way to know the character of your potential accountant is to get testimonials and reviews from their previous clients. Check their professional records for any complaints or disciplinary actions against them. Your business is important to you, and you will not want to destroy what took you years to build by hiring an incompetent CPA. It’s up to you, but we think that using Picnic is the way to go. We save you a lot of the initial diligence and research headache by verifying the PTINs, EFINs and professional licenses of all of the CPAs and tax accountants on our platform.

Determine Legitimacy of Accountant

Often, tax preparers either charge a minimum fee, plus cost based on the complexity of your return, or they charge a set fee for each form and schedule needed in your return. If you come across a tax preparer whose fee is based on the size of your refund or who says they can get you a bigger refund than the next person, that’s a red flag. And if you’re a small business owner, it can be tempting to avoid reaching out for help—especially on a tight budget. But a good accountant possesses a lot of hard-won knowledge when it comes to financial planning that goes beyond the finer nuances of taxes.

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Perhaps the most critical aspect of evaluating a new firm is the references that the firm can provide. Even if the firm is starting up, its partners should provide references and previous work experience pertinent to the industry and experience. Even if this is the firm’s first time working with a particular industry, determine if the firm has worked with related sectors and can apply that experience to the needs of the business. After evaluating accessibility, entrepreneurs and businesses should assess technological competence in evaluating a firm.

Create a List of Potential CPA Candidates

These programs are sponsored by the I.R.S. and staffed by volunteers trained to provide basic tax-prep services to the public free of charge. These questions can serve as a starting point for evaluating CPAs, but you may have many others based on your unique financial situation. You’ll find that the information you gather will be very helpful in your efforts to find the right CPA for your needs. There is value in being able to sit with your CPA in person to go over your personal needs and to make sure your personal initiatives are in line with your business goals. While I appreciate the convenience of remote meetings and desktop sharing, I find great comfort in meeting face-to-face.

  • Contact your state’s board of accountancy to check the status of a CPA’s license or to find out whether any disciplinary action has ever been taken against the accountant.
  • Employees without digital skills risk losing their jobs.
  • We collect information related to how you use the Services, including actions you take in your account .
  • Part of your accountant’s job is keeping up with tax law changes and leveraging them to save you money.
  • Most, but not all, states provide data on both individuals and firms.

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Most are available for year-round conversations and expect to be involved in making sure your goals are on track beyond just tax time. All features, services, support, prices, offers, terms and conditions are subject to change without notice. A simple tax return is one that’s filed using IRS Form 1040 only, without having to attach any forms or schedules. Verify that your CPA will sign your tax return and represent you before the IRS for any tax matter related to your return. Will enhance public protection by producing candidates who have the deep knowledge necessary to perform high-quality work, meeting the needs of organizations, firms, and the public. Noncertified accountants have no particular code of ethics to stand by.

Many sg&a definition firms offer services ranging from bookkeeping and tax preparation, to financial planning and business consulting. If you need a company that performs audits or business valuations, make sure that’s part of your search criteria. While accountants can prepare proper taxes, CPAs take it a little further by extending exclusive advantages to their clients. CPAs, for example, are more educated on tax codes due to their strict licensing and education requirements. Also, CPAs can represent clients before the IRS when audit support is required – a noncertified accountant can’t do this.

One of the best ways to find someone you can have faith in right out of the gate is through referrals. Talk with people in your community to find a CPA that they have worked with and value, as this is more valuable than a good online review or Yelp rating. 100% Accurate Calculations Guarantee – Business Returns. If you pay an IRS or state penalty or interest because of a TurboTax calculation error, we’ll pay you the penalty and interest.

Are your needs compatible with the CPA’s personality and communication style?

There’s still time to get your taxes done right with Harness Tax. There’s a wide array of small business tax deductions, some of them unique to specific business types. Online bookkeeping and tax filing powered by real humans. Flexibility is an important aspect of availability, too. If complications arise or events change, can your CPA firm work with you to solve these challenges? Even if this is something as simple as needing paperwork returned quickly, it is important that they are available and responsive when you need them.

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Mr. Henn said he’s worked with many clients who feel funny about sharing their personal financial information with a tax preparer in their own town, so they work with someone in another city or state. “Because of technology like Skype and Zoom, secure portals, and electronic filing, you can work with accountants anywhere in the country,” he said. Our TurboTax Live Full Service Guarantee means your tax expert will find every dollar you deserve. Your expert will only sign and file your return if they believe it’s 100% correct and you are getting your best outcome possible.

We use CountingWorks, Inc. as our technology platform to enable us to provide our services in a secure environment. By using our Services, you’re agreeing to be bound by these Terms, and our Privacy Policy. If you’re using our Services for an organization, you’re agreeing to these Terms on behalf of that organization. Interview the practitioner either by e-mail or by telephone to ensure that he or she can provide the services you need. Inquire about procedures for providing and receiving information. Ensure that the practitioner is responsive to issues that concern you such as timeliness, accuracy, and confidentiality.

You can also get referrals from recruitment agencies and professional organizations. As soon as you have a shortlist of the candidates who meet the requirements, you can schedule interviews to discuss your personal and business needs. For instance, if you have issues relating to your personal or business tax, ensure that the CPA has a strong knowledge of taxes in your state. Also, ask for the previous clients he has worked for, and confirm that he is good with his job.


We aren’t responsible for the content people post and share via the Services. We need your permission to do things like hosting Your Stuff, backing it up, and sharing it when you ask us to. Our Services also provide you with features like eSign, file sharing, email newsletters, appointment setting and more. These and other features may require our systems to access, store, and scan Your Stuff. You give us permission to do those things, and this permission extends to our affiliates and trusted third parties we work with. A CPA should have good problem-solving skills to recognize financial problems and create workable solutions.

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Good CPAs must have strong interpersonal skills to work with colleagues, clients, and stakeholders. They should be able to build strong relationships and maintain effective communication. Furthermore, they should be capable of working in different teams and be sensitive to cultural and religious differences. Further, all doc transfer happens through our secure online portal as does the e-signing of your return prior to your accountant submitting it. Mail – Ship your hardcopy documents to your tax pro via US Postal Mail, or a private company like FedEx or UPS.

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