Hiring Your CPA – The Checklist for When and Why!

Hiring a CPA, whether full-time or part-time, is a big step for your business. So going about it the right way and making sure you hire the right CPA for your business is obviously important. What should you consider, what questions should you ask, what options do you have? Below is a checklist for hiring your CPA. It isn’t all inclusive, but it will help lead you in the right direction.

Do You Need A CPA?

The first step is to decide if your business is big enough, complex enough, and has enough revenue to hire a full-time CPA and make effective use of them. It isn’t that your business won’t benefit from the interaction, but you have to make sure the time, fit, and money are right. If you are smaller, consider a part-time or virtual CPA from a firm like CustomOne CFO & Controllers.

What Stage Are You In?

There are certain stages in your company’s development where you will need more intensive help than others. For instance, deciding on your initial structure as a C- corporation, a limited liability company (LLC), or S-corporation is a decision you want to discuss with a CPA. Likewise, how to set up your administrative and bookkeeping systems and policies and plan your business strategy. However, once you get the initial planning done, there will be a lull where your CPA would have less involvement and could help you watch the ship, correct the course when necessary, but not necessarily spend as much time. Then, when you get ready to grow into new markets or hire more people, you can get the CPA more involved again.

Tax Time!

Everyone thinks of an accountant or CPA at tax time. Yes, they can help you file your taxes, but consulting them well before, when they can help you formulate strategies and make decisions – that is when they will get you larger deductions and save you money. Get them involved early and often for maximum benefit.

Questions to Ask!

Here are a few questions you can ask to help you find the right CPA for your business!

  • Have you worked with small businesses before? How many and what size?
  • Have you worked with businesses in my line of business?
  • Do you provide part-time services or flexible fees/hours?
  • What services do your provide?
  • How would you work with me to grow my business?
  • What is your communication strategy and who will handle my work?
  • What is your billing rate for your time and services? When do you bill and how?

Once you settle on a CPA that understands your business, your market, and has the right services at the right price it is time to sign a service agreement. Make sure to stipulate what the CPA will be doing, how much it will cost, and how you will be billed. Remember that a contract CPA firm such as CustomOne CFO & Controllers can also provide you the support and services you need on a part-time or contract basis. Don’t try to go it alone because you want to save money. In the long run, spending the right amount on the right CPA will save you money.