How to Select a CPA

Use our free, searchable directory to find a Certified Public Accountant near you.

Top 10 Questions to Ask a Tax Preparer

Before you hire a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), it is important to understand your needs, because a well-chosen advisor can point you in the right direction and help you achieve your goals.

When looking for a  CPA, start with a referral from someone you have worked with previously, or with word of mouth from colleagues you respect. If that doesn't work, call a local referral agency or local professional association. The NJCPA offers a free Find-A-CPA online referral service at so that people can conveniently locate a CPA in the New Jersey area based on location, services provided, industries served and firm size. 

Before your initial meeting with the CPA, prepare a list of questions and topics you wish to discuss. Topics you may choose to cover could include:

  • What kinds of clients do you serve?
  • What services do you perform for your clients?
  • Do you specialize in areas that match my needs?
  • How can you help me save money or lower my taxes? 
  • Can I call you for advice during the year? 
  • Are there clients I can contact for references?

After your initial meeting with the CPA, evaluate the meeting. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Did the CPA listen to you?
  • Did the CPA understand your situation completely?
  • Does the CPA work with other people in your situation?
  • Did the CPA make any suggestions or offer any advice?
  • Is the CPA willing to work with other advisors?
  • Did you feel comfortable with the CPA?

If you're satisfied with the answers, you may have identified someone to help you.