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 findacpa.org 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.