How to Hire an Affordable CPA in Santa Monica

The following tips for success in hiring an affordable CPA or certified public accountant will prove valuable in time, money and reduction of frustration.


Begin with a List

Look at the big picture of your business and note what your needs may be.  Realize that an accountant is not necessarily just the person who balances accounts and makes sure your taxes are paid on time.  A really valuable professional also offers ongoing welfare checks of the state of your finances as well as helping raise capital when needed through making sourcing suggestions.

He should bring to your attention the things that you are not asking about, making certain your lack of accounting expertise doesn't result in something important being missed.  Get the list refined, then begin your interviewing. Yes, you should interview potential professionals, not just pick one out of the phone book.  Here's where the list comes into play.



Know What Services You Need and the Types of Expertise You Will Require  

First, look for a certified public accountant so you know their work is regulated by a professional body and they have the necessary qualifications.  You can improve your chances of locating a good selection of candidates by using your online connections and social networks.  Try tapping into both government and business associations where recommendations are often available.

Next on your list should be attitude.  Does this individual seem eager to learn more about your business?  Does he have some relevant industry experience? Perhaps he works with other similar businesses. Did he respond in good time to your initial inquiry? If he was slow to reply, he may have too many clients to be able to devote the time you want to your business. A negative answer to any of these questions should put the person lower on your list of possibilities.

Trust and a Level of Comfort are Indicators

Having gone through your list and received the information you needed, you next have to rely on your instincts for decision making.  Do you feel satisfied that this accountant has the knowledge and motivation to do the best possible job for you?  Communication is key. Are you comfortable talking and sharing ideas with him?  This individual will be working closely with you and probably your staff. Does he answer questions clearly and completely and does he seem happy to provide information?  And is the fee structure he has discussed with you commensurate both with your budget and the going rate in your area?  

When you have checked all these items off your list, you should feel better qualified to choose just the right accountant to help you grow your business.  


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