How to Choose a CPA for Taxes (Find an Accountant Near You)

As a business owner or individual, it’s crucial to have a reliable and trustworthy CPA (Certified Public Accountant) who can handle your tax planning and tax returns With the tax code being complex, having the right CPA to guide you through the process can save you time, money, and headaches. Let’s get into how to choose a CPA for your taxes.

choosing a cpa for taxes near you.

Understanding the Roles of a CPA

When most people think of a CPA, they think of someone who is pushing out tax returns. Generally, that image is right but CPAs are licensed accountants who provide a wide range of services to businesses and individuals.  In addition to preparing tax returns, they audit financial statements, and some even offer financial planning and consulting services. They are also required to adhere to high ethical standards and undergo continuing education to maintain their licenses. This places a bit of public trust in CPAs.

When choosing a CPA for taxes, it’s important to understand what their roles and responsibilities will be. The primary role of a CPA is to prepare your tax return in line with the tax code. Engaging a CPA for tax planning is generally separate from having them prepare tax returns. Keep this in mind during tax season as planning is usually done in the summer or fall.

Read More:

How to Pick a CPA: (Questions to Consider and Ask)

How to Choose a CPA for Taxes: 5 Things to Look For

When choosing a CPA for your taxes, there are really 5 points you are going to look at when assessing the potential CPA. Some of these may already be vetted if you receive a referral from a family member or friend who says the CPA is great. Otherwise, keep these in mind when finding an accountant near you.

  1. Professional Experience: Look for a CPA who has experience in tax preparation and planning. You probably don’t want a brand-new CPA but one with a few years of experience in taxes. That said, all CPAs are qualified to file taxes.
  2. Reputation: Is the potential CPA known for everyday returns, high net worth individuals, and business owners? Ask what they specialize in and check their reputation online.
  3. Communication Skills: Good communication is key when it comes to working with a CPA. You want a CPA who is responsive to your questions, and who will keep you informed throughout the tax return process. That doesn’t mean pestering them with excess questions but remember to keep a balance.
  4. Cost: While cost is an important factor, it shouldn’t be the sole consideration when choosing a CPA. You want to find a CPA who provides quality services, delivers on time and is available, all for a fair price.
  5. Availability: Make sure the CPA is available when you need them. Ask what their hours look like in busy season. At the same time, try to keep your meetings to a minimum with your CPA during the busy season and it will really help them.

Benefits of Working with a CPA for Taxes vs a Software

Some people want to save a little money and use Turbotax or another program to file taxes. There’s nothing wrong with that but if you want human interaction, a thinking brain or have a complex tax situation then a CPA is the way to go. Here’s a few reasons to work with a CPA.

  1. Tax Savings: A CPA can help you take advantage of tax savings opportunities by providing tax planning services and ensuring that you are in compliance with all tax laws and regulations. Remember tax planning should ideally take place in the summer and fall so the CPA can go into tax season executing your return.
  2. Time Savings: A CPA can save you time by handling your tax returns. You won’t even have to key in any information like you would with software. More free time means you can focus on running your business or enjoying your day-to-day life.
  3. Peace of Mind: With a CPA handling your taxes, you can have peace of mind knowing that your taxes are in good hands. You have someone knowledgeable in taxes using the best software available to accountants to prepare taxes.

While the three benefits of choosing a CPA are all important, peace of mind might be one of the greatest that you can’t even measure. Once you try a CPA and don’t prepare your own taxes, you’ll feel like a ton of weight is off your shoulders.

Read More:

Bookkeeper vs Accountant vs CPA: What’s the Difference?

How to Find the Right CPA for Taxes (Steps to Follow)

finding the right cpa for taxes
CPA Name Plate On The Desk With The Businesswoman Analyzing The Invoice In The Office

Hopefully, you don’t have to change your CPA often and it is very rare. That said, there is a good process to go through when finding an accountant near you. They don’t need to necessarily be near you but the same process applies if they are near you or online.

  1. Ask for Recommendations: Always start by asking friends, family, and business associates for recommendations on CPAs they have used and trust. While you should always do your own due diligence, this is a good starting point.
  2. Online Due Diligence: Conduct an online search for CPAs in your area and read online reviews to get an idea of their reputation. Thinks to look out for in reviews are if the CPA delivers on time, has good quality, is friendly to work with and knows their stuff.
  3. Schedule a Meeting: Schedule meetings with several CPAs to discuss their services, experience, and fees. This will help you make an informed decision on which CPA is the best fit for your needs. You shouldn’t just pick the first CPA you see online but rather talk to a few. Tell the CPA you want a prospective new business meeting to discuss them having prepare your tax return and what that would look like.
  4. Ask Questions: At the meeting, ask the CPA what documents they need, if you need to fill out a tax organizer, when your return would be done and if they think you’d need an extension. Make sure you understand their approach to preparation, what you can expect from their services and how communications will go during tax season.

How to Choose a CPA for Taxes: Final Thoughts

Choosing a CPA isn’t an overnight task. Having a good CPA is like a good marriage. You’ll be together for a long time. If you want to grow your personal or business finances then a good CPA can be all the difference.  Go over all the above checks and find an accountant who can deliver during tax season. You’ll be glad you did.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Shopping Cart