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Questions to Ask a Potential CPA

Questions to Ask a Potential CPA and Questions for Small Businesses

Questions to Ask a Potential CPA 

How long has your firm been in business?
Ask yourself, do you prefer a firm that has an established record or a new firm that is developing their best customer list. 

Do you offer a consultation and is there a charge?
Many firms offer a free initial consultation and should be able to given an estimate of the fees for the services you require. 

Can I contact any of your current clients for a referral?
A reputable firm will be willing to provide you with references. 

What education have you completed recently that keeps you up-to-date in your area of expertise?
CPAs who have an active certificate to practice public accounting are required to complete a specified amount of continuing professional education. CPAs receive education credit by attending courses, writing articles or by teaching. 

Which professional organization in addition to the West Virginia Society of CPAs are you a member of?
CPAs who are members of their local and national associations take pride in their profession. They acknowledge that as a CPA they represent not only themselves but the profession as a whole. Professional associations provide opportunities, tools, training and the resources for CPAs.

What other certifications are held by CPAs in your office?
The importance of this question will depend on the type of services you need. Look for the following (this is not intended to be an inclusive list): 

  • MBA – Masters in Business Administration
  • CFP – Certified Financial Planner
  • PFS – Personal Financial Specialist
  • ABV – Accredited Business Valuation
  • CFE – Certified Fraud Examiner
  • CBA – Certified Business Appraiser
  • MCBA – Master Certified Business Appraiser
  • MBT – Masters of Business Taxation
  • CFA – Chartered Financial Analyst
  • RIA – Registered Investment Adviser 

Questions for Small Businesses

Are you looking for expertise and industry knowledge of your business?
Ask what experience and what percentage of the CPA practice comes from other clients with a similar business. 

What is your hourly rate and what charges can I expect for questions I have throughout the year?
A reputable firm will be able to provide you with this information. 

What computer programs do you prefer your clients to use for record keeping?
Using a program the CPA is familiar with can save time and money on your billings. A CPA firm will also be able to help you in setting up and maintaining computerized bookkeeping. 

When was your last peer review and would you be willing to show me the report?
Public accounting firms who perform audits, compilations and reviews are required to have a peer review performed every three years. The peer review is designed to ensure that firms have adequate quality control systems.