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Choosing a CPA Firm

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What qualifications should you look for when choosing a CPA?  Before you select a CPA you?ll need to do some research.  First, ask questions:

Does the individual hold an active CPA license?

Are your needs compatible with the CPA's personality and communication style?

Does the CPA have the experience you need?

It's important to establish a practitioner's credentials before you retain his or her services. You need to feel that this person has integrity and honesty before you will trust him or her with your financial information. Be aware that fee structures vary and that different types of practitioners have different levels of training and experience.

Keep in mind that you are looking to establish a long-term relationship. You want someone who will learn your business inside and out, and who will become a trusted adviser on major business and financial decisions and transactions. Look not only for technical competence but also for interpersonal and communication skills.

Defining your objectives and expectations will help you ask the kind of specific questions necessary for finding the CPA best suited to your needs. Think about the services you will need not just today but further down the road.

Professional membership is important. CPAs who are members of the American Institute of CPAs and the Oklahoma Society of CPAs are regulated by a strict code of professional ethics. Once every three years, their accounting and auditing practices are rigorously reviewed by their peers.

In summary, when you interview a CPA candidate, consider carefully whether the CPA's background and expertise are a good fit with your business and your goals.  Make sure you're comfortable with his or her personality so you can feel confident in building a long-term relationship.