Finding a good accountant doesn’t have to be difficult. Here are some questions to help you through the interviewing process.
1. What Kind of Clients do You Normally Work With?
You don’t need an audit specialist to do your bookkeeping. Find someone good at what you need to do.
2. Are You available Year Round? What are Your Hours?
You want to know that you can reach this person at any time.
3. How is Their Relationship With The IRS?
What is Their PTIN? (Preparer Tax Identification Number) You want to ensure your accountant is licensed to file taxes and has a good history with the IRS.
4. What is Your Fee Structure?
Be upfront and ask to get their pricing structure ahead of time.
5. Who Actually Does The Work?
Sometimes, an accountant can hand off client work to other accountants, interns, or office staff. You want to make sure the most qualified person is handling your finances.
6. How Many Years Have You Been Doing This?
Typically, more experience means more knowledge. Not always, but it’s a good starting point.
7. Do You Have References I Can Talk To?
Most good accountants will offer references for you to talk with.
8. What licenses do you have?
You want to ensure your accountant is certified to do what you need.
9. What is Your Deductions Style? Are you aggressive?
Find out if they like to go for too many deductions or too few.
10. How often are your clients audited?
Remember that not being audited doesn’t make them great at their job. Maybe they aren’t deducting enough. The point is to get them talking about auditing.
11. Why Should I Hire You Instead of Using TurboTax or Other Software?
This only applies if you are looking for a tax preparer.
12. When Was the Last Time You Were Responsible for a Business’ Bookkeeping?
Or any question(s) specific to your circumstances or needs. Are you confused about 1099’s? Ask them about 1099’s.
For More, Read: How to Find The Right Accountant