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Questions to Ask a Certified Public Accountant
A Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is a licensed accounting professional who is expected to conform to the highest standards in the field. They can work in a firm or be self-employed; they can offer their skills to the corporate sector, small businesses, or the general public. As they are usually trained to deal with a wide variety of financial matters, you will likely find yourself seeking out the services of a CPA at one time or another. Here are a few important questions you may wish to ask them.
Are you authorized to work in this state?
A lot of people don’t realize that a Certified Public Accountant must be licensed by the state where they work. If your CPA is originally from another area, they may no longer hold a valid license and could be operating illegally. This can cause serious legal problems down the road, as there are some functions that only a properly licensed CPA is authorized to provide.
What services do you provide?
Some CPAs offer a variety of financial services. Some deal with relatively basic services like bookkeeping and helping individuals review and prepare their tax returns, while others deal with areas such as forensic accounting, estate planning, and bankruptcy.
How much will your services cost?
Compared with your average accountant involved with simple bookkeeping services, a CPA can be quite costly. To avoid unnecessarily taxing your finances, you should first get an engagement letter from them spelling out exactly what they will be doing; this should include a “not-to-exceed” fee that places an upper limit on what they can charge.
American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
Our association represents certified public accountants nationwide to further the industry. Providing valuable resources for any certified public accountant to gain education and knowledge.
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National Association of Tax Professionals
We represent certified public accountants, or CPAs, serving people with a variety of tax needs. If you're struggling with your tax preparation, contact one of our certified public accountants!
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CERTIFIED-PUBLIC-ACCOUNTANTS-CPA IN/NEAR PORTLAND
Certified accountants are able to perform many services beyond tax preparation. CPAs are able to analyze and review the financial systems that a company has in place. They can report which products or locations are returning the most profit. They can pinpoint which employees are getting the most return from clients. They often prepare bookkeeping reports and information that can be taken to owners and board members when making proposals.
Public financial experts are available to research and analyze your market. They will determine how your business compares to other businesses in the same market of similar size. They can report to you how your enterprise is stacking up against the competition. Employing and drawing on these resources is a wise investment in your ventures profitability.
CPAs can also offer professional services during times of crisis such as bankruptcy or legal challenges. Businesses enjoy a level of attorney client privilege that allows them to seek advice with confidence. CPAs can draw from their intimate knowledge of a company's bookkeeping to perform forensics and make recommendations.
Financial firms offer many types of planning services. The benefits or liabilities to a company's tax cost are discussed as business decisions are considered. Financial frameworks are planned so that small businesses have a plan that determines their future financial decisions. An expert in finance is able to make investment recommendations based on the bigger picture of a company's goals and current situation. Estate planning may inform an owner's long-term goals.
Qualified certified public accountants are equally valuable when a corporate entity wants to hold itself to the highest standards. Highly accurate and trustworthy financial records build a relationship of quality and integrity with clients and potential consumers. When your business is viewed in this light, clients are more likely to choose your sound financial prospects over those of your competitor.