You have realized the need for professional guidance to handle accounts and taxes for your small business in Birmingham. It’s time to sort a few firms and meet potential options. Hiring a certified public accountant has many benefits. Besides helping with tax planning and preparation of financial statements, they can advise you on payroll, handle regular tasks like bookkeeping, and ensure compliance. If you are meeting a CPA in Birmingham, AL, for the first time, here are some questions to ask.
What services do you provide?
That’s the basic and first question you need to ask. A CPA or a comprehensive accounting firm should offer the following –
- Tax planning & preparation
- Financial advisory services
- Risk management
- Preparation of financial statements
- Forensic Accounting
How long have you been practicing as a CPA?
You will encounter accounting and other tax-related issues at some point, and it makes sense to find a CPA you can trust for at least a few years of experience. Make sure to ask them about their clientele and if they have worked with small businesses and startups in particular. Not all accounting services cater to diverse niches, and that calls for checking whether the one you choose has experience in your sector. Industries have different regulations and compliance requirements, which the CPA should help with.
Can you offer services all through the year?
Many firms are only active during the tax season, but as a company that’s expanding and in need of regular support, you need to choose someone who is comprehensive and available on demand. Also, ask the CPA if they can represent you in front of the IRS when necessary.
Who will be answerable for questions?
CPAs have accountants, bookkeepers, and other staff members on the payroll who help them run the firm. If you are hiring someone, make sure they have assigned a manager or a point of contact. Your in-house staff should be able to get answers without delays.
How much would you charge?
Many CPAs charge a fixed price for each job they do, while others may bill hourly. If you hire the firm on demand, you may even have a monthly fee to bear. Ensure that you get quotes from at least a few options.
Finally, ensure that you check the ratings of local firms in Birmingham. If you can shortlist a few based on references and recommendations, that’s always great. It is never too late to seek help.