How to Find a Reputable CPA for Your Business
Whether you’re running a home-based business online, you manage a small business complete with staff and a brick-and-mortar location, or your operation has grown to become a highly successful and lucrative corporation, you may eventually find yourself in need of the professional accounting services that can be provided by a certified public accountant (CPA). Unfortunately, you first have to undergo the tedious task of securing a reputable and reliable service provider that you can trust to attend to the financial needs of your business. However, you’re not the first business owner to be confronted with this chore, and you won’t be the last, which means there are plenty of resources at your disposal to help you find just what you’re looking for. Here are a few simple tips to get you started.
While there are, of course, numerous ways to use the online arena to your advantage, you might want to start your search a little closer to home by speaking to family members, friends, and even your employees about finding a reputable local CPA. You might also speak to business associates like vendors, partners, and perhaps even clients that you have a close relationship with. This is a great way to get referrals from sources that are unlikely to steer you wrong. For the most part, these trusted sources will want to offer only outstanding referrals since sending you to someone who turns out to be awful could compromise their relationship with you. Just remember that a CPA who is recommended by a friend or business associate might not necessarily be right for your business or your particular needs, so don’t get your hopes too high.
As for other resources that could help you to find a local CPA, the internet can offer scads of options, and you might want to start with directories. You can start simply enough with CPADirectory.com or a similarly broad resource, but you might be better off looking for directories specific to your state or even your city. And try to find the criteria used to select listings. If anyone can join or it’s a paid membership kind of site, you might want to look elsewhere since they’re clearly not very discerning. See if you can find directories that list professionals that are licensed, certified, or otherwise qualified, as well as those that are experienced and have solid reputations, for example.
Of course, when you find some options that look suitable you can always do a little more digging. Try looking them up on Yelp or Angie’s List to read consumer reviews, head to the Better Business Bureau to scout out complaints, or simply do a Google search to see what you can find. There’s a chance that any given CPA is using optimization or online reputation management services to ensure that people searching them online are finding only positive content, but it’s nearly impossible to wipe out the negative stuff. So this should help you to determine if the service providers you’re interested in are actually reputable sorts or if they only look good on paper.