Finding a Reliable Certified Public Accountant

Hiring a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is a significant undertaking that will impact your financial future. A Certified Public Accountant is someone who is accredited with that designation through training and education. A CPA is a designation that can be compared to a degree. One becomes a Certified Public Accountant by passing a Uniform Certified Public Accountant Exam, and by meeting other requirements from their state, including experience and educational requirements. Once meeting these requirements, they receive certification as a CPA, and can advertise and practice as a Certified Public Accountant.

At PaydayLoansCashAdvance we take pride in helping you better your financial situation. Here are some things to keep in mind when searching for a reliable CPA:

  1. A CPA is the highest designation in accounting. Depending on the state you live in, you may also see designations as Public Accountant (PA), Licensed Public Accountant (LPA), Registered Public Accountant (RPA), Accounting Practitioner (AP) or others. These do not carry the same weight as a Certified Public Accountant. In fact, most states will not let anyone who is not officially certified use the title CPA. It is also good to know that over 80% of states now require CPA’s to pass an ethics exam to gain their CPA designation.
  2. CPA’s can work within just about any segment of finance, but have been particularly associated within the area of taxes. You’ll find CPA’s involved in Corporate Finance, Financial Planning, Estate Planning, Auditing, and working with venture capitalists. Taxes though, remain their bread and butter.
  3. Make sure the CPA you are considering is in fact state certified. This means they have passed the state board’s exam. If you should have any questions, each state has their own State Board of Accountancy where you can inquire about your accountant’s status.
  4. Experience is critical in finding a reliable Certified Public Accountant. Most states require at least two years of experience for certification. You will want to inquire about your CPA’s experience. Keep in mind that a CPA can open an office and have less educated and experienced people working for them. This means the actual CPA may not be working on your project themselves. That is a question also worth asking. If the CPA is charging you a higher price while having a less educated associate do the work, you will want to know that in advance.
  5. You’ll also probably want to inquire about the areas of your CPA’s experience. If they has a lot of farmers as clients, that experience won’t help you if you sell insurance for a living. Find a Certified Public Accountant who has experience in a particular area of accounting that you need them to work in.
  6. If you are in business, talk with like-minded business people about who they use for their accounting. Remember, an accountant doesn’t HAVE to be a CPA to practice, but ONLY a CPA can use that designation. You may also consider talking about your accounting needs with friends or relatives. Remember, you turn over a lot of personal and financial information to your accountant. Trust should be a huge factor in your consideration for a CPA.

You may consider contacting your area Better Business Bureau. If there have been complaints filed you will be able to find out. You could also contact your local Chamber of Commerce. While the Chamber will not have a record of complaints, they will be able to tell you how long the CPA has been a member and if other members use his services. They may also have more than one CPA in their membership, giving you further options.

Because a CPA will charge more for services than a lesser experienced or educated accountant, many will choose to have an accountant handle their routine bookkeeping like accounts receivable and payable and payroll. They will then hire a CPA to compile their taxes at the end of the year. Hiring a CPA to file your taxes should be considered, particularly if they are complicated. The IRS gives credence to the Certified Public Accountant designation, and your CPA can represent you should you find yourself in an audit situation.

Finding a reliable Certified Public Accountant is not difficult if you consider validating their state certification, look into their experience, contact your local Better Business Bureau and Chamber of Commerce, and ask for references. As CPA is a critical member of your financial team and finding just the right one, with the right experience can give you peace of mind in the short term, and save money in the long term.

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