When looking for a tax accountant for your business or personal needs, you should consider the cost, but that’s not the only thing. Trust me, I understand why “cost” is an important question to ask (I ask it too), but it should not be the primary question.
Here are four more questions you should ask in addition the “cost” question:
- References – Ask for references, and call the references. Find out what each reference likes (least) most about working with the tax accountant. Ask how long they have been working together? How did they find the accountant? These calls can tell you a lot about the professional and people are naturally eager to share their opinions. You can also check sites like LinkedIn to see if the tax accountant has recommendations from other clients on their profile. Read them and see if any of their clients sound like you.
- Availability – Some accountants work seasonally or their business is a part-time gig. You should ask if they will be available when you have questions after tax season. Or if they can assist you with any letters they receive from the IRS during the “off season?”
- Knowledge – As a taxpayer, you are responsible for the data that’s submitted on your tax return, so you want to make sure you understand everything that’s there. That being said, make sure you hire someone who can explain the tax code in such a way that it makes sense to you. Those who are knowledgeable about taxes and accounting will be able to simplify the information so it makes sense to you.
- Guarantees – I’m not referring to those commercial guarantees that say “we can get you $5,000 back”. Anyone who makes those types of guarantees without seeing your information should concern you and cause you to run the other way. I’m talking about someone who guarantees her work? If she makes a mistake, will she own it? Will she pay the penalty? These types of guarantees are very important.
Handing over your finances is never an easy task. Hopefully, these tips will help you make the right decision for your business and personal needs. If I can be of service to you, please do not hesitate to give my office a call at 678-608-2775.