Follow Us

How to Choose the Right CPA for Your Needs

How to Choose the Right CPA for Your Needs

Selecting an accountant can be daunting, but there are steps you can take to narrow your search and identify an excellent fit for your needs.

Start by checking candidate licenses with your state’s board of accountancy – this will reveal their current license status, expiration date and whether there have been any disciplinary actions taken against them.


CPAs must fulfill certain qualifications in order to become licensed to practice, including education and experience requirements. Most states mandate at least a bachelor’s degree in accounting or related field such as finance. Many CPAs opt to complete additional degree coursework to advance their careers and stay ahead of competition on the job market. Depending on your state there may also be other requirements such as taking specific coursework or meeting minimum education and work experience requirements.

When interviewing CPAs, make sure you ask about their education and training. A good CPA should be able to explain how they earned their credentials as well as any areas in which they specialize, such as individual tax filing. Also ask whether or not they specialize in any area relevant to you personally – like filing individual taxes.

Also important when researching companies is learning their business practices. Do they provide year-round services, do they charge a flat fee, or bill by the hour? These details could make a considerable difference to their costs of services provided.

Before hiring any CPA in your state, always double-check their license is valid by searching their name in the database of that state. This should reveal their license number, issue date and expiration date as well as any potential disciplinary actions against them.

Make sure any CPA you hire to prepare your taxes has an IRS tax identification number (PTIN), which you can find by searching the IRS Online Return Preparer Directory.

If your tax situation is complex or requires specialization and experience, getting the help of Orlando-based CPA, Sonia Narvaez might be necessary. But for smaller situations, an Enrolled Agent could provide more cost-effective service.

Referrals from those you trust are the ideal way to identify qualified Certified Public Accountants (CPA). Speak to friends, family and coworkers for suggestions; your local chamber of commerce may even maintain a directory of CPAs. It is wise to interview several accountants prior to making your choice in order to maximize value for your investment.


When hiring a CPA, make sure they possess plenty of experience. An established professional will have a more in-depth knowledge of tax code than someone just out of school – meaning that they’ll provide more comprehensive advice that could save money over time.

Consider also the size of their firm when choosing an accountant. Larger accounting firms may charge higher fees and will have less personal interaction than smaller firms can, while on the other hand smaller firms may not be able to offer all of the services you require.

Before making your choice, take a close look at their client reviews and references online. This can give you an idea of how well the CPA or their team work with clients. In addition, search your state’s CPA database for more details such as license number, issue/expiration date and any disciplinary actions taken against them.

Check if the CPA you’re considering has experience working with the type of business you own. Different industries often have unique processes for tracking inventory or costs; hiring someone who doesn’t possess industry expertise may prove costly in the end.

Final step should be checking to see if your CPA will sign your tax returns and represent you during an IRS audit if necessary. If they won’t, find another accountant.

As a small-business owner, you likely have networks within your community that can assist with finding an accounting professional. Take advantage of them by soliciting referrals from friends, family and colleagues who have hired CPAs in the past – this provides more reliable insight than solely relying on online reviews and Yelp ratings to assess CPA expertise.


Be certain that the CPA you hire possesses the expertise you require. Ask about their areas of specialization, what past clients in your industry have accomplished through them and whether their business practices include responsiveness, accuracy and pricing as benchmarks for success.

One effective method for finding qualified CPAs is through word of mouth from other local small businesses or colleagues. Furthermore, many states provide databases which enable users to search by name to confirm whether someone is licensed as well as seeing issues like license expirations dates, suspension dates and any disciplinary actions or suspensions taken against them.

CPAs specialize in various areas of accounting, such as forensic accounting, corporate taxation, government auditing and individual income tax preparation. If you require someone else to file your personal taxes, ensure they possess a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN).

Many CPAs will offer client references upon request. This will give you an opportunity to speak to people who have worked with your chosen CPA regarding their services, expertise and how well they worked together to address issues or implement solutions. You may also find reviews for them online and social media.

Finally, whenever possible, meet potential candidates before making any definitive decisions. Doing this will allow you to get an understanding of their personality and whether or not they meet your requirements. Having confidence discussing your financial affairs with anyone you hire is paramount; so if one CPA makes you uncomfortable consider continuing the search.

Avoid interviewing CPAs during February and March as this is when most are busy filing tax returns. Instead, plan your interviews for summer or fall when their schedule should be less hectic.


One of the key considerations when choosing a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is pricing. You want to find someone whose price point meets both your needs and budget; CPAs often charge by hour; you may also opt for flat fee work in certain instances. Cost will depend upon a number of factors including complexity/size/location factors of your business as well as individual business circumstances.

Before making your choice, it’s advisable to interview multiple certified public accountants (CPAs). Doing this will give you a better sense of their experience and expertise; ask potential CPAs how long they have been in business as well as their specialty areas and clientele details and referral processes.

CPAs offer more than just tax filing assistance; they can assist with various other aspects of financial life as well. For instance, they can help manage debt and devise savings plans; value your business or understand cash flow better; or even save you money through lesser-known deductions and credits available under tax code regulations.

CPAs can assist businesses in preparing for audits or dealing with other business-related issues that arise, from embezzlement or fraud investigations to payroll administration and bookkeeping tasks such as creating invoices and accounts receivable records. They can even handle bankruptcy processes with you.

Hire a certified public accountant (CPA) that is licensed and qualified for their task. Check state online CPA board resources or use services such as CPAverify to check credentials of individuals you’re considering hiring; in addition, check for criminal backgrounds or consumer complaints against potential hires.

When selecting a certified public accountant (CPA), be sure to select one who has experience and availability year-round. Also check if they provide free initial consultation and take advantage of any free tax preparation services provided through volunteer programs and community organizations.