5 questions you must ask your CPA firm before hiring them
Hiring an accountant for your firm is one of the most crucial steps in running a business. A smart, qualified and a tech-driven accountant should be on top of the list while you are scanning through various profiles. Since an accountant is someone who will give you a reality check about your business, it is important for you as a business-owner to share a great rapport with them. Many accountants tend to bill the business owners for giving out some very generic financial advice or even to just pick up their call. No one likes to get charged unnecessarily, right? Opening up honest and frank communication channels with your accountant is key to keeping tabs on the health of your business.
1. Enquire about their scale and services
Based on the industry your business caters to, your demands and requirements will vary. Depending on the clientele your firm has, you must be aware of the kind of services you’ll need from your CPA firm. Once that has attained clarity in your mind, you can choose a firm, whose services you can easily scale up in the event of business growth or even some type of emergency.
2. Number of accountants and their accessibility
Once you are clear about the objectives and demands of your business, it is vital to find out about the number of accountants the firm has. For the accountants to be in sync with you and your business needs, they must be qualified appropriately and have a vast amount of domain knowledge to fulfil your requirements. While your CPA firm might be handling multiple clients, you must ensure that you enquire thoroughly about their availability whenever needed. You might be offered lower-cost services, but that doesn’t mean that you have to compromise on your demands. Establish it clearly to your CPA firm that you would want your accountants to be available whenever the need arises.
3. Technology that is being used for accounting purposes
Every business owner prefers to keep a track of the financial health of his business by referring to multiple business reports. Not only should these reports be easy and quick to generate, but also be accurate. Only with accurate accounting reports, would a business owner get a 360° view of their business. A smart and cutting-edge accounting software would not ease the life of an accountant but also enable the business owner to understand about his enterprise’s cash in-flow and out-flow. From error-detection to handing various accounting transactions to generating balance sheet and GST compliance, Tally.ERP 9’s incomparable features help ease accounting and business woes.
4. Ad-hoc fees and advice
Often accountants charge a certain amount of fee for petty advices and minimalistic suggestions. As a business owner you need to ask your CPA firm about these ad-hoc costs which is mostly not included in the contract which is signed between you and your CPA firm. If you are opting for a bigger CPA firm to take of your accounts, you must establish and have all the details about your point of contact which will further increase confidence about the reaching the concerned person whenever necessary.
5. Get a clear picture of your break-even point
A break-even point in any business structure is nothing but the level of sales required to fully cover general business overhead, and it is the point where you start to move into profit. This might be monthly, weekly or even daily depending on the business. But it isn’t as simple as it sounds, since some costs vary with sales volume, whereas others are fixed. You accountant must be able to analyse your cost structure and draw you a clear picture about to let you know the level of sales required to break even. It is with these numbers will you be able to predict the units required to be sold. If you don’t know these numbers, be sure to ask your accountant to do some work on it for you.
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