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How To Choose An Accountant

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When choosing an accountant, take the following steps which 


All accountants are not the same. Consider the following when choosing an accountant:

  • Is the accountant a CPA (certified public accountant)? 
    • A CPA has met additional educational experience requirements. On the other hand, CPAs are generally more expensive than non-certified accountants.
  • Is the accountant a member of the AICPA (American Institute of Certified Public Accounts)?
    • Members must keep the CPA designation.
    • Members must meet continuing education requirements.
    • Members of AICPA's Division of Firms submit their records for a regular review by other Division of Firms' members.  
  • Does the accountant share your philosophy? 
    • For example, you may want to be conservative with your taxes, or you may want to "push the envelope" to maximize your tax savings. 
  • Does the accountant have experience with your financial life or type of business?
    • For example, if you are looking for an accountant for you as an individual, does she have experience with medical expense deductions and disability income?
  • What size is the accounting firm?
    • Small to mid-size firms are small enough to care about you or your business yet large enough to be able to add some depth of expertise and back-up.
    • You generally don't have pay for high overhead for their premises.


Start with the recommendations of other professionals, including your attorney or financial planner. Their input is vital since they will be working closely with whomever you choose.If you are looking for an accountant for your business, also speak with other business owners in your field.

To find a CPA: See sites such as offsite link or offsite link

To find an AICPA member in your area, go to offsite link


Interview several accountants

  • How long has the person been accountant?
  • What education and where?
  • What licenses does the person have?
  • What experience does she have with situations like yours?
  • Who will actually do your work?
  • What are the charges?
  • Does the accountant work with your software program or is there a different one that's preferred? If so, why?
  • With whom can you speak for references?

Conduct a final interview in an informal setting, such as over a meal, to get to know the accountant. If you have a bookkeeper or controller with whom the accountant will work, have them meet. Then ask for your employee's opinion. Always check referrals.

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