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5 Ways to Evaluate Your CPA

Published on 9/1/2015
Writtin by: Paul Bogdanoff, CPA and Tim Dages, CPA

When I started my career in public accounting, I met with a business man who explained that he uses five criteria to evaluate and select his Certified Public Accountant. Since then, I have steadfastly pursued each of the following items which now form the foundation of Bogdanoff Dages and Co., P. C.’s practice.

  1. Trust. As with your doctor, lawyer or financial advisor, trust is an essential quality, for any professional relationship. You must trust that your accountant has your best interest in mind when preparing your tax returns, financial statements, or providing other services. You must also trust that he or she has the systems in place to protect your confidential and proprietary information.
  2. Credentials. To become a Certified Public Accountant one must possess an accounting degree from a university and then pass a rigorous professional exam. However, there are several other professional designations that a tax preparer may obtain, such as the status of an “Enrolled Agent,” which designates the professional as a federally authorized tax preparer. CPAs must also be licensed to practice accounting by the state(s) where they practice.
  3. Professional Memberships. Professional societies, such as the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and similar state societies generally require a higher level of continuing education than the state licensing agencies will require ensuring that the tax professional remains current with the ever-evolving tax code, accounting pronouncements, and planning opportunities. Other membership organizations also exist to provide tax professionals with alternatives to specialize in specific areas of accounting.
  4. Specific Experience.  While having a broad base of experience is important, your tax preparer should also be knowledgeable and experienced with your specific tax situation.  There are many specific areas in accounting and tax fields, and the Certified Public Accountant you hire should have experience with the issues that you are confronting.
  5. Value Added. Your tax or accounting professional should aim to add value to you and your business. As a rule of thumb, seek a professional that seeks to provide you with tax planning ideas and strategies or business opportunities that enable you to recover at least the amount of his or her professional fees. Of course, some years those savings or business opportunities may yield more than others, but on whole your tax or accounting professional’s objective should be to add value and not cost. 


If you would like to discuss how we can assist with your tax or accounting needs please contact us at Bogdanoff Dages and Co. P. C.

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