What You Should Look For In A CPA Firm
There are a lot of choices when looking for a CPA firm. Papin CPA, PLLC, is proud to be a trusted resource for individuals, entrepreneurs and businesses in Edmond and throughout Oklahoma.
We believe that the research you conduct when looking for an accountant is time well spent. In addition to interviewing multiple CPA firms, we recommend individuals and businesses consider the following to help ensure you are making the right decision.
Clarity About Services Provided
Broadly speaking, there are three types of CPA firms:
- Tax preparation CPA firms: These firms tend to be solely transactional. You will likely drop off your financial information while the firm prepares the return. Once the return is complete, business is concluded until the next year.
- Backward-looking CPA firms: This is the typical model of CPA firms that are out there. These outfits complete work looking backward (ex: they complete your work from February in March). These firms are busy with this work and often do not have the capacity for forward-looking planning.
- Advisory CPA firm: These firms function as a partner, sitting next to you and providing proactive advice. While these firms can handle transactional matters like tax returns, they also have a tactical mindset that always has an eye on the future.
No firm is inherently better than the rest. The ‘best’ CPA firm for you depends entirely on your goals and what you’re looking for in an accountant.
Our practice falls into the last category. We’re entirely focused on developing long-term relationships with businesses. We pride ourselves on becoming trusted advisors for our clients to help them advance their ambitions.
Clear Fee Structure
Just as there are different types of CPA firms, so too are the different fee structures that CPA firms may use when billing clients. The fee structure will largely depend on the services provided. Some firms offer a commodity-based approach with fixed fees for transactional matters. Others may have a broader, compliance-based approach while still providing fixed fees for a specific service.
A third camp, in which our firm lies, is a value-based CPA firm. It is difficult for us – or for any CPA firm with a value-based approach – to provide a cost estimate without any perspective. Once we have a complete picture of the situation, we can provide an estimate of our fees.
Sometimes, these fees are higher than other models. If you view your CPA firm as an investment in your business’s future, the value provided may more than justify the cost. If, however, you view the amount you spend with a CPA firm as just a business expense, a firm using a commodity-based or compliance-based approach will likely be a better fit.
The key with fees isn’t how a CPA firm bills. Rather, the key is that you fully understand what you are being charged and what services you will receive for your expenses.
Someone You Can Communicate With Honestly
Tax and accounting concerns are extremely personal. The CPA you hire needs to be someone you can have honest and frank conversations with. A CPA’s cadence, style and communication expectations are going to vary significantly. Outlining your expectations for ongoing communication is crucial as it can make the difference between hiring a CPA who works well with you versus a CPA that is not a good fit.
We’re Ready To Establish A Long-Term Partnership With You
If you feel like we’re a good fit after reading this page, we would love to speak with you about your needs. Contact us online or call our Edmond office at 405-531-9119.