If you think all accountants and other business advisors are alike, think again. Those who are able to call themselves certified public accountants (CPAs) have met stringent education and experience requirements, must perform their work in accordance with high-quality technical and professional standards, and must adhere to a strict code of professional ethics. Individuals have worked hard to obtain the CPA designation, and they are committed to working even harder to deliver the value that it conveys.
Integrity. Objectivity. Independence.
CPAs bring new and diverse value to clients.
As advisors to businesses and individuals, CPAs provide the technical expertise, innovative thinking and personal service that help organizations thrive and enable families and individuals to achieve financial security
The type and range of services offered by a particular CPA firm will depend on the skill, interest and experience mix of the partners and staff. Services include, but are not limited to:
- Tax services
- Personal financial planning
- Accounting and auditing services
- Assurance services
- Bankruptcy and insolvency
- Divorce settlements
- Fraud investigations
- Management and business consulting
- Information technology
How to Select a CPA
Before you hire a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), it is important to understand your needs, because a well-chosen advisor can point you in the right direction and help you achieve your goals.
When looking for a CPA, start with a referral from someone you have worked with previously, or with word of mouth from colleagues you respect. If that doesn't work, call a local referral agency or local professional association. The NJCPA offers a free Find-A-CPA online referral service at findacpa.org so that people can conveniently locate a CPA in the New Jersey area based on location, services provided, industries served and firm size.
Before your initial meeting with the CPA, prepare a list of questions and topics you wish to discuss. Topics you may choose to cover could include:
- What kinds of clients do you serve?
- What services do you perform for your clients?
- Do you specialize in areas that match my needs?
- How can you help me save money or lower my taxes?
- Can I call you for advice during the year?
- Are there clients I can contact for references?
After your initial meeting with the CPA, evaluate the meeting. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Did the CPA listen to you?
- Did the CPA understand your situation completely?
- Does the CPA work with other people in your situation?
- Did the CPA make any suggestions or offer any advice?
- Is the CPA willing to work with other advisors?
- Did you feel comfortable with the CPA?
If you're satisfied with the answers, you may have identified someone to help you.
Use our free, searchable directory
to find a Certified Public Accountant near you.
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