Questions to Ask Any Long Island Tax Accountant Before Hiring Them
John F. Dennehy Jr., CPA, PC

Questions to Ask Any Long Island Tax Accountant Before Hiring Them

Do you know the questions to ask a Long Island NY tax accountant during the consultation before hiring them? Just as you would screen any potential employee and ask questions about their experiences, it's imperative to do the same with a potential accounting firm.

In either case, many factors can affect your decision, including how much experience they have providing services to businesses like yours, whether they can help with payroll, the credentials of their team, and more. To provide further insight and guidance, we have outlined a few of the top questions you should ask a local accountant during the consultation. Let's take a closer look.

Are You a Certified Public Accountant (CPA)?

During your consultation, one of the first questions you should ask is whether the accountant is a CPA. The CPA certification demonstrates they have the required educational background, accounting preparation expertise, and experience necessary to accurately complete your taxes and deliver an array of value-added services.  

Since tax law can be very complicated, it's best to hire someone who has the proper training in accounting to optimize your tax planning strategy. However, tax planning, preparation, and filing are only the beginning. 

A CPA is certified by both the federal and state government. And these skills are regularly reviewed by the IRS. In any case, these seasoned professionals even have the experience and credentials to represent you in the event of an audit.

They regularly develop valuable relationships with tax attorneys, financial advisors, and the IRS. This allows them to quickly relay information and make referrals on your behalf. At the same time, CPAs can be especially helpful in other matters concerning your financials: 

  • Business accounts
  • Real estate
  • Investments
  • Foreign accounts
  • Life changes

Hiring a CPA in the State of New York is the perfect way to create a competitive advantage for your business.

Have You Worked As a Tax Accountant Before?

Just because a financial professional has a CPA license or worked with a CPA firm doesn't mean they specialize in offering the tax or accounting services for your business. Contrary to popular belief, many professionals who hold the CPA designation opt to work in other fields outside tax calculation and filing. 

As a result, it's best to ask if the accounting professional has offered the types of tax services your business needs during the consultation.

How Many Clients Do You Have In The Same Industry?

One of the best strategies to gauge the competency of a Long Island NY accounting firm is to ask whether they have clients in the same or a related industry. And this question should be asked during the consultation prior to hiring the firm.  

Choosing a CPA firm with related experience in your industry can open the door to a host of benefits. Primarily, the accountant can use their industry knowledge from working with other businesses to provide you with valuable insight and best practices that help optimize your financials.

You can take it one step farther by asking to speak to client references in your industry. This can further provide insight into the level of service they deliver, the frequency of communication offered, all-around competency, and related areas of concern.

What Are Your Fees and How Are They Structured?

Before hiring anyone, you should always ask during the consultation about costs. If they can't give you a direct answer or if it's based on some complicated formula, then you should look for someone else. 

While taxes and tax preparation for businesses can be complicated, understanding the pricing structure shouldn't be. However, it's important to understand when dealing with Long Island accountants, you get what you pay for, and no real accountant will work for free. 

Although you may not choose the most expensive financial services provider, selecting one based solely on a low price usually results in subpar services. One tip is to look for local accounting professionals who offer a suite of services that will add value to your business. 

For example, if you are currently doing payroll in house, it may result in significant time savings by partnering with an accounting firm for business taxes, bookkeeping, and payroll services.

Can You Help Me Determine My Break-Even Point?

For many business owners, this is one of the most important questions to ask any Long Island NY tax accountants. In fact, every business needs to have a clear picture and goals pertaining to their break-even point. 

Very simply, the break-even point is the amount of income your business needs to generate to get out of the red and break even.

Accurately calculating the break-even point involves many factors, including:

  • The manner you price your menu of products or services,
  • Projections on how long it will take before a return on investment can occur,
  • Calculations on income taxes,
  • Analysis of bills and payables,
  • And more.

Make sure the accountant you choose can help you set feasible goals and outline the steps to achieve these goals.

How Will You Be Working With Me?

Another point to review during the consultation is how the Long Island NY accountant prefers to work with clients. Many people believe accountants gather information and then work independently, but this is far from true for most professionals.

At a minimum, you should find out:

  • How often you and your accountant will meet,
  • Their preferred method of communication,
  • Whether they will be accessible to you,
  • If you will be working directly with them or their team
  • What type of reporting system is in place,

This way, you can have clear expectations, which can mitigate the potential for unwelcome surprises later down the line.

Contact the Best Long Island Accountants at John F. Dennehy CPA Firm

While there are several strategies for choosing the best accounting firm; in the end, it's a personal decision. What works for one business may not meet your business or personal needs. As such, it's imperative you ask questions during your consultation.

While you may only need tax services today, does the Long Island accounting firm offer the services necessary to drive growth? Does the professional offer the accounting services to meet your needs tomorrow? 

Considering these scenarios today can pay great dividends tomorrow. Fortunately, John F. Dennehy CPA checks all the boxes. Best of all, we offer free consultations! 

Contact us today for a free consultation.

About the Author John F. Dennehy Jr., CPA, PC

We at John F. Dennehy CPA are a team of certified public accountants who service clients throughout Long Island. The services that we provide are comprehensive, and we can resolve multiple accounting needs for a client.

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