You need to be a wise consumer when searching for a tax accountant. The vetting process should be thorough so that you don’t end up working with a poor tax preparer. Once you’ve gotten the right person, you can be assured that you won’t need to look for a tax accountant for years to come. Here are some tips that will come in handy if you’re searching for a reliable tax accountant that you can trust.

Ask For Referrals

Instead of going on the internet first to look for an accountant, you should ask for recommendations from friends and family. Your loved ones are likely to know of an accountant you can trust and it will be almost impossible for them to recommend someone that will let you down. You still want to do your due diligence on the accountants even if they’ve been recommended by someone you trust.

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Verify Credentials

There are several accountants that specialize in taxes but not all tax accountants are CPAs. There are strict rules when it comes to education, experience and licensing which will differentiate CPAs from other tax preparers. A CPA must also seek continuous learning and education in order to stay on top of their game. It is important to make sure that the CPA is properly licensed. Most state boards will have an accounting website where you can go through the credentials of registered members.

Ask For Quotes

It is not a good idea to settle for the first accountant that you come across. You might miss out on a lot and one of the main considerations will be the price. The reason why you ask for quotes from multiple accountants is so that you can have a rough estimate on how much you’re supposed to pay. You should be concerned when an accountant is charging way below the market rate. There are also no guarantees about the quality of service if you choose to work with an accountant that charges high rates.

Interview Potential Accountants

Make it a point to meet with the shortlisted accountants. You want to establish if there is chemistry between you and the accountant. You can ask them if they have clients or have helped someone who was in a similar tax situation to yours. It is during the interview session where you get to ask the important questions. Find out how long the tax accountant has been in business and ask them how they can help with your situation.

Ask them How they Charge

There are accountants that will charge per hour while others will charge for the whole project. A good accountant shouldn’t find it challenging to explain the basis of the fee structure. They should also provide you with an estimate so that you can know how much you will be paying for the whole process.

Work Process

It is important to be aware of the work process. Since they’ll be helping with your taxes, you will want to know what to expect at every stage. Will the tax accountant be directly involved in the preparation of the returns or will they be outsourcing the work? Do they have an internal staff or do they outsource most of the work? The tax practitioner should be able to answer such questions.

Information Security

Tax and financial records are very sensitive pieces of information about a company. It can be disastrous if they land in the wrong hands. That is why you should look for an accountant that values and guarantees privacy. They should have a security system that is highly protected against any kind of breach.

Flexibility

A good accountant should be flexible enough to accommodate the schedule of the client. You should ask if the accountant can be available on short notice and what happens in case of an emergency situation.

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Red Flags

An accountant that claims they will prepare a tax return for a percentage of the refund should be a cause of concern. You should also move on to the next accountant if the person that you’re working with won’t provide an estimate. You might be charged a high rate after the work is done.

To sum it up, don’t hire a tax preparer who will promise you good results even before looking at what they’re dealing with. A good accountant will want to examine your books before making an assessment of what is not possible. You can check out Hillyer Riches Tax Accountants Caulfield if you’re looking for a reliable tax accounting firm.