Congrats, you’ve decided to start a business! Welcome to the world of entrepreneurship. Chances are, if you’re in the planning stages for your business, you may be looking for a tax professional to help you make sure your business is in good financial order. Or maybe you’re a seasoned business owner who’s been taking care of your own books, but your business has grown and you know you need to outsource to make sure that your business is on the right track. Either way, it’s important to find a good tax professional who will step in and make the right recommendations to keep your business growing. 

How to Find a Tax Professional for your Small Business

Finding any service provider is easier said than done, so the question is…how to find a tax professional for your small business? We’re sharing some of our best tips below. 

Make sure they’re a professional. 

There are two common certifications for tax professionals – a CPA or an EA. CPA is short for a Certified Public Accountant and an EA is short for an Enrolled Agent. These are two of the only types of  qualifying licensing in this field, but you want to make sure that your business is in the care of a professional who knows what they’re doing. Both designations require the individual to pass an exam to gain this title, and they are required to periodically renew their certification. This means that they’ll know the latest information on tax preparation and will be able to advise you accordingly. This is definitely not somewhere to skimp! There’s a directory available at the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).

Don’t just Google it. 

Shop around, and get recommendations from other business owners you trust. Ask your bookkeeper (here at Symmetrical Solutions, we have some great CPA recommendations and we’re happy to share)! Use the network you have and reach out to your connections. If you don’t have a network, consider joining your local Chamber of Commerce and attend events to make some. If you’re searching on Google, chances are that you’re going to see a lot of ads and online directories – but these may or may not have quality candidates. 

Ask important questions before hiring. 

Make a list of things you want to know before you interview any potential service provider. Some ideas of things you may want to ask include:

-What services do you offer? 
-How much should I expect to pay, and how will I be billed for services?
-How many small businesses have you worked with in the past? 
-Do you have any experience in my specific industry, and how can you help me grow my business? 
-Who will I be working with, and how will I communicate information to them? 

Evaluate the firm you’re considering. 

Before you hire your tax professional, ask them for references from their current clients. Look online to see if they have a history of negative reviews. This type of business relationship is one that you will want to last for a long time. Your tax professional should be a trusted advisor who can help steer your business to growth over a long period of time. If your gut says it’s not the right fit, keep looking! 

Your business (and you) deserve the best! We hope these tips will help you learn how to find a tax professional for your small business and we hope that you’ll contact us with any questions. We’d love to be on your team and set your business up for financial success!