Do you want to use the services of a Chartered Professional Accountant for your business in Toronto? Do you think you need help managing your business bookkeeping, accounting, and tax matters? Do you think you need to free-up your time to refocus on the business essentials? If so, you need to hire a CPA for your business. Many Canadian corporations look forward to hiring the services of a CPA firm as they play a key role in diverse segments of the economy. CPAs offer a strong set of accounting and managerial skills that are required in today’s modern and complex business environment.
In Toronto, many businesses are facing tough competition and it’s advantages to hire the services of a CPA so that you can streamline all your accounting and tax documents. Your CPA will help you face tough market competition by enabling you to reduce the cost structure of your business. Your CPA will also help you analyze the financial dashboard where you can see the flow of critical financial figures and do a comparative analysis on some of the important account heads.
When you hire a CPA, you can rest assured that you’re hiring a professional with financial proficiency that will help your organization compete and succeed in a relevant industry. Here are some of the important questions or points that you should ask yourself or look for before you hire a CPA for your business.
1) What are my Business Requirements to Hire a CPA?
Before choosing a Chartered Professional Accountant for your business, it is advisable to do a “self-examination” of your business. Ask yourself about the financial situation of your business and the need for an accountant. Carefully enlist the accounting and tax matters that you want to hand over to your accountant e.g. preparing financials of your business, payroll services, corporate taxes, tax agency report for the GST/HST, etc. Have you assessed all your needs for hiring a CPA for your business? If so, you should be able to know what to appear in the engagement letter and you can track all important points of the engagement letter and review the process accordingly.
2) What Clients Does my Accountant Have?
You need to evaluate how and to whom your accountant is delivering his services? You should find an accountant who could understand your business tax-related issues. You should also know that a big accounting firm, with a good market reputation, will charge much higher fees. If your accountant specializes in your business activity, it will be a considerable added value.
3) How Much Does the Accountant Charge?
It is recommended that you contact several chartered accountants for your business. The fees of the one you retain must be reasonable and you can go along with such pricing in the long run. You also need to take into account the skills and specialization factors of your accountant and discuss whether hourly or flat rate billing would be an option that suits you. Don’t hesitate to ask questions to your accountant. Ask your accountant how pricing will justify the whole engagement? In any case, beware of the advertised pricing and if that is far below market pricing and the accountant has no references; this is abnormal and you may end up with the risk of disappointment.
4) Does my Accountant Have a Good Reputation?
Financial management is the backbone of any business and your CPA must have a good reputation. He would be responsible for all the financial and tax matters of your business, so you must be hiring a trustworthy accountant who can take you to a path of success. All the lights go green if you manage to cross-verify the credentials and certifications of your accountant from an outsider!
5) Do You Need to Meet Your Accounting Expert During the Engagement Process?
The issue of proximity is important; how often you would like to meet in person with your accountant during the engagement process, depends on the level of trust that you have built up over a period of time. On the contrary, do you prefer email exchanges, calls, and video conferences for better organization and flexibility? Depending on your preference, you will either choose a “traditional” or 100% virtual accountant for cloud accounting services.
6) Is Your CPA Interested in Implementing Technological Solutions for Accounting and Tax Services?
Is your CPA familiar with new technologies? Some accounting firms operate “the old-fashioned way”. Others provide you with access to accounting records remotely and you can review your financial documents 24/7. Ask your accounting expert what IT solutions they use so that you can get yourself familiarized with those tools and software applications.
7) How Often is my CPA Available for Business Tax Planning?
If you only contact your CPA at the end of the tax year, this question is of less importance. On the other hand, if your accountant plays a key role in the administrative, financial, legal, and tax matters of your business, he must be available and responsive to all your questions. You should ask your CPA about the upcoming changes in tax laws and discuss what impact those changes can bring to your business.
A CPA firm can offer flexible, scalable, bookkeeping solutions to businesses and corporations of every size. Growing your business and sustaining the success of your organization is likely your overall goal. To achieve this, business owners must make sure that they have a strong, reliable accounting function in place and that can only be done when you engage a professional CPA firm. To hire a CPA for your business is an important decision. With these points of attention, we hope to give you useful insights to find an accountant who suits you.
Sohail Afzal, CPA, CMA, MBA
Sohail Afzal, (CPA, CMA, MBA) is the founder & CEO of GTA Accounting Professional Corporation. He is a highly experienced Chartered Professional Accountant and businessman himself and understands the challenges that many businesses face when it comes to cash flow management. As an experienced business consultant & tax advisor, he is helping companies grow by providing the technical, financial, and contractual information necessary for strategic decision-making.