Meeting with an accountant for the first time can leave you feeling a bit tense. People don't always like having conversations about the state of their personal or business finances. However, CPA services can make a major difference in your finances. If you're getting ready to meet with an accountant, you can prepare by doing the following 6 things.
Outline Your Situation
Write an outline of your current situation. If you're discussing personal accounting needs, tell the CPA what your living situation is. Outline your current resources in terms of employment income and other sources of money. Itemize your outstanding obligations, such as mortgages, vehicle loans, taxes, and credit card bills.
Someone running a business can do something similar. They should provide information about the company, including its name and age. Likewise, they should provide some sense of what the company has in terms of cash flows.
In the accountant services world, documentation reigns. Whatever current paperwork you have attesting to your accounting, make copies and bring it along. If necessary, use large folders or boxes to help the accountant catch up with your situation. You don't have to go overboard, but at least a couple of years' worth of taxes can shed lots of light on your accounting and finances.
If you have any questions, write a list. This will also be your checklist for the meeting. Go through the list and make sure during the meeting that you've covered all of your questions and that the account has provided satisfactory answers.
Your prepared questions can also help you to set an agenda. If you have questions about tax benefits, for example, this is a good time to have that conversation.
You should also research the accountant services practice. Most states have online databases of everyone who offers CPA services in their jurisdictions. Find out where the accountant went to school. Look up their awards. Ask for references from some of the accountant's previous clients. Talk to business owners and residents of the area to learn what the accountant's reputation is.
Before you even arrange a meeting, contact the CPA services office and find out about their fees. If a particular practice is out of your price range, it's better to find out before you've invested too much effort.
Set your expectations for the meeting. Be realistic. If you're trying to organize the accounting at a business that has had issues, for example, don't expect overnight results. Know what to expect from the process.
To learn more, contact a CPA service in your area such as Colasanti & Iurato.