Is your CPA asking you the right questions?

Is your CPA asking you the right questions_ Shannon & Associates Kent WA

You might be thinking there’s a mistake in that title. After all, aren’t YOU supposed to be the one asking questions of your CPA and not the other way around?

In truth, if you’ve hired a CPA listen carefully to what your CPA is asking you when you meet, you will find out surprisingly more about who they are and what their priorities are for you and your business.

For example, your CPA shouldn’t need to ask you about the “numbers” of your business. After all, that’s what you’re paying them for. The questions your CPA asks to get the pulse of your business should be more personal about your business as a whole. They should be asking questions that give them an idea of what your goals and objectives are to make sure they’re helping you in meeting them.

In this article, we will guide you through some of the questions you should listen for the next time you meet with your CPA.

1.   How is business?

Don’t take this as a simple pleasantry and reply with a simple, “Fine, thanks.” This is actually a good starting point to have an honest conversation with your CPA about how your business is really doing and what they can do to help you improve. This could also lead to other topics that show your CPA wants to genuinely know more about how your company is doing.

2.   What challenges are you facing in your business?

Every business faces difficulties along the way, but you shouldn’t have to do it alone. A CPA who cares about you and your business’ success will want to know what challenges you face. Once they know what’s at play, they can offer you new ideas and solutions that you may not have thought of before. The bottom line is that your CPA should be focused on ways to help your business grow.

3.   What are your short-term and long-term goals?

All too often, business owners are so focused on what’s happening right in front of them that they forget about projecting goals for their future. A CPA should be one of the people who focus you on these goals.

This question leads you to some self-reflection about your objectives while allowing your CPA to strategize with you to make those objectives a reality. Without knowing the specific direction you want to take, your CPA can’t help you with strategy and planning.

4.   Do you have any local, state or federal regulatory/ compliance concerns?

Your business doesn’t exist in a vacuum. No matter what industry you’re in, there are always laws and regulations that are part of doing business. However, fear of non-compliance should not be part of doing business.

A quality CPA will make sure you are in compliance with all of your local, state and federal regulations. Not only that, but they will make sure they are up to date on the ever-changing tax laws that will impact your business.

5.   Are you up to date on tax law changes?

Changes in tax law come quickly and frequently, and it can be difficult to know what tax changes apply to you and your business. A vital job responsibility of a CPA is to know these changes thoroughly and know exactly what they mean to you and your business.

They will know what software needs to be updated and what changes in practice need to be implemented to make sure you are squared away. Additionally, they will also make sure you are keeping the kinds of records and documentation you need to be in order to make tax season a snap.

6.   What type of services are you looking for?

A CPA can offer a wide variety of services that can help your business and take some things off your plate. From tax and auditing services to helping manage your business’ daily operations like strategic and financial planning, your CPA should be a true partner with you as much as you want or need them to be.

When you’re looking for a CPA, you want to make sure that you have one who is not only physically present but thoroughly engaged in your business and their role in it. Through the questions they ask you in your next meeting, you should be able to gauge how committed they are seeing that your business succeeds and you meet your specific goals.

Partners you can count on

Partnering with a firm like Shannon & Associates, LLP means you will always have someone to assist you with every aspect of your business’ financial plan. For over 60 years, Shannon & Associates has worked with companies in the Seattle-Tacoma and Puget Sound areas to reach what they have been working hard to achieve.

If you are looking for a true partnership, contact us today to discuss how our services can help take your business to the next level.

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