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uniquenewyork's avatar

What Questions Should I Ask My Accountant?

Asked by uniquenewyork (295points) January 14th, 2010

Trying to find a new accountant. What are some of the questions I should ask to determine whether they are a good match or not?

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6 Answers

marinelife's avatar

Well, what do you plan to use your accountant for? I would ask about their experience in that area.

mowens's avatar

Can you make me rich?

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Make sure that he/she is a CPA.

I am not one nor am I affiliated with one.

SherriS's avatar

The FIRST thing I’d ask is: what are your credentials? Are they covered by Circular 230 which means they are governed by the IRS. All Enrolled Agents, CPAs, Attorneys are under this circular and you can go to the irs website to check what this circular 230 contains.
IF they are not any of the above, then you need to ask them if they are ‘registered’. Currently only TWO States ( CA and OR) require their tax preparers to have a basic class, continuing education, a license, and a bond! This will change by the end of the year as ALL unenrolled preparers (which are the ones NOT covered by Circular 230) to display competency! This is such a BIG plus for not only the tax field, but for the public as you will now have a ‘guarantee’ that the person preparing your return knows what they are doing!
Back to the creditentials: not everyone needs a CPA. And I know CPAs who have NEVER prepared a tax return in their life! honest! And CPAs do not have to have any continuing education in the tax field. On the other hand, Enrolled Agents are the ONLY federally licensed tax professional and ALL their hours (except for 2) HAVE to be in the field of taxation! I’d find an EA first!
grEAt question!

SherriS's avatar

@Tropical_Willie: please see my answer as not everyone needs a CPA and many CPAs do NOT prepare tax returns. AND CPAs are licensed by their individual State!
Enrolled Agents are the ONLY federally licensed tax professional!
check them out at www.NAEA.ORG

Tropical_Willie's avatar

@SherriS understand what you are saying, but the original question was not, “I need a tax person, what should I ask him?
Yes I know CPA’s that I would not have me help do my taxes.

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