7 things to do when hiring an accounting firm to do your taxes

No one wants to do their taxes on their own; after all, we don’t necessarily blame them. 

Taxes can get not only complicated, depending on if you are an independent contractor, how many jobs, etc., but doing them can also be incredibly time consuming. You never know when you might not have the information needed and you want to ensure that you do them right or you might get into trouble. 

With tax season coming up, our advisors at Kurv Business wanted to give you some tips and tricks that we tell all of our clients, when tax season is upon us. Here’s our list of do’s when hiring an accounting firm. 

  1. Plan ahead. Don’t wait until the last minute to find a firm. Start your search early and know what you’re looking for. Take advantage of the time that you have before tax season deadlines come up and start your search early. Know what you are wanting out of your tax preparer, while also having all of your finances/paperwork in order for them. 
  2. Consider other factors, rather than just price when choosing. Pricing is important, however, you should consider a multitude of other things before you make your decision as many components factor into the company. Things to consider include…
    1. Require them to give you their pre-qualifications. Check the individual’s certificates, as well as degrees, to ensure that they are not only licensed, but do a thorough job. This will ensure that your taxes are not only done correctly, but legally. Use the IRS Directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers Frequently Asked Questions when choosing your preparer. 
    2. Ask the Better Business Bureau about the company you are thinking of going through. Check for license status and potential disciplinary actions against the firm.  
    3. Ensure that your tax preparer has an IRS preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN). This is the number that they use to file your tax return. It helps make certain that the firm or individual you choose to go with is legit. 
  3. Ask for references or if you’re able to speak to past clientele. Ensure that you are successful and that the preparer’s service benefited them, while also setting yourself up for success. We recommend asking for 3 to 5. Ask brokers and agents in your office who they would recommend. Ask questions along the lines of…
    1. How was your experience?
    2. What services did you use? 
    3. What was the process like? 
    4. Would you change anything about your experience?
    5. Would you recommend this individual/firm to others? Why or why not? 
  4. Read all of the fine print before you sign a contract.  Fine print generally details information that individuals do not want to call attention to, but that is essential for recipients to understand and know in regards to the legal contract being signed. Read the fine print carefully and ask questions if you do not understand. 
  5. Conduct an interview. Come with questions, as well as requests for certification, pricing and other information you think you might need to have before making your decision. We recommend writing questions down, as well as asking basic questions listed above. The answers will tell you what you need to know as well as if you should partner with the professionals. 
  6. Set expectations after reaching an agreement. Have an idea of what you want to get out of the interactions. Have questions prepared, as well as deadlines set to ensure the success of you both. 
  7. Keep track of your finances, and never neglect your own accounting duties. Monitoring your finances helps you keep track of progress, as well as predict how your tax season will turn out. It also helps your tax professional in aiding you to get the most accurate return or pay in, depending on how much you’ve made/spent this past year. 

Keep in mind that there are different types of tax preparers. They include…

  1. Enrolled Agents (EAs), who are individuals you want to partner with according to the IRS. Enrolled agents are professionals who have passed intense testing and background checks directed by the IRS. Testing involves three parts, and is extensive. Enrolled agents specialize in specific areas, depending on what you’re looking for. 
  2. Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) are professionals who have “passed the rigorous Uniform CPA Examination, and they’re licensed by the board of accountancy in the state where they work,” according to the Balance. They specialize in accounting, however, not all CPAs deal with tax issues. CPAs are able to speak for individuals when partnering with the IRS, in dealing with audits or collections. 
  3. Tax Attorneys are professionals who work exclusively in tax law, licensed by the state court and bar associations. Attorneys have degrees in law, specifically taxation.

With tax season coming up, the options are endless, yet can feel overwhelming. When you partner with the right firm, like Kurv Business, your tax season can feel like the opposite. After all, with Kurv Business, you’ll not only reach new heights financially, but in all aspects of your life.