Evaluating CPAs as a Startup: What to Look for in Your Accountant

Evaluating CPAs as a Startup: What to Look for in Your Accountant

Choose your startup's CPA wisely, it's crucial. The right CPA streamlines finances, boosts profits, and lets you focus on building success.

By Austen Legler ・ 2 min read
Startups and Business Growth

Starting a business is a thrilling and rewarding experience, but navigating the financial complexities can be overwhelming, especially when it comes to balancing the books and preparing taxes. That’s why every startup needs a reliable CPA to ensure financial stability and compliance. However, finding the right CPA can be challenging, particularly when every practitioner claims to be the best. So, how can you evaluate CPAs as a startup and choose the right one for your business? In this blog post, we’ll explore the key factors to consider when selecting a CPA for your startup.

Industry Experience

The first thing to look for when evaluating a CPA is their industry experience. Every industry has its unique financial challenges, regulations, and opportunities, and a CPA who has worked with startups in your industry will better understand your needs and be able to provide tailored solutions and guidance. They will know the common pitfalls and best practices of your industry and be able to prepare financial statements and reports that comply with the relevant laws and standards. So, when interviewing CPAs, ask about their experience in your industry and the types of clients they have served.

Credentials and Specializations

Another critical factor to consider is the CPA’s credentials and specializations. Not all accountants are certified public accountants (CPAs), and not all CPAs have the same expertise and training. Look for a CPA who is licensed and in good standing with the state board of accountancy and has completed the required education, experience, and exam requirements. Additionally, consider a CPA who specializes in startup accounting, tax planning, and consulting. A CPA who is familiar with startup-specific tax breaks, deductions, and credits can help you save money and avoid penalties.

Communication Style and Availability

A CPA’s communication style and availability are also vital considerations. A good CPA should be a partner who listens to your goals, challenges, and questions and communicates in a clear, concise, and understandable manner. They should be accessible and responsive and willing to explain accounting principles and procedures in plain English. Additionally, they should be proactive and provide regular updates, advice, and recommendations that align with your business strategy and vision.

Fee Structure and Value Proposition

Finally, when evaluating CPAs, consider their fee structure and value proposition. Every CPA charges differently, and their fees may depend on factors such as the services offered, the complexity of your startup, and the CPA’s experience and reputation. However, the CPA’s fees should not be the only determining factor. Look for a CPA who offers a transparent and fair fee structure and delivers value that matches or exceeds the fee. A good CPA should help you save money, improve your financial performance, and provide peace of mind that your finances are accurate and up-to-date.

Choosing the right CPA for your startup can be an overwhelming process, but by considering the factors above, you can narrow down your options and find a trusted partner who will help you achieve your financial goals and grow your business. Remember to evaluate a CPA based on their industry experience, credentials and specializations, communication style and availability, and fee structure and value proposition. 

Don’t settle for the first CPA who comes your way; take your time and find the best fit for your startup. With the right CPA by your side, you can streamline your finances, increase your profits, and focus on what you do best: building a successful startup.

Need recommendations for a great CPA? We’ve got some amazing folks in our network! Reach out to us for referrals.

About the author

Austen Legler
Head of Partnerships

Austen Legler, an experienced marketer and sales professional, has worked with fortune 500 companies, startups, and more. As TaxTaker's Head of Partnerships, he leads the partnership strategy and is focused on building out TaxTaker's partner ecosystem.

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