What type of clients does your firm welcome
(e.g., individuals, businesses, trusts, estates)?
Find out if it's a general-practice accountant who accepts any client or if you want
someone who specializes in the small business genre.
How many “insert your industry” clients do you work with?
Determine if you prefer an accountant who is an expert in your specific industry.
What is your fee structure? [Hourly or fixed rate].
Does the accountant have a fee that varies from invoice to invoice, or will you know
upfront how much everything will cost?
How do you communicate with clients (e.g., email,
phone, text, web conference, on-site visit)?
Make sure the communications fit your individual preferences and time constraints.
What is your guaranteed response time (even during
Determine if they'll become unresponsive at a time when you need them the most.
Make sure it’s placed in writing.
What happens if you miss a deadline or do not respond
within the guaranteed time-frame?
Will they offer a refund or partial credit? Make sure it’s placed in writing.
What type of technology do you use in your firm?
Are you expected to drop-off, mail, email or upload documents/data? Ask to see a
copy of their tax organizer.
What are your security protocols?
Determine if they allow confidential tax information to be shared via email, fax or a
Get to know the operations
Summarize all the Q&A in an email and send it to the accountant.
Example: “Per our conversation, and based on the
answers you provided, I am interested in moving forward
with your services. See below.”