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How many years have you been an accountant?
Select an individual who is competent, experienced and qualified.
What active licenses do you hold?
Determine if the individual is held accountable by a licensing board.
Accountant Experience
Did you earn a QBO ProAdvisor Advanced Certification?
Confirm their level of certification at
Are you a member of any professional organizations?
Determine if the accountant is committed to expanding their knowledge and expertise.
Do you have any accolades that you’d like to share?
Learn more about the accountant's achievements and public recognition.
Get to know the person
Firm Experience
Get to know the firm
Are you insured?
Request a copy of the Declarations Page from their insurance policy.
How many clients do you service?
Determine if you want an accountant with hundreds of clients or a limited number.
How many staff members are in your firm?
Calculate the employee-to-client ratio to see the level of personal attention.
Who will be working on my file at each stage?
Learn if it’s an accountant, secretary, or a 1099 contractor.
What type of services do you offer?
Discover any limitations now. Do you simply want a tax return prepared or access to
a full suite of services for enhanced advisement opportunities?
Do you send work overseas?
Determine if any part of your file, or future projects, will be sent to workers in foreign
countries for cheaper labor. Are you comfortable with that scenario?
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
tax season)?
Determine if they'll become unresponsive at a time when you need them the most.
Make sure it’s placed in writing.
Customer Experience
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
secure portal.
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.”