CPA Services in Costa Mesa
Given its close proximity to Los Angeles, the city of Costa Mesa offers several CPA firms which cater to a wide variety of clientele, including privately-owned businesses, public companies, and high-income families. Before you try combing through local listings, you can get started by asking friends, family, and colleagues which firms they recommend. In essence, use networking through trusted sources to gather a list of area CPA firms with a solid reputation and satisfied clients.
Tip #1: Eliminate firms which do not specialize in the services which you most require.
To further narrow the list of options, identify which services are of highest relevance to you or your business, then only consider firms which specialize in those services. For example, research firms with expertise in retirement planning, if this aspect is central to your long-term financial plans. This is a great quick elimination tactic which will save time early in the search; that is, time which is much better spent on more exhaustive research later on. This is most easily accomplished by visiting the firm’s website or making a call to the CPA firm’s main office.
Tip#2: Verify the firm’s credentials and track record.
By now, you may have received a promising CPA recommendation in Costa Mesa, but keep in mind, you still need to do your homework. Moreover, don’t assume that any in-depth research was already performed by the referring associate. First, verify the firm’s credentials as a federally-recognized tax preparer in accountancy or taxation. Then double-check their record with the Better Business Bureau, which should further exemplify their reputation. At this point in your search, you should have eliminated any firms with a history of questionable practices or inexperienced/unsupervised professionals.
Tip#3: Request a detailed run-down of the firm’s fee structure.
Fee structures may be very different from one firm to another. Fees are often based per hour and per service provided, but may also vary depending on the level of specialization involved. Make sure you receive a detailed list of fees, and prepare questions for the firm to clarify any unclear information. Once finished, you should have a thorough understanding of the firm’s fee schedule, ensuring that you will not encounter any surprises later.
Tip#4: Confirm seasonal or year-long availability.
Some firms are only open during tax season, or operate with a skeleton crew during slow months of the year. If you are a business owner or independent contractor, you will probably be in need of expert advice outside of the regular tax season. Consider your annual accounting requirements before you choose a firm who may not provide the same level of service throughout the entire year.
Tip#5: Inquire about the firm’s industry experience with businesses like yours.
If you are a small business owner, ideally you want to retain a CPA who is experienced and knowledgeable in your business’ industry, such as real estate or manufacturing. Additionally, the way your business is structured can make a difference – for example, if you are a sole proprietor, partnership, or LLC. Consider any and all factors specific to the very nature of your business and circumstances. Moreover, don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as you need – any truly professional CPA in Costa Mesa will understand the need for those questions, and courteously honor your request.
- Photo provided by: Guest blogging community
Wayne Hemrick is familiar with information about CPA tax services and the tips to finding the right CPA for you. Wayne refers to Holthouse Carlin and Van Trigt for information about taxes.