How to hire certified public accountants
Starting a new business, dealing with tricky tax laws, or looking for expert accounting advice? A certified public accountant (CPA) can help you prepare your taxes and represent you in front of the IRS in the event of an audit.
So how do you hire CPAs? What follows are some tips for finding top CPAs on Upwork.
How to shortlist CPA professionals
As you’re browsing available CPA consultants, it can be helpful to develop a shortlist of the contractors you may want to interview. You can screen profiles on criteria such as:
- Finance fit. You want a CPA who understands the intricacies of your financial needs.
- Project experience. Screen candidate profiles for specific skills and experience (e.g., setting up the tax structure of a tech start-up).
- Feedback Check reviews from past clients for glowing testimonials or red flags that can tell you what it’s like to work with a particular CPA.
How to write an effective CPA job post
With a clear picture of your ideal CPA in mind, it’s time to write that job post. Although you don’t need a full job description as you would when hiring an employee, aim to provide enough detail for a contractor to know if they’re the right fit for the project.
An effective CPA job post should include:
- Scope of work: From general accounting to IRS representation, list all the deliverables you’ll need.
- Project length: Your job post should indicate whether this is a smaller or larger project.
- Background: If you prefer experience with certain industries or finance laws, mention this here.
- Budget: Set a budget and note your preference for hourly rates vs. fixed-price contracts.
Ready to solicit the expert advice of a CPA? Log in and post your CPA job on Upwork today.
CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANTS FAQ
What is a certified public accountant?
CPAs must develop an intricate understanding of tax law and accounting practices in order to pass the rigorous Uniform CPA Exam. CPAs must also routinely take professional education courses to maintain their licenses.
Here’s a quick overview of the skills you should look for in CPA freelancers:
- Accounting and finance
- Tax preparation
- Accounting software such as QuickBooks
- Finance specializations (e.g., investment banking, acquisitions, mergers)
Why hire certified public accountants?
The trick to finding top CPAs is to identify your needs. Is this your first time preparing taxes for a new business and you want to make sure you do it right? Are you in the process of taking out a small-business loan and need the expert opinion of a CPA to determine if it fits your long-term business goals? The cost of your project will depend largely on your scope of work and the specific skills needed to bring your project to life.
How much does it cost to hire a certified public accountant?
Rates can vary due to many factors, including expertise and experience, location, and market conditions.
- An experienced CPA may command higher fees but also work faster, have more-specialized areas of expertise, and deliver higher-quality work.
- A contractor who is still in the process of building a client base may price their CPA services more competitively.
Which one is right for you will depend on the specifics of your project.