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How to Choose a CPA | Wilmington NC

Wilmington NC CPA firm

Gary Bode, CPA: if you're interested in hiring a CPA, please look around our website and call 399-2705 for a free phone consult.

How do you choose a CPA? Well, here are some suggestions:

  • Do you even need a CPA? For business taxes, perhaps yes. For personal taxes? Maybe not. Most folks can handle a basic Form 1040 with tax software, augmented by a little research. CPAs are valuable on Form 1040 when your situation is more complex, like having rental property, owning a business that requires Schedule C, utilizing an adoption credit etc. The baseline for Form1040 tax preparation? Try TurboTax online. They allow some free exploration. If you become uncomfortable, punt.
  • Check to see if the CPA has experience in your particular area of need. Accounting and taxes are now so complex no one practitioner can know it all. I’ve found most CPAs look for a good fit with a client. For example, I don’t perform Audits. But I do prepare Percentage of Completion and Completed Contract basis tax returns, which some CPAs don’t.
  • Convenience. A virtual office makes logistics easier for clients, even if your CPA is just across the street.
  • Talk to the CPA. Most of us offer a free introductory chat.
  • Look at their website. Most CPAs use canned sites that don’t reflect the underlying firm. But ours has hundreds of postings, allowing you a chance to gauge what we do and our attitude.
  • Look at the State’s records for the CPA. For example, I’m licensed in NC. You can Google the NC Board and check me out.
  • Non-judgmental attitude. Some clients are embarrassed by un-filed taxes, back taxes, IRS tax liens etc. I think CPAs are good at reducing the emotional burden of taxpayers in these cases. We try to be non-judgmental.
  • Cost: tax work is unique for each client. Especially in the first year of preparation, many variables exist. So you can’t just ask what the CPA firm charges to prepare an S Corporation’s 1120-S. There are $325 Form 1120-S returns and $3000 Form 1120-S returns. What we do sometimes, after looking at last year’s return, is offer an upper cap. This limits potential costs and lowers our risk of excessive work. Virtual offices sometimes allow cheaper pricing.
  • Proximity. Some clients like to meet in the CPA’s office. So, for them geographical location is important.
  • Customer service. I don’t see clients switching CPAs often. But when I do, the reasons are generally customer service related. The CPA is unresponsive and doesn’t return calls. Or, the work is delayed with no call to update the client on progress.

We’re Wilmington NC CPA firm offering a virtual for long distance clients. We’re not the perfect fit for everyone. We do offer a free initial phone consult to help you decide. Just call (910) 399-2705.