April 15 is fast approaching- and if you’ve decided that you want to hire an accountant to help you file your taxes, there are several things you’ll want to keep in mind. First, not all accountants are alike, so you’ll want to make sure their educational background, experience, and training aligns with your needs.
CPA vs. Accountant
As you start to evaluate potential candidates, you’ll want to remember that while all CPAs are accountants, not all accountants are CPAs. For example, whereas most accountants have completed at least a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as a BS in accounting, CPAs are professionals who have continued their education and earned a CPA license. Additionally, whereas CPAs need to be licensed to work as a certified public accountant, accountants do not need to pass a licensing exam to work within their field.
Ask the CPA if they specialize in any particular areas
If you need to go in for a medical procedure, you’ll want to see a professional that graduated from medical school and passed their state boards. However, you’ll also need to remember that not all doctors are created alike. For example, if you need an eye exam, you wouldn’t call an oral surgeon. Similarity, if you want to talk to someone about scar revision surgery, you’re not going to want to call a cardiologist.
CPAs also have the option in specializing in a variety of areas, including:
- International accounting
- Government accounting
- Nonprofit accounting
- Tax planning and preparation
- Estate planning
- Forensic accounting
- Personal financial planning
- Environmental accounting
Consequently, if you need help with a specific financial or accounting function, you’ll want to make sure the CPA you hire has experience in that area.
Verify their licensing information
Lastly, in that all Florida CPAs must be licensed by the state, be sure to ask the CPAs you’re speaking with to provide you with their license number. The state has an online portal that allows you to look CPAs up to verify their license status. It will also let you know whether they’ve had prior suspensions or disciplinary action, how long they’ve been licensed, and when their current licensing terms ends.
If you have questions about tax or estate planning, or you’re interested in learning more about how working with a CPA can help you file your 2022 taxes, we can help. Call the office of Hughes, Snell & Co., PA today to get started.