A good CPA is like a four-leaf clover, hard to find and lucky to have.
Finding a CPA who's a good fit for you (finding 'the one'), may require some initial effort on your part to establish a genuine connection with them, but developing that partnership is vital. Not only will this relationship likely encourage your adviser to aim toward meeting and exceeding your current expectations, but that rapport will allow for future impromptu and more natural-feeling conversations that will enable the smooth and honest exchange of data.
It's critical that you always provide your CPA with detailed records because those facts provide us with the knowledge that is fundamental in becoming intimately acquainted with you, and your business, and to quickly spot discrepancies or erroneous reporting. Freely communicating this information also allows us to offer you insights that will aid in facilitating the growth and expansion of your current goals, as well as developing strategies for future success and reducing your tax liability.
Proactively planning, strategically structuring transactions and exhausting every possible tax credit and tax deduction available is the only way to (legally) reduce your tax liability.
At 'tax time', anyone can provide you a standard checklist to complete, or a list of documents to make available, but a CPA who is also your trusted partner and advocate won't use those records as their primary information source; rather, they will use that data as a tool to collect obscure details specific to you and your business. Gathering this additional information will uncover events you didn't think to tell us about, or issues you didn't know you had, and will allow a highly-skilled CPA to best minimize your tax liability and consider possible tax strategies for the future. Exploring these opportunities is best accomplished by asking a variety of questions. While these questions may seem unimportant or irrelevant, and can sometimes feel too personal or even irritating, a talented CPA knows what inquiries to make that will prompt continued dialogue and stimulate further communication.
Understanding is deeper than knowledge.
Anyone can know you, but not everyone will understand you.
Although you may think the scope of this relationship with your partner (CPA) is excessive or unnecessary because your
'books are clean', because your bookkeeping is 'easy' or complete, and you've already provided the essential documentation, the extent to which your CPA understands you, your goals and your business will determine the level of support that we can offer. Furthermore, in the event of a tax audit, providing us the details to reconcile your financial records can reduce the risk of a negative outcome. Since an exceptional CPA will be thorough, and you'll likely need to discuss delicate financial matters with us, finding a partner who is also your trusted advisor and advocate may be more difficult than finding a four-leaf clover; however, the benefits this relationship can provide make it critical for small business owners to put forth the effort in developing this genuine relationship built on honesty, trust and respect.