What to Look For in a St. Catharines CPA

Questions to Ask When Choosing a CPA

Before you set out to hire a St. Catharines CPA, it is a great move to spend some time determining what you require in an accountant. It may in fact be sufficient to hire a non-certified accountant if your needs are relatively simple and more at the financial statements and bookkeeping end of things. But if you are also looking for tax advice and preparation of tax returns, it’s advisable to retain a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA).

Also, if you have financial needs beyond tax advice and preparation, you should consider engaging the services of a firm that has professionals with a variety of skill sets. Keeping your business at one firm can greatly simplify things.

But then the question arises - how big of a firm is desirable? You may need a team – but not an army. Your preference also might be the kind of personalized service that a smaller firm can offer. Take time to understand the complexity of your needs and make sure the firm hired ticks off those boxes.

In addition to a CPA certification, look for an accountant or firm that already has expertise in your industry. Your accounting needs will be best served by a firm that also understands your geographical location. The Niagara Region, for example, has a unique business base of industry, education, agriculture, viticulture, and most famously, tourism. All of those areas require specialized knowledge on the part of a firm’s CPAs.

Especially in a smaller community, you can rely on word of mouth – ask around. Ask people with businesses of similar size or complexity what their experience has been with your prospective firm.

CPA Services Include Protecting Business Accountability

In the case of an audit, the firm you choose will provide a level of assurance or confidence in an organization’s reporting. The findings are of great value to the business and its stakeholders, as well as can also give clarity to your decisions going forward.

While an audit is intended to give assurance that a business’s financial statements are free of material errors, a review engagement has a lesser burden. It is intended only to ascertain that nothing material is wrong with the business’s financial statements and that they are believable or plausible.

Cyclical inspections are also part of necessary financial quality control and must be completed by a CPA independent of the business being specifically engaged. A firm like Jones & O’Connell LLP, undertakes these inspections in a wide area of southern Ontario, including the Niagara Region, Golden Horseshoe and Greater Toronto Area.

CPA Firms Offer a Range of Other Special Services

With a team of professionals, a CPA firm can offer an array of special services. These can include budgeting and forecasts; business valuation; and business purchase and sale. A bookkeeping specialist with a high certification with QuickBooks can assist with bookkeeping issues.

In the case of Jones & O’Connell LLP, their St. Catharines CPA firm’s services also include management advisory, including developing business and marketing strategy, and human resources consulting.