How to Choose a CPA Firm to Provide Assurance Services
When it’s time to choose a firm to support you with an audit or the review of financial statements, consider these points before deciding.
- Qualifications. Is the CPA (or the firm) a specialist in audit work, or do they use audits to fill in the “slow times” between tax filing deadlines. Choose an auditor who only does audits.
- Communication & Trust. When you speak to the team leader, are you comfortable asking questions, voicing concerns, sharing details of your operations? When they explain things, are they able to use layman’s terms instead of accounting language? Choose a firm you know you’ll be able to communicate with — who can translate the complexities of accounting easily and accept information without judgment.
- Depth. How big is the audit team? Is it one experienced auditor with other people in the company who have free time, or is there a true audit team who work together all the time? If your project is large enough to require multiple people, choose a firm with a dedicated audit staff.
- Experience. How complex is your need? Is it a single audit with strict requirements? Is it a FAR audit that demands understanding of indirect cost calculations? Choose an audit firm with experience with exactly the audit requirements you have.
- Outside Knowledge. If the audit uncovers anomalies or indicates that specialized accounting knowledge is required, does the firm have access to that knowledge? Choose a full-service firm with experts in all aspects of accounting: audit, tax, compilation and bookkeeping.