Our Blog

6 Skills You Should Look for When Hiring a CPA

two professionals looking at tablet

When it comes to managing your company’s finances and ensuring that your business runs smoothly, hiring a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is a crucial decision. 

CPAs can offer invaluable insights, help you navigate complex tax regulations, and provide financial guidance. However, not all CPAs are created equal. To make an informed choice, you need to understand what skills you should look for when hiring a CPA. 

Here are 6 essential skills that a top-notch CPA should possess:

1. Technical Proficiency

CPAs with strong technical proficiency have a deep understanding of accounting principles, tax laws, and financial regulations. An effective CPA should be able to create accurate financial statements, reconcile accounts, and perform various financial analyses. They should also keep up with evolving tax codes and financial standards to ensure your business remains compliant and takes advantage of any potential tax benefits.

A skilled CPA should also be proficient in using financial software and technology. In today’s digital age, it’s vital that your CPA is adept at leveraging accounting software, spreadsheets, and other financial tools to streamline processes and enhance efficiency. 

2. Analytical Skills

CPAs need to interpret complex financial data and distill it into meaningful insights. To do this, they must possess strong analytical skills. A top CPA can identify trends, spot irregularities, and make recommendations based on financial analysis. Whether it’s assessing the financial health of your business or providing tax planning advice, their analytical skills play a pivotal role.

The ability to think critically and solve problems is also crucial. Your CPA should have the ability to address financial challenges and devise strategies to optimize your financial performance. Look for a CPA who can not only crunch numbers but also translate them into actionable strategies for your business.

3. Communication Skills

A CPA’s role involves more than just number-crunching; they need to be able to communicate their findings and recommendations clearly and effectively. This skill is especially important when dealing with clients who may not have a strong background in finance. A great CPA should be able to translate complex financial information into simple terms, making it easier for clients to understand and make informed decisions.

Communication is also vital when working with government agencies, auditors, or other financial professionals. Your CPA should be able to represent your interests and communicate on your behalf. 

4. Attention to Detail

In finance, a minor error or oversight can have significant consequences, from tax penalties to financial mismanagement. That is why you need a CPA with strong attention to detail. Your CPA should be meticulous in their work, ensuring that all financial records are accurate and complete.

A detail-oriented CPA will not only catch and rectify errors but also prevent them from happening in the first place. They will double-check calculations, review financial statements thoroughly, and ensure that every transaction is properly documented. 

5. Ethics and Integrity

Trust is a fundamental aspect of the relationship between a CPA and their client or employer. Financial information is sensitive and confidential, and you need to have confidence that your CPA is acting with the utmost ethics and integrity. A reputable CPA should adhere to a strict code of professional conduct and maintain the confidentiality of your financial data.

Look for a CPA who is committed to ethical behavior. They should be transparent and avoid conflicts of interest. This ensures that your financial interests are always the top priority and that you can rely on their advice and guidance.

6. Industry Knowledge

Every industry has its unique financial challenges and regulations. When hiring a CPA, it’s beneficial to find someone with knowledge and experience in your particular field. They should understand the financial intricacies of your industry, which can include specific tax incentives, deductions, or financial reporting requirements.

An industry-savvy CPA can offer insights that go beyond general accounting principles. They can help you navigate industry-specific challenges and make financial decisions that align with your business goals. This specialized knowledge can prove invaluable when it comes to maximizing your financial success.

Find a CPA with These Vital Skills

If you need to find a skilled CPA for your organization, contact the accounting and financial recruiting experts at Burchard & Associates. We’ve helped countless organizations find top-tier candidates for their open positions. Contact us to learn more.

Burchard & Associates provides a personal approach to accounting and tax recruitment for St. Louis and beyond. We are ready to listen to YOU.

Get in Touch