Choosing a Certified Public Accountant is vital in assuring your financial health. While choosing one based on price may seem like a prudent decision, you may end up getting less than you bargained for. This is a case where that old adage of, “you get what you pay for” has more meaning. It's been true since the beginning of time it never has never changed it never will change you will always get what you pay for.
As you know and I've been a very outspoken proponent of CPAs and protecting our CPA brand and some of the prior podcasts. We've covered Why You Should Hire a CPA and How to Hire a CPA, but today I'm going to talk about price and why you shouldn't make the decision of a financial advisor of any kind based upon price alone. Don't get me wrong, the price is important. You don't want to overpay but you also should not make that the central focus of your decision. I can tell you that there are a lot of options out there for tax preparation and even tax planning and consulting. There are hundreds of options here in here in Pinellas County alone not to mention Tampa Bay Area. Many people are unlicensed, unregulated preparers who are simply producing tax returns based solely on the information you hand them. There's very little planning. There's very little consultation if any. And then you have other semi-licensed preparers who may have some kind of advanced education or professional licensing of some kind but again I would question the training and I would question the experience that they have.
On the other hand, Certified Public Accountants are highly regulated, highly trained, and highly educated. You can rest assured that anyone who has passed the CPA exam has definitely put in their fair share of time learning and struggling to get ready for that. The exam to get that C.P.A. designation it's one of the hardest if not the hardest professional licenses to attain.
We all have to file taxes so that means there are many options to file those taxes. Now and again you may have seen someone spinning a sign on a street corner near you. Their signs often promote “Free Tax Consultation.” If you follow one of these signs and go to the place where you cash your checks to get your taxes done and it's free, well you can pretty much be assured you're going to get what you pay for as these large financial service companies start to try to pull more and more professional services under their roof. I would recommend you take a serious look at that and really ask yourself if they're qualified to deliver that service.
One thing I can tell you right now is that a CPA is more than qualified to deliver that service and we'll have insights into the things that are important to you that are going to affect your family and your business and your livelihood. CPA pricing can vary, so I encourage you to not make the decision based on price alone. If you’re price shopping and don't care who provides the service you just want the lowest the lowest bidder then I would I wish you the best of luck. But I can warn you that you're probably not going to get a good outcome. Again, a CPA is a trusted partner that has the education, experience and the oversight to ensure that we're going to deliver high-quality service, above board, and get you the answers that you need.