How to Hire a virtual CPA
Have you already come to the conclusion that hiring a virtual CPA is the best way forward for your company? If so, that’s great: you have woken up to an important business management strategy that will enable your company to take advantage of the convenience and efficiency of cloud computing and avoid spending the time and money required to hire and train an in-house accounting staff.
But one question remains. How do you hire the best virtual CPA for your needs, one who will help guide your company through succeeding stages of growth?
You will find the answer to that question below, where I outline how to evaluate prospective virtual accountants and proceed to finally hiring the right firm for you.
Get Prospective Virtual Accounting Providers on the Phone
Despite the fact that you will probably never have a face to face meeting with your virtual accountant, you will still want to get to know them before making the decision to hire and entrust them with important accounting and business advisory services. The best way to do this is to employ a long-established technology and simply call them on the telephone.
Of course communication will be smoother if you hire a U.S. based virtual accounting firm rather than one located overseas. Even though cloud computing technology will enable you to access your company’s financial information at any time of the day or night from anyplace you have access to the Internet, there will still be times when you will want to consult with your virtual CPA. At such times, language and time differences can be a real barrier to effective communication.
What I like to do is to schedule an initial online discovery meeting to get a handle on your company’s needs and expectations and then follow up by email with a written scope of work so that you can see the benefits I can offer for your business. Once you have made the decision to go ahead with my firm, we can schedule additional phone calls to iron out the details of the services that are the best fit for your business.
From that point on, our continued communication will be done through a combination of email, online meetings and telephone so that I can efficiently serve your needs going forward.
How To Evaluate a Virtual Accounting Firm
After talking to a prospective virtual CPA and getting to know and trust them, you should confirm that they follow certain established legal procedures. Your confidence in them, however well placed, must also be guaranteed by legal documents for your company’s protection. This demonstrates that your virtual CPA has the proper processes, procedures and internal controls in place to ensure the security of your financial data.
Following are the legal requirements you should confirm before hiring a virtual CPA:
- A non-disclosure agreement which officially prohibits them from sharing your financial data with a third party.
- An Engagement Letter which is a legal document that will hold your virtual accountant to delivering on the promised services
- Professional Liability insurance which protects you from theft or loss.
To sum up, when hiring a virtual CPA, it’s important to ensure you can easily contact and communicate with them, that they are capable of reliably delivering the services they promise and that you and your financial data have the proper legal protections. Taking the necessary steps to integrate virtual accounting in your business to increase your efficiency and reduce overhead is one of the best business decisions you can make. If you follow these guidelines and hire the right virtual accountant, you will notice an improvement in your company’s bottom line almost immediately.