Just as clients do their research into which law firm they choose to represent their interests, firms should put in similar effort in choosing which accountant will handle their financial matters. Law firms cannot afford to lose time and money on an accountant that is inefficient or produces sloppy and unsatisfactory work. Also, to get the best value and advice from your accounting firm, they should have consulting expertise in partner compensation systems, partner profitability improvement, partner withdrawal and exit strategies, budgeting and forecasting, and other areas of expertise. Before deciding on any singular accountant or law firm accounting service, conducting interviews with potential CPA firms is a worthwhile step, this way one can get a good sense of whether the firm CPA firm is suitable to serve your law firm.
All accounting firms that are interviewed by a law firm’s partners should be able to provide reverences readily, their reluctance to do so is an immediate indication of either their tainted past or their inexperience. Although law firm accounting is a specialized field, there will be those who might present themselves falsely, and who might not have the sufficient know how that is necessary for such a nuanced field of accounting. This is why references should always be looked into, and credentials, experience and expertise should be double checked according to the issuing agency.
In addition to checking on credentials, a law firm should ask pertinent and accurate questions directly related to the services they would be providing; the amount of time they take to complete their work should give a good indication of how comfortable they are with identifying and providing solutions to the problem. In addition, if the candidate represents a larger law firm accounting service, it is important to establish who would be doing the work with their account; for example, will it be a senior accountant, or a new hire, and if so what can they expect in the way of quality control. If all of the mentioned areas are covered throughout the interview process, a law firm will be able to find an invaluable asset to their team.
This article was written by Roosevelt Brangers on behalf of RBZ, we are one of the largest Los Angeles based public accounting firms serving businesses and individuals in the areas of tax, assurance, accounting and business management since 1975. To know the federal income tax brackets and marginal rates visit Forbes.com