5 Things to Look for When Hiring a CPA for Your Nonprofit Organization in San Francisco

By July 26, 2018 Blog No Comments
what to look for in a CPA for nonprofit

Are you seeking to hire a CPA for your nonprofit organization in San Francisco?

As part of a nonprofit, a CPA plays an important role in your operations and financial reporting. CPAs can also help make the difference between doing things the right way or making costly errors.

According to GuideStar, nonprofits report errors at a 60 percent higher rate than publicly traded companies.

How can you ensure that you’re picking the best CPA for your nonprofit?

Read on to learn 5 things to look for when hiring a CPA for nonprofit organizations.

1. Nonprofit Experience

It’s best to look for a CPA that has experience working with nonprofit organizations.

This point is important because nonprofits are unique compared to a corporation. Thus, they’re governed differently. For example, if a CPA has worked for an auditing firm for nonprofit organizations, they should be familiar with how to prepare taxes, audit procedures, and financial statements.

If the CPA you’re considering doesn’t have experience with nonprofits, you risk relying on someone who may not be aware of the latest developments in the law in that area and the costly potential mistakes that could entail. Work with a CPA that not only offers expertise to support your mission, but also the experience that comes from working with a variety of non-profits.

2. Attention To Detail

Your CPA should be someone who has a strong attention to detail. After all, you want the financial statements and other information you report to be accurate.

A CPA that pays close attention to the finest details can help your nonprofit to stay on top of its finances and ensure what is being reported is correct.

This attention to detail can also be the difference between meeting your filing deadlines or missing them and being subjected to fines or other penalties that can negatively impact your ability to fulfill your mission.

3. Strong Communication Skills

A nonprofit CPA should possess strong communication skills between themselves and the members of your organization.

That means a prospective CPA should be able to communicate important information or complicated concepts in a way that is easy to understand for the members of your organization.

This aspect is an important part of the relationship between your non-profit and the CPA. That is because you want to ensure you understand what your CPA is doing and the why behind those actions. After all, ultimately you’re responsible for the financial well-being of your non-profit.

4. Open Availability

A high-quality CPA should be able to make themselves available for you when needed.

For example, if you need to speak with your CPA at their office, are they available over the phone to talk or to meet in person?

When you’re gathering information for important audits or other filings, you’ll want a CPA who is around to help answer questions that arise during that process. Therefore, if it is hard to get a hold of them to discuss their services, they might not have the time to care for your needs, especially during the busy times for your organization.

5. An Honest Track Record

The ideal CPA will also have an honest track record that is free of any punishment in the industry or other reprimands.

It’s important to remember that your CPA will be helping to prepare documents that you’ll be signing off on in reliance upon their accuracy.

Your nonprofit needs a CPA who it can trust with confidential information and take lawful actions as a representative on your behalf. Again, your name is on everything and you want to be sure that they are doing their best work for your organization.

Wrapping Up: Find The Best CPA For Nonprofit Organizations

Finding the best CPA for nonprofit organizations can be a time-consuming process.

Taking the time to research a prospective CPA and his or her firm can help you have peace of mind that you’re making the right decision in hiring them.

At James P. Richardson, CPA, Inc., we ‘re an experienced group of CPAs and professionals with extensive nonprofit experience. Our firm’s driving characteristic is the service we provide to our clients in the Bay Area.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your nonprofit organization with all its accounting needs.

James P. Richardson, CPA, Inc. is an accountancy firm founded in 1978 that specializes in working with non-profit organizations. No matter what stage your non-profit is in, we understand your needs and serve them. Whether your business is for-profit or non-profit, we make sure it is run efficiently, guided by best practices. Our firm brings a worldview of contribution, determination, and hard work to all client engagements.