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What to Look for When Hiring a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) for Your Construction Business

What to Look for When Hiring a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) for Your Construction Business

Construction & Real Estate

If you need to hire an outside Certified Public Accountant (CPA) for your construction business, you’re most likely wondering how to choose the best firm for the job. Finding a quality CPA can sometimes be time consuming, even for those who’ve been through the process before. The good news is that working with a good CPA firm can help your construction businesses grow and become more profitable.

As you’re searching for your new CPA firm, here are a few must-have qualities you should be looking for in a firm.

1. Experience in the Construction Industry

Specific industry expertise is important when hiring a CPA for your construction business. Think about hiring a new project manager (PM) for a multi-million dollar retail construction project. Would you rather hire someone with a ten-year career in project management of similar-sized retail projects or someone with ten years of experience in general construction project management? Both could probably get the job done, but the PM with more specialized experience is much more likely to know the tricks of trade and save time and money by bypassing avoidable mistakes.

The same goes for CPAs. CPAs who specialize in working with contractors like you know the accounting speedbumps to watch out for, tax credits you should be taking advantage of and more. They can also offer advice outside of just typical accounting and tax topics because they have a history of working with other contractors like you.

2. Strong Communication

Construction businesses often work with CPA firms who tend to show up right before your yearly tax returns are due and disappear once the returns are filed. Contractors often start working with these “just alright” CPAs because they are cheaper than a firm with more experience. However, this effort to save money often backfires when a more experienced CPA takes a look the contractor’s books and asks why that contractor didn’t take advantage of a new tax credit last year or reveals that the contractor has lost money due to errors made on a tax return.

A quality CPA has conversations with you about your business throughout the year and will cover topics like:

  • What your business does and the type of clients you serve
  • The goals for the business (both short- and long-term)
  • How the business can be more profitable
  • When you plan to retire or sell the business

3. Proactive

Being proactive is a must-have quality of any good CPA firm. Proactive CPAs reach out to you long before tax-time to start developing tax strategies for the coming year (and maybe even the next several years). A proactive CPA is hands-on and doesn’t depend on you to initiate important conversations.

4. History of Success

Word of mouth is powerful for a reason. If you’re considering a CPA firm that is well respected by local industry trade groups and other contractors like you, there’s a good chance they are quality firm. On the flipside, if a certain CPA has a reputation in your professional circles of providing not-so-good service, there might just be some truth to what you’re hearing.

Need Help?

At Gross Mendelsohn, we’ve been providing exceptional service to contractors since 1960. If you need help or would like to talk about how we can help your business grow, contact us here or call 800.899.4623 for help.

2019 Maryland Construction Industry Survey Executive Summary

Published on April 22, 2019