Finding out if my CPA is the right fit

5 Replies

Any advice on what types of questions to ask my accountant to determine if they're the right fit for my REI business? Just started investing late 2019, I own a couple of properties under a LLC, and asked him if I needed to do anything specific/different due to my status as a real estate investor / property manager and his response was to 'just keep track of expenses.'

In fairness, it was a generic question so I should have expected a generic response..I've since read the Book on Tax Strategies, and I feel like there was some additional things that I could have been doing..not necessarily the CPA's fault for not knowing/offering the same info to me, but I can't afford to leave any money on the table here.

The only reason I'm asking the hivemind is I want to tread lightly because I respect this guy; he reached out to me and gave me an hour of his time when my wife passed to help me get stuff straightened out..but I also want to feel confident that he's going to be giving me recommendations tailored to my situation.

I was just thinking of asking if he knew about self-directed IRAs as a kind of litmus test..anybody else have any non-confrontational questions that I could use to see if I should still use him?

Hi @Ryan Braman ! I judge a CPA by the clientele that they serve. There are many excellent accountants out there who just happen to know very little about real estate investors and our particular needs. Not their fault, but I don't want them learning on my dime.

You are 100% correct: This is business. If this CPA isn't a good match, staying put is bad for you and also ultimately for them.

So, here's the Question I'd ask: "How many of your clients are buy-and-hold investors like me, and can you introduce me to a few of them so I can better understand how I should be growing my business?"

If none of your CPA's existing clients do what you do, it's time to find a new one!

You want a service provider with a substantial base of thriving investor clients, and with some who are far ahead of where you currently are. If you are their most sophisticated real estate investor client, they can't help you become any smarter.

Your accountant can't help you get somewhere they themselves have never been.

Originally posted by @Ryan Braman :

"Your accountant can't help you get somewhere they themselves have never been."  That's gold..thanks @Mitch Messer

It sounds catchy but is incorrect. 

Bill Belichick has never played professionally, yet coached his teams to multiple trophies. Countless other coaches did, too.