8 Questions to Ask A Professional Before Hiring Them

By January 25, 2016Blog

Ask a professional these questions to make sure you work with the right person for you!

You want to work with a professional that meshes with you and you with him/her. Ask a professional these questions so you can determine if you trust them or not.

For this reason, when you first meet with them in person or over the phone, you have the opportunity to get to know them with just a few simple questions.

You may think it’ll be awkward, but trust me it is worth getting through a little uncomfortable situation to make sure you are working with the right person.  Plus, think about what it is like firing someone you have worked with that you don’t really like. You’re saving yourself from that by getting it right the first time.

Don’t make it awkward, let it  flow smoothly! Keep reading to learn how.

Almost all professionals will have an introductory meeting/consultation to see what your situation is and try to understand your needs. In this first meeting, you’ll disclose information about yourself so the professional can in turn explain their expertise to solve a pain point you are facing. In our case, as an example, people hate overpaying taxes. You come in and explain your financial situation and we, in about 5 mins, explain how the IRS sucks and how you can keep more of your money.

Now, the professional extracts all this information from you so they can determine what services best would fit your situation. That is when you either say yes sounds good or I have to think about it, or even no. Well, throughout the conversation, don’t keep quiet, make sure you start asking questions. They can be asked throughout the entire meeting when the conversation feels right.

Finally, let’s get to the questions you’ve been dying to know. We’ll lay out the questions you can ask a professional and how we feel they should be answered.

For example purposes, i’ll answer the questions as if you were asking Incite Tax 

1. How many years have you been in the industry?

Incite Tax has been doing tax and accounting work for over 10 years now. The reason for this is simple. Experience. You know what they say, The one with the most grey hair is the wisest in all the land. Ok, that is not a saying at all, but the principle holds true. The more experience and different situations the professional has dealt with gives them leverage over a wide variety of client’s needs.

2. What level of professional education have you reached?

Incite Tax is a CPA firm. This is important because when professionals are dealing with your financials, you want to be aware that they are competent and have become certified in their industry to do the work. Plus knowing what level of certification they have can give them more authority in their industry.

3. What is the highest level of education you’ve completed?

Incite Tax accountants have masters degrees. It’s refreshing to know that the professional you are deciding to hire has certification in their schooling. Not that these questions are exclusively designed to ask a CPA, but in the instant you would hire a CPA, it’s good to know they have a degree. The reason for this is because in their situation it doesn’t take much to file taxes. What I mean by that is, if some Joe Shmoe wants to be a tax preparer, they only have to get a PTIN. The process of that is a simple background check and get fingerprinted to be able to file for people. That’s it! We don’t recommend having your uncle’s, best friend’s, Sister’s father-in-law just because they can file for you. There are many more components that need to be considered.

4. Do you have experience with businesses/situations like mine?

Incite has experience with a wide variety of businesses, people, and situations. We specialize in the small business owner looking to take it to the next level and grow more wealth all while decreasing more tax. If you were to ask this and the professional doesn’t have the experience, you can either move on or ask a few more probing questions to see if their expertise is still sufficient that they won’t stumble along the way with your circumstances. We have seen that those professionals that try and meet every one’s needs usually don’t give as much value whereas professionals who have a focused client they specialize in can provide the greatest financial benefits.

5. Whose responsibility is it to stay connected?

We love having regular communications with our clients. We have options for any types of meetings frequencies that best suite our client’s needs. You’ll want to avoid a professional that gets your business with his/her high sales performance and then that’s the last you really hear from him/her. Especially when it deals with your financial situation, you’ll want to work with someone who is proactive and comes to you. That’s what you hired them for, to take a lot if not all the stress off of your plate.

6. How can I expect to feel that I will be a priority for you?

Listen, at Incite Tax, when we are able to create value for you and your business, we are actually helping our company as well. You see, when we give great service and take care of your needs we are improving our firm as a by product. It’s a win win. When you ask this question, if the answer differs from this, I’d start looking somewhere else. Everyone wants to feel taken care of, and you deserve it.

7. Do you use the same products/services/strategies that you are recommending to me?

Of course we do, because they are rock solid and in the case of an accountant, save us thousands of dollars. It is kind of an interesting question. If you come to find out the professional is recommending you to use something they don’t, it would seem to be they don’t trust in the items they are selling. If they don’t use them, then you shouldn’t use them.

8. How long do you plan on being in this business?

Until we retire! We love what we do and we are very good at how we do it so we’ll be sticking around! If you were to ask this question and the professional wasn’t sure how long or if they knew it was only a 5-10 year career, they may not be fully invested in it. If that’s not the case, then they might not care to treat their client’s as well as someone who is in it for the long run.

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