How to Find an Accountant

I started Orthopreneurs because of an accountant.
There I was, a recent ortho grad and a fellow co-resident, hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt, asked me how to find an accountant. I felt it was borderline criminal to allow a resident to get into that kind of debt yet not offer any of the most basic advice on how to be even remotely competent in business. It’s  classic example of the E-myth in action, but that’s for another post.
So, how does one find an accountant, and what’s the big deal anyway? Aren’t they all the same? But then again, aren’t all orthodontists the same? Ummm, no.
I have used single accountants who were not at all knowledgable on dentistry, single accountants who were dentist-based, groups that were dentist knowledgable and those who had no idea.
At the end of the day, all are “competent” but there are nuances to what we do and understanding these intricacies allow good CPAs to help us maximize deductions and pay  Uncle Sam as little as legally possible.
You certainly can get many good names by asking friends in person or online. But how do you figure out if they’re a good fit? Well, consider an interview where you ask them how they stand out from the rest. Then ask for references. But even then, you may not find someone who is a good match.
I had an amazing CPA who worked with a number of dentists but when I ultimately switched to a dentist-centric CPA firm, they redid his return and saved me $14,000. There IS something to a CPA who understands our profession.
It’s also important for your CPA to be a good match for your aggressiveness. Some docs want to stay way within the line and others put their toes right on the edges. Your CPA should be a good match for your level of aggressiveness. Note that no CPA will cross that line because it’s their license at risk as well as your freedom.
Bottom line: There are lots of choices and you can get names of CPAs from friends but ultimately, it’s on you to do your due diligence and figure out who is the best fit.
Wishing you all the best!!!
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