Toptal is one of the most popular freelance networks in the world and connects top talent with top organizations. On average, it takes fewer than 48 hours to match an expert to your needs—compared with one to four months, which is typical for many other virtual platforms. Whether you're filing business taxes or have a tax liability that needs sorting out, using Toptal means you have access to an exclusive network of top talent. Toptal pre-screens world-class candidates for you, with on-demand freelance accountants that are rigorously tested and vetted. Toptal also offers a no-risk trial that lets you work with talent before you pay to confirm they’re the right fit.
Guide to Hiring Freelance Certified Public Accountants (CPAs)
Hiring a CPA can streamline your financial success. Learn about how to hire a CPA, how to assess qualifications and specialties to find the perfect fit for your needs in our comprehensive guide.
If your financial portfolio is complicated, doing your own taxes could result in making mistakes or missing out on potential write-offs that could save you money. It also takes a tremendous amount of time. According to a report by the National Small Business Association, one in three small businesses in the US spends more than 40 hours each year on federal taxes. A certified public accountant knows how to prepare your taxes quickly and accurately, so you don’t have to worry about making mistakes. A CPA handles a wide variety of financial responsibilities for small businesses, corporations, individuals, governments, and nonprofit organizations. If you are wondering when to hire a CPA, know that some of a CPA’s responsibilities include the following:
Taxes and tax returns
As you prepare to start hiring a CPA, follow this helpful guide and take a look at 15 sites that can help you find a qualified candidate that meets your needs.
What Do CPAs Do?
If you’re wondering whether to hire CPAs or accountants, here are some of the main things that differentiate CPAs:
CPAs must pass rigorous licensing and testing requirements for the state in which they practice. There is also rigorous testing for CPAs that goes beyond accountants' education requirements.
CPAs can prepare tax returns. Some accountants with CPA certification can also do this, but CPAs typically receive more education regarding tax codes. They are also eligible to represent a client if the IRS requests an audit. A non-CPA accountant cannot represent a client in this situation.
CPAs are often required to perform financial statement audits or reviews for businesses. Non-CPA accountants are not considered fiduciaries for their clients.
The CPA certification is primarily a US designation, although some countries have mutual recognition agreements that allow CPAs to practice outside the US and accountants with similar qualifications to practice in the US. In other English-speaking countries, a person with the equivalent skills and experience to a CPA is often called a chartered accountant.
This article focuses specifically on CPAs, although depending on your needs, you might be able to work with an accountant that does not hold a CPA certification. In that case, be sure to confirm the person you intend to hire is qualified and permitted to do the work you need them to do.
CPAs are in high demand right now and may be hard to hire full time. It is especially hard to hire one right before and during tax season. Hiring freelance CPAs for individual projects as they arise may be more cost-effective than hiring a full-time CPA.
Should I Hire a Freelance CPA?
You can hire a CPA full time, part time, or on an hourly basis. A full-time CPA is employed for at least 30 hours per week. A part-time CPA works fewer than 30 hours per week. Hiring a freelance or remote CPA who is available to work on demand provides extra flexibility; depending on your company, it can be a great fit.
Skills To Look For in a CPA
There are some skills you should always look for when your hire CPAs:
Financial records and statements
Financial planning and reporting
Salary Guide: How Much Does It Cost To Hire a CPA?
Some CPAs charge by the hour, while others charge by the project. When it comes to filing tax returns, there’s a broad hourly range. Some freelancers may charge as low as $100 per hour, while others may charge as much as $300 per hour. In many cases, the cost to hire a cpa depends on the complexity of your tax returns.
You can expect to pay anywhere between $30 to $500 per hour for other business accounting needs. A CPA can (and typically does) charge more than an accountant due to the higher level of education, certification, and knowledge.
Where To Find Freelance CPAs for Hire
If you’re looking for a CPA, the above 15 sites are all great options. However, some are better for certain types of projects than others. For example, you may want to go with Fiverr or PeoplePerHour if you only have small-scale projects that you want a CPA to perform quickly for you. If you want to utilize a work platform service that specializes only in accountants and CPAs, try Accountingfly. If you want to quickly find a top performer to fit your needs—especially if you're looking for niche skills—Toptal is a great option. If you want the biggest bang for your buck, Betterteam gives you unlimited job listing opportunities for just one flat fee.
Before you hire a CPA online, consider the following:
It can be a challenge to find qualified CPAs to fit your specific needs. Use this list of top sites to help you recruit some of the top talent in the industry.