October 23, 2012. Do San Francisco CPA firm reviews and ratings really matter? When it comes to getting your taxes filed, it’s important to trust the certified public accountant that is preparing them for you.  A San Francisco tax accountant will have access to sensitive information that you should otherwise safeguard, information like social security numbers, household income levels, your street address, and in many cases bank, routing and account numbers.  If this information was to get into the wrong hands you could easily become the victim of identity theft.

Safe Harbor CPAs - Reviews of a Top San Francisco CPA FirmIn recent years ranking systems and reviews on social media sites such as Yelp, Citysearch, and Google+ Local have been implemented so consumers can feel more secure in the firms they hire, but the question has been raised as to the validity of such rankings.  Finding an honest CPA to file taxes for you is important, but it might not be necessary to use a firm with high rankings. Similarly, review sites like Yelp, Google+ Local, or Citysearch allow consumers to review CPA firms – and those are very popular here in the Bay Area… but still, what good are reviews, rankings and ratings of San Francisco CPA firms?

First and foremost, reach out to us by email for a free consultation, and we can discuss our reviews, references, and recommendations as one of the top CPA firms in San Francisco.

Ask Your Bay Area Friends and Family Members for CPA Recommendations

Friends and family members might be good resources to guide you to a firm that you can trust. San Francisco is a tight community – not just on Yelp, Google+ Local and other listing sites… but amongst friends?   Usually asking around to see what experiences your friends and family members have had with local accounting firms is a good way to find an honest CPA.  There are so many Americans today who become victims of identity theft that it’s always a good idea to do some research before you offer up all of your confidential data.

Bend a Local Business Owner’s Ear

You might also want to consider asking local business owners who they use to prepare their taxes.  They can also lead you to an accountancy firm that they have had good experiences with, and steer you away from ones they have had negative encounters with.

The Disadvantages of Ranking and Review Systems

While ranking systems and reviews like on Yelp are sometimes a good way to motivate accountancy professionals to maintain high standards, they are not always accurate.  You may wonder who exactly ranks firms, and how their rank is determined. We have great reviews on Yelp as a top San Francisco CPA firm, and we are justifiably proud of those reviews – but we know who wrote them and why. You as a consumer, don’t necessarily know…  Those questions, as well as others in regards to the ranking system are sort of mysterious to the accounting community at large.  One rule of thumb is generally known, however, and that is larger firms are on the radar of institutions that perform audits, but smaller ones are not.  This can be advantageous for the large firms because they can get ranked, but it can be nearly impossible for the smaller firms to get recognized and ranked.  Remember that the size of an accountancy firm does not matter when it comes to reputability.

If you’re in search of an honest San Francisco CPA firm, keep in mind that rankings are not always a good indicator.  Using the same methods one might employ to find a skilled physician can also be employed to find a reputable accountant.  Ask around and get the advice of those you trust before you had over your personal information.