Making an accurate evaluation will best ensure your selection will provide timely, quality work and positively impact your reputation. So, be diligent.
- Ask the accountant for a list of attorneys in your area whorefer to him. (If he refuses to provide you with a comprehensive list, don’t select him.)
- Make sure the accountant is available enough to give your case the attention it needs. Some firms have their accountants take on too big of a caseload. Therefore, ask the potential accountant about his turnaround time. Speak with some of the accountant’s referral sources about their experiences with the accountant’s timeliness.
- Ask the accountant to share some sample reports with you (with the identifying information redacted, of course).
- Make sure you are not retaining a “hired gun.” (If judges respect the accountant, you can rest assured this is not the case. It would be prudent to find out if judges ever appoint the accountant under Evidence Code §730.)
- Ask how many times he has testified. (It is also helpful if you have a chance to see the accountant testify.) The more experienced the accountant is in court, the greater the chance he will be an asset to your case.
- Ask the accountant’s referring attorneys whether he is competent in court.
- Find out who your witness will be. (Will that accountant appear for you in court every time or might another one of the firm’s staff accountants appear instead?)
- Question the accountant about fees. Make sure you are comfortable with the rate and how the accountant bills.