Diamond Certified Companies are Rated Highest in Quality and Helpful Expertise.

  • Why this rating is the most accurate.
  • Our editors gather deep company info.
  • Performance is Guaranteed.

Diamond certified companies are top rated and guaranteed

Why Trust Diamond Certified Accounting Firms Rated Highest in Quality?

You are the customer. If your goal is to choose an accounting service that will deliver high customer satisfaction and quality, you’ll feel confident in choosing a Diamond Certified accountant. Each has been rated Highest in Quality in the most accurate ratings process anywhere. And you’re always backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee. Here’s why the Diamond Certified ratings and certification process will help you find a top-rated accounting service and is unparalleled in its accuracy, rigor and usefulness:

1) Accuracy: All research is performed by live telephone interviews that verify only real customers are surveyed, so you’ll never be fooled by fake reviews.

2) Statistical Reliability: A large random sample of past customers is surveyed on an ongoing basis so the research results you see truly reflect a Diamond Certified company’s top-rated status.

3) Full Disclosure: By clicking the name of a company above you’ll see the exact rating results in charts and read verbatim survey responses as well as researched articles on each qualified company.

4) Guaranteed: Your purchase is backed up with mediation and the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee, so you can choose with confidence.

Click on the name of a Diamond Certified company above to read ratings results, researched articles and verbatim customer survey responses to help you make an informed decision.

More than 200,000 customers of local companies have been interviewed in live telephone calls, and only companies that score Highest in Quality in customer satisfaction–a 90+ on a 100 scale–as well as pass all of the credential-based ratings earn Diamond Certified. By requiring such a high score to qualify, the Diamond Certified program eliminates mediocre and poorly performing companies. Read detailed information about the ratings and certification process.

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SELECTED PHOTOS FROM THESE TOP RATED COMPANIES

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INDUSTRY INFORMATION AND RESEARCHED ARTICLES BY THE DIAMOND CERTIFIED RESOURCE

VersaCheck Payroll
IGG Software iBank
H&R Block At Home
Avanquest Bookkeeper
Intuit Quick Books
Acclaim
Intuit
TAS Books
Cashbook
Adminisoft Accounts
Clear Books Accounting Software
TurboTax
CYMA Accounting
DacEasy Accounting
Accountz
Quicken
AccountEdge
NetSuite Small Business Accounting
Cougar Mountain Accounting
Simply Accounting
Sage Peachtree Complete Accounting
MYOB Accounting Software
Bottom Line Accounting
Tally ERP Software

assets accounting
medical accounting
tax accounting
bookkeeping services
online bookkeeping
payroll accounting
small business accounting
international accounting services
statement preparation
annual audit services
accounting software assistance
general ledger accounting services
GAAP accounting services
payroll services
tax preparation services
property accounting
investment accounting
corporate accounting
financial reporting
small business tax planning
small business accounting software training
computer accounting
IFRS accounting services
inventory accounting

Alamo
Antioch
Bay Point
Bethel Island
Blackhawk
Brentwood
Briones
Byron
Canyon
Clayton
Clyde
Concord
Cowell
Crockett
Danville
Diablo
Discovery Bay
El Cerrito
El Sobrante
Hercules
Hilltop Mall
Kensington
Knightsen
Lafayette
Los Medanos
Maltby
Martinez
Moraga
North Richmond
Oakley
Orinda
Pacheco
Pinole
Pittsburg
Pleasant Hill
Point Richmond
Port Chicago
Port Costa
Rheem Valley
Richmond
Rodeo
San Pablo
San Ramon
Tara Hills
Vine Hill
Walnut Creek
Walnut Heights and West Pittsburg

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The following agencies and associations for professional accountants can provide additional information for CPAs and their clients.

American Institute of CPAs (http://www.aicpa.org/ForThePublic/Pages/ForthePublic.aspx)
California Society of Accounting and Tax Professionals (http://www.csatp.org/)
California Society of CPAs (http://www.calcpa.org/Content/home.aspx)
Department of Consumer Affairs, California Board of Accountancy (http://www.dca.ca.gov/cba/)
Society of California Accountants (http://www.gosca.com/)

Know What You Want
Decide What You Expect from Contra Costa County Accountants, Accounting Firms and CPAs

Before you start looking for an accounting firm in Contra Costa County, it’s important to pinpoint what you want.

Ask yourself about your highest priorities in choosing an accountant. Do these include personal service? Quality accounting work? The accountants’ expertise and experience with a particular type of accounting? Immediate service and rapid conclusion of the work? Convenient access?

Be able to answer these questions to determine your needs in a local accountant:

  1. Do I want a Diamond Certified accountant firm that is rated best in quality and backed by the Diamond Certified Guarantee?
  2. Is my primary goal general accounting services? Or do I need small business accounting, payroll or bookkeeping services as well?
  3. Am I likely to need services such as accounting reviews or financial statement auditing, or other specialized accounting services?
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What To Ask In Person
What to Ask Contra Costa County Accounting Professionals In Person

Once you've evaluated your reasons for selecting a local accounting firm, the next step is to interview some local firms in Concord, Pittsburg, Walnut Creek, Antioch and Richmond, and other areas of Contra Costa County. Questions you may want to ask include:

  1. How long will it take to do my accounting work?
  2. What happens if I should be audited? Will you assist me with the audit?
  3. Will any of my accounting work be outsourced, and how does that work?
  4. What contact information do you have on file for me? What do you need in order to reach me with updates about my accounting work?
  5.  Is it good for me to call in periodically or otherwise keep in contact?

 

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  • What To Ask References
    Questions for References of Accounting Services in Contra Costa County

    How can you tell that accountants in Contra Costa County are all they say they are?

    That’s where independent research and scientific surveys come in. All Diamond Certified accounting firms have undergone a ratings process that most other companies can’t pass. If you want quality from an accountant or bookkeeper in Contra Costa County and the greater Bay Area, you’ll have confidence when choosing Diamond Certified companies. You can read Diamond Certified reports on all certified companies, including verbatim survey responses. And you’ll never be fooled by fake reviews because all research is performed by live telephone interviews of a large, random sample of real customers.

    If you can’t find a Diamond Certified accounting firm within reach, you'll need to conduct some research of your own. Even if you’re in a hurry, it is still a good idea to take a little time to check references. If you do, accounting firms in Contra Costa County may be willing to give you a list of recent clients you can contact, or other evidence of customer satisfaction. Keep in mind, though, that those references are not equal in value to the large random sample of customers surveyed during the Diamond Certified ratings process.

    Hire Good Accountants in Contra Costa County or the Greater Bay Area
    The key question to ask yourself repeatedly, and once again before you make your final decision on accounting, bookkeeping and payroll services in Contra Costa County is this: Have I carefully identified my accounting needs, and is the firm I have selected is an excellent fit?

    In particular, consider this question in light of the value provided by a Diamond Certified accounting firm.

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  • Review Your Options
    Before you Engage: Consider How to Attract the Best Certified Public Accountant Firms

    The Diamond Certified symbol has been awarded to companies that scored Highest in Quality in an accurate ratings process.

    Although all practicing California CPAs and public accountants must be licensed by the California Board of Accountancy (Web License Lookup.), it does not necessarily mean that every firm listed there will be a good match for your accounting needs. Bear in mind your specific goals and expectations for your accounting services, and remember that all Diamond Certified companies have already been thoroughly checked, including license verification. If you’re unable to choose a Diamond Certified accountant in your area of Contra Costa County, you should find the best company based on your own search.

    Accountants in Contra Costa County, including those in the larger cities of Pittsburg, Concord, Antioch, Walnut Creek and Richmond, may have more experience in particular areas of accounting and possess special qualifications and continuing education backgrounds.

    Get Accurate Accounting Estimates From Contra Costa County Accountants
    First, meet with the accountant or representative and explain exactly what accounting services you need. Use your notes, and be thorough and clear in your communication. Be as detailed as possible, and don’t allow yourself to be rushed.

     

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  • How To Work With
    Ways to Make Your Accountant’s Job Easier

    Listen carefully to the suggestions and comments of the accounting firm representative, and to answer his or her questions thoroughly. Be careful not to assume that the person understands unstated details of your accounting needs: be exact.

    Also, do not assume that you understand everything stated or implied in the information the accountant is providing you in the initial interview: ask further questions and be willing to take the time necessary to explore the issues and feel confident in the understanding you have with the accounting service professional. If you are unclear on a point or concept, ask for an explanation. In order for the process to succeed, you must fully understand the accounting issues, your unique financial situation, and the possible solutions.

    All estimates must be provided to you in writing before the accounting work begins. Sometimes a more thorough evaluation is needed before the firm can provide a reliable estimate of accounting fees.

    Sign a Contract with Your Contra Costa Accounting Firm
    Before agreeing to any services from the certified public accountants, ensure that you are given an engagement letter stating the accounting services to be performed. The letter should also specify who will do the financial work and whether it is to be done elsewhere, and confirm the security of all personal and private data.

    Be certain that the document itemizes and summarizes all charges.

    When you’re satisfied with the information your Contra Costa County accounting firm has provided, sign a contract.

    Verify that the firm has a phone number where the representative can reach you at all times while your work is going on in Contra Costa County, including the larger cities of Brentwood, Danville and San Ramon. The firm must have your approval for any additional work, and it can slow progress if the representative is unable to reach you.

    Once the accountant or professional bookkeeper has identified your financial situation and the accounting work needed, he or she will likely contact you with an update on the progress of your services.

     

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  • Be a Good Customer
    How Can You Be a Good Accounting Firm Customer?

    It's the accounting firm's responsibility to perform a thorough and complete job. But you play a big part in the success of your accounting work also. Here are a few simple steps you can take to be a good customer with an accounting firm.

    • Be clear with the accounting representative. Let him or her understand the precise reason for your contact, and the specific outcome you are expecting from your accounting services.
    • Remember that simple friendliness goes a long way.
    • Before you leave your records at an accounting firm in Contra Costa County, restate your expectations and goals, and repeat to the representative your understanding of the agreement. Most problems with accounting firms or individual accountants occur because of a breakdown in communication. By being clear about the expectations you have and those of the accounting firm, you can avoid most conflicts.
    • Ask the representative if he or she will call you with updates, or if you should call to check on the progress of your accounting work.
    • Be sure your representative has a phone number where he or she can reach you at all times when contact may be necessary. Your accounting services will go more smoothly if you can be reached for any necessary updates or approvals.
    • When your accountant contacts you, return calls promptly to keep the work on schedule.
    • Pay for the accounting services promptly.

    Why would you want to be a good customer? Local accountants and accounting firms in Contra Costa County appreciate customers who are straightforward, honest and easy to work with. Your good customer behavior sets the tone from your end and creates the setting for a good relationship. Things may well go more smoothly, and problems may be more easily resolved.

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Check The Work
Check the Work Against Your Written Agreement

When the work is completed, your representative must provide you a written invoice. This must include:

  1. The name and physical address of the firm.
  2. A list of the services provided.
  3. The total fee for accounting services rendered.
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Written Warranties
Ask for a Written Warranty from Contra Costa County Accounting Firms

Before leaving the accounting firm, confirm the warranty offered by the firm. Not all accounting firms offer guarantees on their work. But those that do should give you a written warranty document that must detail:

  • The accounting firm’s name and physical address.
  • What the warranty precisely covers.
  • Your responsibility in order to redeem the warranty.
  • How long the warranty is valid, and whether it expires on a specific day or if it is prorated.
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Top 10 Requests
Top Ten Service Requests

Accounting firms in Contra Costa County provide numerous financial services, but some types of work are more common than others. The following are the most familiar requests for local accounting firms.

Payroll Services
Payroll services involve wage, salary, and deduction records for the employees of a business. Payroll service is extremely important, because the amounts paid for employee compensation and associated taxes involve substantial federal and state regulation, and dramatically impact organizational income.

Small Business Accounting
Small Business Accounting is a crucial need for smaller organizations; businesses will be unable to survive without it. This is principally because any business must be able to reliably and accurately determine profitability, which is impossible without solid accounting statements. Financial structural problems are a leading principal cause of small business failure.

Financial Accounting
Financial accountancy represents the accounting sector involving financial statement preparation for stockholders, owners, banks, government agencies, and others having or potentially having stake in a company. Maintenance of financial capital is a key aspect.

Bookkeeping
A bookkeeping service provides records of revenue and expenses, and is significantly different than an accounting firm. Bookkeeping involves recording transactions such as sales, receipts, purchases, and payments: done by a bookkeeper, accounting clerk, or accounting technician. Accounting entails the production of financial statements from the bookkeeping records.

Accounts Payable
Accounts payable are records of amounts a company owes, and may be referred to as trade payables. Accounts payable typically arise from invoices furnished from suppliers of goods or services. Accounts payable represent delayed payment and are therefore credit.

Tax Accounting
Tax accounting is the designation for an accounting methodology that addresses tax purposes. The United States differs from most other governments in having accounting principles, set forth by Section 446 of the Internal Revenue Code, which differ from the general and accepted principles of accounting. Under Section 446 the taxpayer chooses a method of tax accounting consistent with his method of financial accounting.

Public Accounting
Public accounting is the form of accounting best generally known to the public, represented by the "Big Four" accounting firms, the largest national firms responsible for audits of the biggest publicly traded corporations. The audit is the principal concern of public accounting, and ensures the accuracy of company financial statements and reports.

Management Accounting
Management accounting or managerial accounting provides accounting information to managers for making better business decisions and improving organizational control. Management accounting concentrates on the future direction of the organization, unlike financial accounting, which looks primarily at past performance.

Certified Accounting
Certified Accounting refers to accounting practiced by Certified Public Accountants. CPA is the statutory designation for an individual who has successfully completed the Uniform Certified Public Accounting Examination and attained additional training and experience required by state law.

TOP 10 Brands
The following are familiar brand names in Contra Costa County  accounting services:

  • Intuit QuickBooks
  • Sage Peachtree Complete Accounting
  • Intuit
  • NetSuite Small Business Accounting
  • DacEasy Accounting
  • AccountEdge
  • TAS Books
  • Adminisoft Accounts
  • VersaCheck Payroll
  • Quicken
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Glossary Of Terms
Glossary of Accountancy Terms

Below are key accounting terms and descriptions that will help you navigate through your accounting, bookkeeping or payroll experience from start to finish.

accounting
Accounting is the work of a CPA or Public Accountant, and is conveniently understood as the process of summarizing and interpreting financial information. The creation of financial statements is the main activity.

Also known as: accountancy, accounting firm, accounting firms, account service, accounting services, financial accounts

accounts payable
These records specify what an organization owes, for example from goods or services received from other companies. Accounts payable are also called trade payables.

Also known as: trade payables

atest engagement
This is an assessment of the reliability of another party's written assertion. Audits, financial statement reviews, and prospective financial reviews are all examples of attest engagements: however, a compiled preparation is not an attest engagement.

audit
This is the inspection of records by a CPA to provide an assessment of financial data in accordance with established auditing standards.

Also known as: auditor, IRS audit, financial audit

bookkeeping
The services of a bookkeeper differ substantially from those of an accountant. The bookkeeper records financial activity and creates a trial balance, but does not produce financial statements such as balance sheets and income statements as does an accountant.

Also known as: book keeping, book keeper

certified accounting
Certified accounting is that done by Certified Public Accountants, individuals who complete the Uniform CPA exam and attain other experience and training.

Also known as: Certified Public Accountancy

Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
This is an individual with a public accounting license issued by the California Board of Accountancy, who practices under a continuing professional education requirement of that Board.

Also known as: CPA, CPAs

compilation preparation
This is data formatted in a financial statement manner but not attested to by the accounting professional.

continuing education
Continuing education is a formal educational program providing direct enhancement of professional competency.

finance
Finance may be conceived as money or funds management. More broadly, finance entails originating and marketing cash or surrogate money.

financial accounting
Financial accountancy is the formulation of financial statements for the stakeholders in an organization, and has largely to do with maintaining capital.

Also known as: financial accountancy, public accounting, public accountancy

financial statement
Fundamental, required, organizational data, which includes balance sheets, income statements, and cash flow statements. These may be supplemented with additional data on the organizations financial performance.

Also known as: financial accountancy, public accounting, public accountancy

management accounting
Management or managerial accounting gives managers information for improved decisions and control, concentrating on the future performance of the business.

Also known as: management accountancy, managerial accountancy, public accountancy

payroll services
Payroll services maintain records of employee earnings, deductions, and taxes, providing financial information that significantly impacts the profitability of a business.

Also known as: payroll service, payroll tax, payroll deductions

peer review
A peer review is an evaluation of the professional output of an accountant or accounting firm by an independence licensee, according to prescribed standards.

Public Accountant (PA)
A Public Accountant is an individual with a public accounting certificate issued by the California Board of Accountancy, who practices under a continuing professional education requirement of that Board.

public accounting
Public accounting is audits done by the CPA's of the largest national accounting firms to ensure reliable financial data for stockholders.

Also known as: public accountancy, auditor, auditing

small business accounting
Small Business Accounting is the production of financial statements for accurately determining profit in a smaller business entity.

Also known as: small business accountancy

tax accounting
Tax accounting is done by a CPA specifically for tax purposes, using a different set of accounting principles that are specified in the IRS Code.

Also known as: income tax, tax return, tax accountancy

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Frequently Asked Questions
FAQ for Local Accountants and CPAs

Q: Why choose a Diamond Certified accounting firm?
A: We end the guessing game by offering a list of top-rated local companies who have passed the country’s most in-depth rating process. Most companies can’t pass, so only local accounting firms rated Highest in Quality earn the Diamond Certified award. American Ratings Corporation also monitors every Diamond Certified company with in-depth and ongoing research and ratings. And your purchase is backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee. So you’ll feel confident choosing a Diamond Certified accounting firm.

Q: What's the difference between an accounting firm and a bookkeeping service?
A: A bookkeeping service keeps a record of income and cost, which differs significantly from the work of an accounting firm. Bookkeeping involves receipts, sales and payments and is performed by a bookkeeper, or by an accounting clerk or technician. Accounting involves the production of such financial statements as a balance sheet and a statement of profit and loss from underlying bookkeeping records.

Q: What are the four most important financial statements?
A: The four most important financial statements are: the balance sheet, the income statement, the cash flow statement, and the statement of changes in shareholder equity.

The balance sheet specifies the assets, liabilities, and owner equity of an organization at the beginning and ending of a period of time.

The income statement specifies the revenues, expenses and net income for an organization over a given period.

The cash flow statement details changes in liquid assets over a given period.

The shareholder equity statement provides a reconciliation of the change in equity over a given period.

Q: What is an audit?
An audit is a check of financial records, by an accounting firm or government agency such as the IRS, to assess the quality of financial information.

Q: What is small business accounting?
Small Business Accounting is a particular form of accounting tailored to smaller organizations, and crucial to the survival of small businesses. A business of any size must have reliable assessments of owner equity and profitability; financial statements must include balance sheets, income statements, and cash flow statements.

Q: What rights do I have as a consumer in Alameda County when it comes to accounting services?
You have the right, before agreeing to any services to be provided by the accounting firm or CPA, to be provided an engagement letter documenting in detail the accounting services to be performed. The letter should also specify who will do the work and whether it is to be done elsewhere, and confirm the security of all personal and private data.

Be certain that the document you are provided itemizes and summarizes the charges for your accounting or tax preparation services.

You also have the right to file a complaint with the California Board of Accountancy. For more information, visit the Web site for the Department of Consumer Affairs, California Board of Accountancy (http://www.dca.ca.gov/cba/).

Q: Is it a good idea to choose an accounting firm that has certifications?
A: While certifications don’t guarantee you better service from Alameda County accounting firms, the CPA designation, and other evidences of professionalism such as qualifications, training, continuing education and membership in professional associations, are important indicators of the seriousness of an accounting firm in satisfying customers and providing quality accounting services. Remember to specifically consider the Diamond Certified mark, a symbol of independently verified provision of high quality accounting and tax preparation services.

Q: Is there a difference between accounting firms in Alameda County?
A: Where you receive accounting service is a personal decision based on where you feel most comfortable. There are numerous differences between accounting firms: the choice of an accountant most suited to your needs is one to be made carefully and thoroughly, perhaps with specific consideration of choosing a Diamond Certified accountant.

Q: Some accounting services are expensive. Can I save by choosing an accounting firm that advertises lower fees?
A: While it may look like you’re saving money by going with a less expensive accounting firm, keep in mind that margins are often tight for accounting services, and that less expensive service may have lower quality. A firm may employ less experienced and less capable individuals for your accounting work, which may save you fees initially but expose you to the risk of lower quality work. This consideration emphasizes the value of choosing a Diamond Certified accountancy firm.

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