What is a CPA?

A Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is a professional who has met the education, experience, and examination requirements set by their respective state’s Board of Accountancy. CPAs provide various financial and accounting services, including tax preparation, auditing, consulting, and financial planning.

Why do I need a CPA?

CPAs bring expertise and credibility to financial and accounting matters. They can assist individuals and businesses with tax planning, financial analysis, compliance, and other crucial financial decisions, ensuring accuracy and adherence to relevant regulations.

How can a CPA help my business?

CPAs can provide invaluable assistance to businesses, including financial statement analysis, budgeting, internal control evaluation, risk assessment, and strategic planning. They ensure your business’s financial health and compliance.

What should you look for in an accountant and CPA firm?

Your accountant should be responsive and care about you as an individual and business.  We respond to all calls and emails in less than 24 hours, most within an a few hours.  We know how stressful it can be to receive a notice or communication from the IRS or state revenue office, so you will get a timely response when you reach out to our office.

Is it best to be a local CPA, or are they now working mostly virtually?

Most CPAs have the ability to work and meet virtually, and unlike attorneys, CPAs can prepare tax returns in any state.  However, a CPA is your home state or near-by state, likely has knowledge specific to state and local laws that a far-away CPA may not have.  This decision may also come down to how the client prefers to work.  If you want to meet face-to-face or be able to hand carry documents, then a local CPA is important.

If I am a business owner or want to start a business, when should I contact a CPA?

If you are thinking about starting a business, a CPA can help you with the initial set-up and to make sure you are in compliance with all Federal, state, and local regulations.  We can assist you with how to organize your business, tax strategies, accounting software and procedures, and start-up expenses.  Once your business is off the ground, we can help with tax planning, tax preparation, and on-going consulting such as pricing, customer acquisition, employee acquisition and retention, funding, etc.

What are our onboarding procedures for individuals and businesses?

If you are interested in discussing our services, we will be happy to schedule an in-person or web meeting or a phone call.  After an initial consultation and review of your previous tax return and documents, we will provide an estimate of fees.  Then if you would like to move forward, we will set you up in our software so you will receive a personalized tax organizer for the next year.

I’m an LLC so file my taxes together. Do I need a different CPA?

A single-member LLC does report income and expenses on a personal return.  There is no need for different CPAs.   A CPA who handles both business and individual returns can easily handle an LLC.  In fact, most CPAs will only prepare the business taxes for the single member LLC, if they also prepare the personal taxes, since it is reported on the same return.  

Is hiring a CPA cost-effective?

While there are costs associated with hiring a CPA, their expertise can potentially save you money in the long run. They can identify tax-saving opportunities, prevent financial errors, and provide valuable insights that contribute to your financial success.

How often should I consult with my CPA?

The frequency of consultations depends on your individual or business needs. Many individuals and businesses consult with their CPAs quarterly or annually for tax planning and financial advisory services.

Can a CPA help with financial planning for the future?

Absolutely. CPAs can assist with retirement planning, investment strategies, estate planning, and more. They help you make informed decisions that align with your long-term financial goals.

How do I choose the right CPA for me or my business?

When choosing a CPA, consider factors such as their qualifications, experience, industry specialization, reputation, and communication style. It’s important to find a CPA whose expertise matches your needs.

Can CPAs represent me during IRS audits?

Yes, CPAs can represent you during IRS audits. They can communicate with tax authorities on your behalf, provide necessary documentation, and help ensure a smooth audit process.  We provide IRS and state representation for audits, examinations, etc.

When do I need/ know I need a bookkeeper?

If a business owner is spending too much time “keeping the books”, and doesn’t have enough time to work on the business, it’s time to invest in someone who can help you.  It’s hard to make good decisions, if you don’t have timely and correct financial data.

What makes a good bookkeeper? What should I be looking for? Do they need to live in my state or can it be someone remote?

Bookkeepers offer a range of services, from entering all transactions and reconciling every account each month to quarterly reviews of accounting data.  You want to make sure the bookkeeper you hire supports the accounting platform you are using, is familiar with the accounting to your specific industry, and has the capacity to complete your “books” in a timely manner.

What are the ethical standards for CPAs?

CPAs are bound by a strict code of professional ethics that emphasizes integrity, objectivity, confidentiality, and professional competence. This ensures that they maintain the highest standards of conduct in their practice.

How important is getting the chart of accounts right?

The chart of accounts is important for several reasons.  First, the type of account must be correct or the financial statements will not be accurate.  For instance, if you need to create a new account, the default in QuickBooks is a “bank” account.  If this is not set up to the correct type of account, i.e. asset, liability, income, expense, etc., the financial statements will be wrong.  Also, a good chart of accounts can assist the CPA prepare an accurate tax return without significant time to “clean-up” the accounting.  All of this can be especially important if you are trying to sell your business or secure bank or other financing.  An accurate balance sheet and income statement are vital, and that starts with a good chart of accounts.

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