"Is a CPA really worth it?"
May 10, 2019
Is a CPA really worth it? The answer is a resounding yes if you are taking full advantage of their knowledge, expertise, and service offerings. Do you want the best return on your investment from your CPA relationship? Of course!
First, communication is imperative. CPAs should be utilized in general business as well as tax planning conversations. CPAs work with hundreds of businesses and business owners, and have knowledge and experience of what works, what doesn’t work, and how to get back on track if business is not going in the direction you want. You should determine up front how often you will meet with your CPA. This could be on a weekly, monthly or quarterly schedule. Developing this relationship allows for healthy, productive conversation, and natural business rhythms that would not be possible on an annual only drop off or upload of financial data.
• Advice on properly allocating funds
It is gut wrenching for CPAs to see businesses with poor cash flow management or no cash flow strategy at all. Your CPA can help you develop a plan to retain more of the revenue that comes into the business by taking a proactive approach. Your CPA will prioritize fund allocation to keep operating expenses controlled while making sure the business protects money to pay taxes, and more importantly, profit distributions to the owners.
Technology today has allowed bookkeeping to be more automated and streamlined than ever before. Though technology has made many programs user friendly, the management of this data is imperative for business decision making and tax planning. Unless you are an accounting or bookkeeping firm, time spent acting as a bookkeeper is not billable time or revenue generating. Absence of, or inaccurate, bookkeeping will end up costing you more than an effective bookkeeping solution. You should have highly educated and experienced accounting professionals managing your financial data and recommending technology solutions for seamless integration. Your CPA, bookkeeping, and payroll team should ideally be in constant communication for you to receive the best service, advice, and guidance.
• Tax Planning
This is the area where you can see the biggest return on your investment from your CPA advisor relationship. Staying on top of tax law changes, legitimate business practices, and identifying opportunities in the market, your CPA can deliver huge value by implementing a plan tailored to your business. Effective tax planning will result in minimizing your tax burden, maximizing profit realization, and optimizing cash flow.
• Building your advisory team
Your CPA can fulfill the quarterback position for your team of trusted advisors. CPAs develop a network of professionals that can support and guide a business owner in all aspects of business. Every business owner should have a trusted team including at minimum a CPA, attorney, banker, financial advisor, and insurance agent. Your CPA is happy to make these introductions. Communication between these professionals and you regarding your business is the key to success.
Your CPA will be able to advise you on required filings, and ensure they are prepared accurately and in a timely manner. This alone potentially saves business owners tons of money in penalties and interest, as well as headaches and heartaches, by protecting the operations of the business from interruption.
A CPA is an integral part of your financial team and success of your business. Be sure you are taking advantage of all a CPA has to offer so you can continue to focus on your passion and the reasons you initially went into business. If you have not identified an advisor that provides the services outlined here, we would love to the opportunity to discuss how a CPA can bring value to your business.