We live in a world that is growing ever more complex. There are demands on us to absorb and deal with vast amounts of information – and sometimes that information may require specialist knowledge in order to both leverage its potential – and avoid some of the legal and regulatory pitfalls that misunderstanding can cause. At the same time more and more individuals and households are finding that their personal (and organizational) finances are increasingly important – especially in this day and age of belt-tightening and strict management of cash flow, as well as increased vigilance by regulatory authorities such as the IRS. These are extremely good reasons why both a business and an individual should have access to a great CPA.
At last count (mid-2019) there were over 650,000 registered CPA’s in the United States, so one would think that finding the right CPA would be a walk in the park – but the old saying that ‘quantity does not equal quality’ can also be applied to the CPA fraternity. CPAs may have areas of specialization that do not suit the individual’s (or business’s) unique needs – and the professionalism of CPAs can vary wildly. That being said there are a number of reasons why a great CPA can be indispensable.
For those who are establishing a new business the advice of a qualified CPA is essential. They have an in-depth understanding of tax regulations and the standard accounting practices that every new business owner requires. They will advise on business structure, the type of accounting software that would best suit the business owners unique needs (to conform to IRS requirements), they will gather and organize the paperwork required at tax time, as well as filing a tax return and ensuring that tax planning is of the highest possible standard (taking into account the latest changes to tax law).
A great CPA will also help the business owner deal with the unexpected. Every business owner will at some point during the lifecycle need to deal with instances such as an unforeseen audit by the IRS – or a request for clarification. A lack of in-depth understanding of IRS requirements can quickly provide for sleepless nights – and the possibility of regulatory action that can have long-lasting implications for the business and its profitability, or even its ability to stay afloat.
There is also the matter of finance. A qualified CPA will be able to offer invaluable advice should the business owner be seeking new finance. They will identify the right type of loan, taking into account repayment options and how that loan will affect the cash flow of the business. They will assist in ensuring that the paperwork that is required to be granted a loan is in order and complies with relevant legal requirements – and the requirements of the financial institution.
Making the right choice can save the client many sleepless nights – not to mention a large amount of money. The wrong choice can provide the business owner with challenges that they will be hard-pressed to overcome – and will at the very least impact on their ability to focus on the core operations that will allow the business to flourish. Get the peace of mind that comes with having access to a great CPA – it is a decision that no business owner will ever regret.