Whether for an individual, a small business, a large corporation, or even for a manager of a fund, picking a CPA firm can be an important step on the road to profitability, fiscal solvency, a well-managed fund, and to operating within the confines set forth by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC). For all these groups and individuals, a CPA firm can play an important role.
However, it’s not enough to just pick the first CPA firm that you come across. You need to pick the right CPA firm for your issues. The individual isn’t going to have the same tax issues and financial planning needs as a hedge fund or 401(k) retirement plan. The business is going to need a different approach to filing taxes than the individual. The corporation will have an entirely different set of needs than, say, a charity would have of their accountant, and the fund manager will have yet another set of needs.
Like many jobs, a Certified Public Accountant is an expert accountant, but only an expert in one or at most a few facets of accounting. Because of this, it becomes important to approach the right Certified Public Accountant, or the right CPA firm, in order to get the expertise you need. Many smaller firms are experts in a specific field or a few related fields; in these fields, they are able to do anything that could or would be necessary to help the client, but outside of them, they’re not as sure and not as well-trained. On the other hand, a large firm is better equipped and staffed to offer their clients a wide variety of accounting services and expertise, and may actually be able to offer something to almost any client, save those who have extremely unusual and niche needs that aren’t commonly encountered.
The individual who needs help with his taxes, for example, would be well served going to a local firm, or local branch of a national CPA firm, in order to have their needs met by a tax accountant or a personal accountant. These accountants would be best equipped to help service the individuals needs and requirements. They’d be able to help him by doing things like looking at the receipts for his past fiscal year of spending for any deductions that he may have missed, and to explain to him what he will be able to write off next year and what documentation he should hold on to in advance of the tax filing season. The personal accountant will also be able to advise their client in ways that they can help to increase their ability to save money, pointing out frivolous expenditures and purchases and services that aren’t worth the money being spent on them.
For a business, on the other hand, they’ll be able to help with picking out deductions and the like. They’ll also be able to help the business design a better, more optimized system for keeping track of profits and losses (which is helpful, as a business is expected to take losses for the first five years of its operation). Another way the CPA will earn their pay is by helping to streamline purchasing processes and pointing out ways in which money can be saved, as well as helping a business to understand exactly what portion of various purchases and leases and other assorted bills can be written off as a business expense, allowing things like car leases and phone plans to be used as write-offs. Finally, and perhaps most importantly for a small business, their CPA will help to set up a way to keep the receipts, and advise the business on how long to keep those receipts, as well as helping them to get together everything else they would need in the event of an IRS audit. This can be important, because for any small business, an IRS audit, if it goes sour, can be the end of a business; IRS fines can be extreme, and while a major corporation may be able to survive that, a small one likely can’t.
So, if you suspect that you need the assistance of a CPA firm and Certified Public Accountants, seek one out today. Just be sure to get the right one for the job; if you’re running a business, you need someone offering CPA accounting services for businesses, not someone who is offering help for finding a mutual fund. Good luck finding the best CPA to fit your needs.