If you are interested in a specific service select a link to your left, otherwise read below to learn what a CPA can do for you and why you should select me as your financial and tax advisor.
Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) act as independent auditors, as well as financial and tax advisors to individuals, businesses, government, and the not-for-profit community. CPAs are professionals, distinguished from other accountants by stringent licensing requirements. They typically have a college degree or its equivalent, pass a rigorous national examination, and meet certain experience requirements in order to qualify for the CPA certificate and state license. In addition, CPAs are governed by a strict code of professional conduct. The hallmarks of this profession are: independence, objectivity, and integrity.
The ways in which a CPA might serve you, your business or governmental entity include:
- Recommending tax planning strategies.
- Preparing tax returns.
- Advising individuals on personal financial planning, including retirement and estate planning.
- Reviewing a company's accounting system and recommending improvements.
- Consulting on business problems and advising ways to improve the use of a client's resources.
- Assisting in the design and installation of data processing and management information systems.
- Conducting special studies (financing, inventories, cost accounting, credit, and collection) for business, government, and nonprofit organizations.
- Helping clients apply for loans and credit by gathering and preparing information required by lenders.
- Working with clients, attorneys, and bankers on mergers, acquisitions, and expansions.
Choosing a CPA
What Does a CPA Do?
CPAs act as advisers to individuals, businesses, financial institutions, not-for-profit organizations, and government agencies on a wide range of financial matters. Many individuals turn to CPAs for help not just with their tax preparation, but also with their business and personal financial planning.
Most CPAs meet substantially the same education, training and licensing requirements. Nonetheless, they provide a broad and varied range of services. A CPA may specialize in small business, tax or financial planning, insurance or banking, to name just a few options.
In order for you to get the most value from a CPA it is important to first analyze your current and future financial needs. This will help you to select someone who can address your particular concerns.
Serving the General Public
A CPA can help members of the public:
- Develop a personal financial plan
- Create a family budget
- Plan for retirement
- Develop an estate plan
- Assess insurance needs
- Advise on divorce settlements
- Devise savings and investment strategies
- Build college funds
Serving the Taxpayer
A CPA can help taxpayers:
- Develop tax strategies
- Prepare tax returns
- Minimize tax liability
- Represent you before tax authorities
Serving the Business Owner
A CPA can help business owners:
- Set up accounting systems
- Secure financing
- Analyze operating results
- Provide management consulting services on such subjects as data processing systems
- Develop budgets and business plans and forecasts
- Prepare tax returns
- Audit, review, or compile financial statements
- Assess benefit and compensation plans
Qualifications to Look For
To select the right tax, accounting, or personal financial adviser for your needs consider the following list of questions:
- Is the individual a Certified Public Accountant?
- If so, is the CPA licensed in your state? Call the State Board of Accountancy to confirm the CPAs licensee status.)
- To what professional organizations does the CPA belong? To what extent is he or she an active member?
- Is the CPAs’ personality and expertise compatible with your needs?
What is a Reasonable Fee
CPAs normally charge according to the amount of time required to perform the services you request. There are no "fee schedules" common to the profession. Fees vary depending on the type of service you require, the prevailing costs in the community, the CPA’s level of expertise, and the complexity of the work.
Talk frankly with a CPA about fees. Find out how much you will pay to have work performed by a staff accountant, who is under the supervision of a CPA, as opposed to a higher level employee, such as a supervisor, or perhaps even a partner in the firm.
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