Do I need a CPA?

Many individuals and business owners often find themselves asking whether or not they should hire a CPA. For individuals this always seems to happen between February and April (tax time!). Business owners and/or managers may find this question creeping into their thoughts throughout the year as they deal with day-to-day operational finances, such as bookkeeping, payroll, and banking. When deciding if you need to hire a CPA, start by asking yourself the following five questions.

1. Will I have more time to devote to my business?

Between your business, family, friends, and hobbies, there is more than enough to worry about. Allowing a CPA to handle things will ease your workload, so you can focus on the important things: spending more time developing and increasing your business, or just more time doing what you love.

Do you ever wish that all of the time you spend worrying about your finances (when you should be sleeping, perhaps), could be yours again? When you hire a CPA and know that an expert is properly recording transactions and filing accurate tax returns, it will reduce stress levels immensely. Then you can choose what to do with all that time you used to spend worrying.

2. Can I afford not to hire a CPA?

Rates for hiring CPAs can vary greatly, and chances are, there is one out there to fit your budget. Many CPAs are inexpensive and still offer quality services that provide tremendous value to individuals and businesses. More often than not, the money you spend will end up paying for itself (and then some) every year from the savings in taxes, the increase in revenue from higher productivity and focus you gain, and the stress relief that comes from knowing your finances are being handled by an expert.

3. What types of services do I need?

Whether you're an individual or a business there are a variety of services a CPA can provide. For businesses that might mean bookkeeping, payroll services, or other daily accounting services, in addition to tax planning and preparation. If you are a business owner, it’s even more important. With tax laws as complicated as they are, and how individual and business taxes are interrelated, it is important to have a CPA help with the complete package.

The same holds true for individuals. Taxes are more complicated than ever and yet many people still stick with a software program to prepare taxes once a year, without any other tax planning for the other 364 days of the year. The reality is that tax laws can have an impact on us every day of the year, and it is not wise to wait until tax time to find out you made a significant mistake that will cost a small fortune. CPAs are experts in their field, and can help you navigate the complex world of accounting while saving you money and time.

4. Have I ever been, or am I currently being, audited by the IRS?

When the IRS audits tax returns, for whatever reason, the chances of that person or business being audited again increase significantly. Even if the original reason for the audit was seemingly insignificant, it doesn’t change the fact that your returns are now under increased scrutiny. Having a CPA plan and prepare all tax returns will prevent any unnecessary pain or lost money from future audits.

5. Tax laws and accounting rules don’t change much, right?

Many individuals and business owners do know how to prepare taxes and keep their books clean and accurate. But tax laws are ever–changing and it can be tough to keep up with the latest set of accounting rules and tax laws. It is surprisingly easy to make a minor error that ends up costing you a bundle. CPAs make it their job to know these rules and laws inside and out, and that is exactly what you will be hiring them for. Why wait until it’s too late?

If you find yourself thinking that you need to hire a CPA or you are unsure, contact us for a free consultation and we can make sure you have all the information you need to help you determine if this is the right course for you.

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Did you miss the first two installments in our Article Series:
Certified Public Accountants: What’s the difference?

Part One: How is a CPA different from an accountant or tax preparer?
In the world of accounting there are many different types of degrees, certifications and licenses. One of the most frequent questions I hear is, “How does a CPA differ from an accountant or tax preparer?” There are big differences not only in training, but also in the services each one can provide. Read more ...

Part Two: What kinds of services can a CPA provide?
As discussed in part one of this article series, a CPA is a professional who has demonstrated an in-depth knowledge of financial accounting, tax, business law, auditing, and general business. There are four main types of services a CPA provides: Assurance, Accounting, Taxes, and Business Consulting. Read more ...

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