Managing your finances is one of the most important aspects of running a business.
Many business owners have a dream for their business but do not have the financial expertise to manage their finances. Thankfully, there are highly skilled professionals ready and able to help business owners make their dreams a reality by handling the sometimes less glamorous aspects of running a business.
If you are a business owner considering hiring a CPA, you might be wondering, “what does a CPA do?” The truth is, CPA’s do a lot of things.
While they are only one of your options to help you with your business, they are usually your best option.
Keep reading to learn more about CPA’s and what they can do for your business.
What is a CPA?
CPA stands for Certified Public Accountant. CPA’s are top of line accounting professionals.
They had to have passed a CPA exam specific to their state and hold a professional license. CPA’s have the educational and professional experience to act in several roles.
These commonly include accounting consultants, tax consultants, financial advisers, business advisers, and auditors. These are only a few of the hats that CPA’s can wear.
Not all accountants are CPA’s. CPA’s require a license, which many accountants do not qualify for. CPA requirements vary from state to state, but most states require applicants to have at least a bachelor’s degree, two years of experience in accounting, and to pass an exam.
They have to renew their license periodically, which means they have to stay up to date in their expertise.
The CPA is the only type of licensed accountant in the United States. It’s not easy to become a CPA, and those who hold the title are well qualified to help your business.
What Does a CPA Do?
As mentioned above, CPA’s can perform several functions for your business. Let’s dive deeper into some of the things a CPA can do for your business.
1. Starting Your Business
If you are a new business owner or a budding entrepreneur, hiring a CPA can ensure your business gets off on the right foot.
It can be tricky to know the best ways to establish your business, especially if you are a first-time business owner. A CPA will help you with the details from choosing the correct legal structure to helping you select a health insurance policy for your employees.
Choosing between a C-corp, LLC, partnership, and S-corp can be a difficult decision and one that you can’t usually change after the fact. A CPA will help you understand the differences between these structures and the pros and cons of choosing each.
Your CPA can also help ensure you comply with federal and states rules and regulations concerning your employees.
2. Tax Time
Tax mistakes can be costly.
As a business owner, you are no doubt looking to maximize your profits and minimize your tax liability. One of the biggest reasons companies hires CPA’s is for help with their taxes.
CPA’s can help with taxes from tax planning ahead of time to preparing and filing the company’s taxes. If you think you can’t afford to hire a CPA, think again.
CPA’s usually cost much less than people think. Consider the amount of time one or more of your internal employees are spending on tax-related duties.
Then consider that they are likely to make mistakes that will cost the company. If you outsource this work to a professional, you will save money from the time your employees are not doing the work.
Most companies also recoup the cost of hiring a CPA through the money they save at tax time. A CPA will help identify applicable deductions and exemptions and advise you as to the necessary documentation needed to claim them.
3. An Outside Perspective
Hiring a CPA gives you an outside set of eyes that can offer you fresh and honest advice about your business.
Often, small business owners get so caught up in the daily tasks that they fail to see the big picture their company is painting. A CPA can take a look at the big picture of your finances and help you make long term financial decisions and avoid risk.
4. Loan Advice
A CPA can help you advise you whether or not to apply for loans and help you through the loan application process.
They will take your cash flow into account, consider any possible risks or fines, evaluate the effect the loan could have on your taxes, and determine whether you should take out the loan. They will also help you apply for the loan itself.
5. Statement Preparation
Finally, CPA’s can prepare formal financial statements for your business.
Examples of these include reviews, compilation reports, and basic financial statements. They can also perform audits.
These reports can help your business evaluate its financial health as well as demonstrate that health to others, like lenders.
Talk To a CPA Today
We hope this article answered the question, “what does a CPA do?”
If you are a business owner and are considering hiring a CPA to help your business, reach out today. It’s not too soon to start planning for next year’s tax season.
Talking to a CPA today will help your business develop a tax and financial strategy that will not only help you this year but for years to come.
Contact us today for an appointment.