CPAs are often seen as nothing more than number crunchers. However, they have much greater responsibilities than this. They are actually people who act as business and financial strategists.
CPAs Vs. Regular Accountants
One of the differences between a CPA and a non-CPA is that a CPA is placed under much greater qualification and licensing goals. Because of how hard a CPA typically works in order to receive the designation, the CPA will typically work even harder to prove that he or she deserves the designation. You will feel more comfortable sharing your financial information with someone who is more professional.
The Role Of Professional Organizations
In addition to being a CPA, it is best to find out if the CPA is a member of a professional organization. Professional organizations have stringent codes of professional conduct that will lead to the CPA being an individual whom you would be more willing to leave your financial information with. You should ask about the specific professional organization that the CPA is a member of and what role the CPA plays in that organization.
CPAs and Taxes
CPAs are especially useful when you need a professional to keep up with your taxes. An accountant is able to do your taxes, but he or she is not required to participate in continuing education in order to maintain his or her license. A very rigorous exam is carried out over the course of several days. Not every CPA is specialized in taxes, but a CPA firm is typically more prepared to help you with your small business taxes than is a regular accountant. One of the advantages is that a CPA is allowed to represent you before the IRS in an audit. Therefore, if you have hired a CPA or if you regularly work with a CPA firm, you will have someone who can already be in your corner to help you through this difficult moment.
Finding A CPA
The best way to find a great CPA is to talk to an insurance broker, lawyer or banker. Be clear about your plans and objectives before you go to speak with a CPA for the first time so that your conversation can be productive. By having all of your financial information together, you can ask more specific questions. The documents that you will need to bring include financial statements, past tax returns, business plans and investment documents.