What can a CPA do for you?
CPAs are no longer just number crunchers and tax preparers. They are business and financial strategists who help chart the paths of businesses and individuals. Individuals turn to their CPAs for tax and financial planning services, investment advice, estate planning, and more.
Businesses are tapping CPAs to not only manage finances and taxes, but also to determine profitable new product lines, help diversify investments, and provide a variety of other consulting and business services.
CPA vs. non-CPA
Many people do not know how a CPA is different from a bookkeeper or tax preparer. The CPA designation is one of the most widely recognized and highly trusted professional designations in the business world. CPAs are distinguished from other finance professionals by stringent qualification and licensing requirements.
Individuals have worked hard to obtain the CPA designation, and they are committed to working even harder to deliver the value that it conveys.
What qualifications should you look for when choosing a CPA?
Before you select a CPA, make sure you consider the following questions:
- Does the individual hold an active CPA license?
- Are your needs compatible with the CPA’s personality and communication style?
- Does the CPA have the experience you need?
It’s important to establish a practitioner’s credentials before you retain his or her services. You need to feel that this person has integrity and honesty before you will trust him or her with your financial information. Be aware that fee structures vary and that different types of practitioners have different levels of training and experience.
Keep in mind that you are looking to establish a long-term relationship. You want someone who will learn your business inside and out, and who will become a trusted advisor on major business and financial decisions and transactions. Look not only for technical competence but also for interpersonal and communication skills.
Membership in a professional association is also an important qualification.
Defining your objectives and expectations will help you ask the kind of specific questions necessary for finding the CPA best suited to your needs. Think about the services you will need not just today but further down the road.
For more information, visit ValueYourMoney.org.