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What They Do and Why Would You Need One?

One of the most important aspects of running a business is keeping your financial house in order. Reviewing financial records, filing taxes, applying for small business loans, and planning for the long-term can seem overwhelming for the business owner already juggling day-to-day tasks. There comes a time when the Owner may need strategic financial guidance and services over and above what you are getting from an accountant, bookkeeping service, or tax preparer. Having an Austin-based Certified Public Accountant (CPA) working along-side you can make all the difference to your business success.

Who Is A Certified Public Accountant?

A Certified Public Accountant is an accounting professional who has passed the CPA exam—a rigorous exam that tests one’s understanding of tax law and accounting practices, and maintains their qualifications through continuing education to be a licensed CPA. Most CPAs can act as an accounting consultant, tax consultant, auditor, and business and financial advisor, bringing invaluable expertise to your business, freeing your time to focus on other critical tasks. So, basically, when you hire Certified Public Accountant, you are hiring a finance expert that is up-to-date on all things financial—and financially legal.

What Are The Benefits of Hiring a Certified Public Accountant?

Tax Filing & Planning
Certified Public Accounts can prepare tax documents, file tax returns, and provide tax planning advice to help you strategize how you can minimize your tax liability for next year. These professionals can help maximize your deductions and credits, handle complicated returns, reduce oversights and errors when filing, help you avoid tax penalties, and keep pace of the ever-changing and complicated tax laws—so you don’t have to.

Accounting & Bookkeeping
A Certified Public Account can help you keep your business running smoothly by tracking your business’s sales and purchases, payments, and receipts – and by making sure your books are accurate.  By hiring a CPA, you receive on-time and accurate monthly balance sheets, profit and loss statements, a dedicated bookkeeping expert and visibility into your financials. These professionals can help you translate your accounting data into forecasting information, so you can make decisions about your business’s future.

Strategic Business Advice
Every business owner will face worry, pressure, and stress at some point, and may need a sounding board.  With proper planning, setting goals, timely budgeting, and accurate financial forecasting, you can set the stage for ongoing success. A Certified Public Account can help you set long-term goals for your business, create a budget to keep your spending on track, and develop a forecast of revenue to help fund and estimate future growth. A CPA bring wise counsel for tough business decisions and improve accuracy, timeliness and understanding of your financial reporting.  For many major milestones in business, a Certified Public Account is going to be your best ally.

IRS Tax Problems:
An IRS audit can be an intimidating process. A Certified Public Accountant can help you resolve your tax problems and help you prepare for an audit.  One of the biggest advantages of working with a professional CPA is their ability to represent you in case of an IRS audit or other tax resolution issues. An experienced CPA knows the process and will help to efficiently complete the audit or help you file for an extension if you are unable to meet deadlines.

Business Growth Preparation
When you are ready to grow your business, a Certified Public Accountant can be an integral resource that provides advice by determining areas for growth through insight on cash flow patterns, inventory management, pricing, and business financing. A CPA can help you set up budget and forecast reporting. They will help you create business goals to achieve in the next 12 months, and use simple dashboards and benchmarks to see if your assumptions pan out. By analyzing fixed costs and variable costs compared with sales volume at different periods, your CPA can determine what factors can have the greatest impact on profitable growth.

Determining Business Value
There are several reasons you might want to know the overall value of your business.  All business owners come to the point where they must pass the torch to the person or people who will carry on their legacy. If you’re looking to sell your business and are planning your exit strategy, fielding acquisition interest, or may need to breakout off a business partnership, a CPA can help you to determine the worth and value of your entire business. If an exit is in the future, a CPA can create action plans that can, overtime, work to improve the value of your business in the event of a future sale.

As you can see, Certified Public Accountants do so much more than crunch numbers and prepare taxes. They provide financial strategies to help businesses and individuals make solid financial decisions and implement tax saving strategies—an invaluable asset to your business.

Jeanine Hemingway is an Austin-based Certified Public Accountant who takes a holistic approach to financial planning and tax services. Our services are designed to play a critical role in your overall financial wellness. Contact us today to learn how we can assist you and your business.