If you’re a small business owner, you could be asking yourself, do I need a CPA?
Do I need a CPA? That’s a question many small business owners ask. Can you do your accounting yourself, or should you hire an in-house accountant? Do you need someone full-time, or can you outsource? There are a lot of questions when it comes to the financial management of your company. We’re here to help. Let’s take a look at what a CPA is and whether or not you need one for your small business.
What Is a CPA?
A CPA is a Certified Public Accountant. The certification comes in the form of state licensing and requires certain minimums when it comes to education and experience. To become a CPA, a person must pass the CPA exam. The primary difference between a CPA and an accountant is that only a CPA can prepare two specific types of financial statements – an audited financial statement and a reviewed financial statement. This simply means that independent auditors audit and review the statements. They attest to the fairness and compliance of the reports using accounting principles.
Do I Need a CPA?
When it comes to financial data and management for your business, you want to hire someone you can trust with this critical information, but you don’t want to go broke in the process. So, the question remains, do you need a CPA? The answer is often no. But you should consider hiring an accountant or accounting firm to support your business and help you with all of the various tasks that are vital to your business operations and its success. And you’ll get more for your money by hiring an accountant vs. a CPA.
What’s the Difference Between a CPA and an Accountant?
A CPA has to pass an exam to be licensed by the state where they practice. An accountant doesn’t need any specific education, experience, or licensing to practice accounting. You might think, why would I hire an accountant if that’s the case? Most small business owners perform their due diligence when hiring any type of support, whether it’s a full-time employee, a cleaning company, or an insurance provider. The same should be true, and even more so, of an accountant to handle your books.
Most accountants have some type of accounting or finance degree, and that should certainly be a priority when looking for the right accounting team for your business. They can also have advanced degrees and should have at least a certain amount of experience and client testimonials to prove their reliability, expertise, and success.
What Can an Accountant Do for My Business?
It’s important to look for a team that can support every aspect of your growth, from startup to success. Some things you should look for include startup support, software consulting, comprehensive accounting, payroll, and tax preparation.
Do you know what entity to select when starting your company? It can have significant tax implications down the road. A reliable accounting firm can help you with entity selection to make sure you’re considering all factors. They can also help you obtain all of your tax ID numbers, help ensure you have proper and adequate capital funding, and make the right software selection and help with implementation.
Proper selection, implementation, and set-up of your accounting software are critical. Getting it done right from the get-go will make a huge difference in how you do business in the future. Whether you’re a startup who’s just getting started with your software or you have an established company and you’re struggling with adding, editing, tracking, and reporting on data, you should look for software consulting as part of an accounting package. They should be able to help with training, troubleshooting, customization, processes, and procedures.
One of the most important functions of an accounting team is your financial data management. This can include everything from daily bookkeeping to financial report creation. Here are some things a good accounting team can do for your business:
- Bookkeeping including data entry, transaction entry, and transaction tracking
- Financial statements to provide all financial information on your company for your use as well as for investors
- Bank reconciliation which includes reconciling your bank accounts, credit cards, and transactions
- Billing, receivables, and payables administration including invoicing customers, collecting and tracking payments, and making sure your payments to vendors are accurate and on time
- Compilation service that ensures the accuracy of your financial information. It adds credibility to your statements for third parties and serves as an internal accounting backup to identify and avoid any errors.
- Budget creation assistance to help you develop a budget that allows you to track your cash flow, capital expenditures, staffing expenses, and more, so you can establish budget models that work for your business and your current and forecasted financial situation
- Analytics to assist you in creating and interpreting your financial reports and records and help you make smart decisions for investing and spending
- Fixed asset administration to track any of your company’s capital expenditures and depreciation
- Payroll management so you don’t have to try to juggle all of the information related to paying your staff, including hours worked, salaries, wages, taxes, and benefits
One of the most important things you must do as a business owner is to file your taxes accurately and on time. It can be time-consuming and labor-intensive. Your accounting team can use the information they have kept and tracked through the year to prepare your income taxes. Their expertise can help you take advantage of any deductions you’re eligible for, can make sure you’re in compliance, and can prepare and file your taxes for you.
So, Do I Need a CPA for My Small Business?
You don’t necessarily need a CPA, but if you have a small business, you should definitely consider bringing an accounting firm on board. They can take all of that financial management off your plate so you can focus on growing your business. Outsourcing your accounting allows you to free up your payroll, free up your time, and access the knowledge and expertise of an experienced team of accountants.
Whether you’re a one-person shop or a growing company with a team of employees, we can help manage the accounting and financial functions of your business. Call Accounting Partners, Inc., today at 678-990-0924 for a free consultation to learn how a small business accountant can help your business.