Certified Public Accountant: How a CPA Can Help

Given rapidly changing tax laws, not to mention the growing and increasingly complex demands for smart, long-range financial planning, managing your money isn’t anywhere as simple as it used to be. That being the case, you may well find yourself in frequent need of expert advice. A certified public accountant can provide that advice and much, much more.

Due to a demanding credentialing process—one that involves continuing education to keep abreast of tax law; comprehensive exams on regulations, reporting, audits, and economic/ethical/business best practices; and a one- or two-year “apprenticeship” requirement—CPAs are uniquely equipped not only to advise you in the short term, but to become lifelong financial partners. And let’s face it, there’s a lot to be said for professional knowledge, consistency, and stability when it comes to finances.

Among the services a qualified CPA can offer:

  • help obtain a business/personal loan
  • file business and/or personal taxes
  • advice on tax planning
  • strategic, long-range financial advice
  • advice on insurance issues
  • consistent, long-term record-keeping

Successful business owners will no doubt readily understand and appreciate the assistance a CPA can offer—e.g., tax preparation, formulating a business plan, and/or setting up an effective bookkeeping/accounting system. But what if you don’t own a business? How can a CPA help you, personally?

Think of it this way: Unlike annual tax preparation services, a CPA is in the office all year, every year. In addition to preparing and filing your personal income tax, a qualified CPA will be immediately available in case of an audit, ready to support you with licensed expertise and consistent, carefully maintained financial records. Furthermore, he or she can help you understand the monetary and/or tax implications of large purchases—like, say, a house—before you buy, allowing you to reap the biggest financial benefits and avoid tax problems that might otherwise arise later.

A CPA can also help you design a personal financial plan that will enable you to live well within your means, give you advice on individual savings and the best way to set up college funds for the kids, and formulate a comprehensive retirement plan—providing guidance on and managing everything from pensions to IRAs and investments.

In other words, forming an ongoing relationship—business or personal—with a licensed, certified public accountant can provide peace of mind, save time and effort you might have spent struggling with complex tax or money issues on your own, and help you build a secure financial foundation, present and future.