The CPA, the accountant, the tax guy, whatever you call them, most small business owners have someone to help them with their numbers. So, does your small business need a CPA?
That depends on what you need. CPA stands for Certified Public Accountant, and individuals are licensed by states, similar to other professionals such as physicians. All states have the same basic requirements, first of which is that the individual passes the “Uniform Exam”. This is like the physician’s boards that medical doctors have to pass. Passing the Uniform Exam and being a CPA means you have a broad depth of knowledge of all things finance and accounting, including taxation.
Being a licensed CPA allows you to do certain things, most importantly so called “attestation” work. This work is essentially a legal opinion as to the accuracy of financial statements. Think of it as a seal of approval, and sometimes you need it (e.g. to obtain credit). Most small businesses, however, have no need for attestation work.
So why choose a CPA over H&R Block or a tax preparation service? In a word, knowledge. Because of the high bar to become a CPA, and the continuing education requirements, the average CPA is going to be able to handle more than someone who doesn’t have that training.
Just like physicians though, CPAs have different specialties. Some may work with nonprofits, or specific industry, say banking. It is critical when selecting a CPA that you find one who specializes in small businesses. At Core, that is ALL we do!
Although ANY business can benefit from hiring a small business CPA, here are some situations where you definitely NEED one:
- Your business revenue is in excess of $100k
- Your business net income is in excess of $50k
- Your business has inventory
- Your business has fixed assets (e.g. business vehicles)
- Your business has employees
In these situations the value that a small business CPA brings significantly exceeds the cost (or it SHOULD!) If the CPA cannot quantify the value that they bring to you, then move on. At Core, we will provide you an Initial Savings Report (at no charge) outlining the potential tax savings that we see in your business BEFORE you hire us. That, coupled with the fact that all of our new clients come on with a 100% 90 day guarantee, means you have zero risk.