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You Don't Just Need Your CPA at Tax Time

Your CPA was there for you during tax season, providing expertise, guidance, and support. But did you know now that April 15th (or April 18th, as was the case this year) has passed, you need your accountant more than ever?

Accountants are a vital piece of your daily business puzzle, with their services diverging well beyond taxes, bookkeeping, and payroll. Yet consider the following: many business owners hire a CPA only to help them pay less – less on taxes, less on operating expenses, less on everything. That’s all well and good, but beyond that, your CPA can and should provide expert financial management services. Why is this important? It is estimated that upwards of 80% of all corporate insolvencies result from poor financial management. To avoid being a statistic, your focus should not just be on analyzing and reporting historical data, but proactively creating and managing your current and future financial picture in real time. That means working with your CPA throughout the entire year, not just during tax season – because by then it’s too late to make any real and impactful change.

Here are just five examples of the many roles your CPA should be playing in your business:

1. He/she should be providing regular and timely guidance when it comes to monitoring income and expenditures plus managing cash flow. Your business can’t be profitable if it’s spending as much as it’s taking in.

2. Your financial picture should be expertly managed by your CPA, enabling him/her to plan, forecast, analyze, and reset your business plans as necessary to achieve calculated and sustained growth. On the other hand, a financial portfolio mismanaged, perhaps due to a lack of expertise, can result in a downward spiral.

3. He/she should know how much money to keep in the company, and when to spend the funds for growth and expansion. When the picture isn’t so positive, he/she should offer viable solutions to stress points and resolve financial pressures.

4. He/she should be mitigating your risks by managing the financial integrity, health, and stability of your business in an independent, unbiased fashion. By outsourcing this to an expert, you can spend time on the tasks you actually like. And isn’t that why you went into business in the first place?

5. Being dedicated to the accounting industry, your CPA should be up-to-date on new regulatory issues (and can show you their CPE to prove it!), thereby providing compliance guidance on matters you may not even know about, let alone know how to tackle.

Hiring a CPA is an invaluable investment in the long term viability, success, and profitability of your business. And hiring the right CPA is every bit as important as hiring any other member of your team. Make sure you’re working with one who provides expert financial management services throughout the entire year, and one that is a perfect fit for your company – because no one wants to be a statistic.

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