A Certified Public Accountant (CPA) does much more than crunch numbers; a CPA advises people, businesses, financial institutions and organizations on financial matters. Today, many business owners and individuals turn to a CPA for help with taxes, financial planning and for advice on developing accounting systems.
People sometimes will lump a CPA in with other number crunchers and bookkeepers. What they don’t realize is that CPAs are financial strategists that help people and organizations chart a path to success.
How Is A CPA Different?
CPAs carry one of the most trusted and respected designations in the financial world. People who want to become a CPA have to go through rigorous training and educational programs; bookkeepers, accountants and number crunchers don’t have to complete these programs.
Individuals who choose to be a CPA need to work hard to get their designation; these people have more knowledge and experience than people in other fields.
What Qualifications Should You Look For In Your CPA?
Michael Yuda believes that it is important to establish your CPA’s credentials before you use them for advice. When hiring a CPA, you need to be confident that the person has the integrity to consistently do the right thing. Before you trust someone with your finances, you need to be confident that they are honest.
It is important to ask around before hiring your CPA; ask friends, colleagues and family if they have anyone that they can recommend. If they don’t, hop online and check out some review sites. Review sites give you a good idea about the person you are looking to hire. Never hire someone without references; you need someone trustworthy to handle your money.
Fee structures vary among CPAs; different types of practitioners have different levels of experience. Generally, the more experienced your CPA is, the more they charge.
Remember that you and your CPA need to develop a long-term relationship; you need to hire a CPA that fits in with your organization. Business owners need to hire a CPA that will learn about their organization from the inside out; once they learn, they can effectively become a trusted advisor on business and financial decisions. Look for technical competence and good communication skills.
CPAs are governed by a strict code of ethics; because of these ethics, they become trusted advisors to businesses and individuals. If you need financial and business advice, a CPA can steer you in the right direction.