Choosing the right CPA for your business should never be taken lightly. After all, you’re partnering with a firm that will have full visibility into your business finances and profitability. Therefore, it is important that you work with someone who you trust with a great reputation because your business depends on it. It is also important that you work with a CPA that understands you and your business. In this article, we’d like to educate you on the role that a CPA plays in your business and the criteria you should review when seeking one.
Why Hire A CPA?
It is a common misconception for businesses to think of a CPA as a one-time necessity, to only use when filing taxes. That couldn’t be further from the truth. While one of the key differentiators in hiring a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) does include their certification and intricate knowledge of tax laws, there are additional values that a CPA can bring to your business.
In addition to preparing and reviewing taxes for your business, CPAs work with small business owners to develop tax strategies, create forecasts for your business and assist in developing business strategies.
Your CPA will work with you to develop a roadmap for your business. Building this roadmap will enable you to predict the future outcomes of your business through forecasting, expense review and strategizing your income versus your net profit. If you want to build a compass, directing your business toward profitability, longevity, or even to attract investors in the future, hiring a CPA is crucial.
Determining How to Structure Your Business
Starting a new business is both exciting and a bit stressful. You are working on a limited budget and in the beginning, it is tempting to do things on your own even if they do not fall in your area of expertise. As a result, many small businesses neglect hiring a CPA on the outset of their business to trim costs. However, hiring a CPA in the early planning stages of your business could make the difference between your business’ success and failure. Employing a CPA to assist in determining your business structure could save you money on taxes in the long run.
A CPA will walk you through all the benefits and drawbacks of each business structure, and identify which best fits your business model to maximize profitability. For example, if your business is considering an S Corp, a CPA can advise that this tax structure could result in double taxation for your business. There are scenarios where the S Corp can be a benefit, but does that apply to you? Your CPA can advise accordingly.
We understand that cost is a concern when you are just getting started, but employing a CPA does not have to be costly. The goal of bringing them into your business is to maximize profits, not reduce them. Engaging your CPA on a quarterly basis should be sufficient to meet your needs and your budget. Operating and starting your business without this support is the equivalent of going out into a rainstorm without an umbrella, and no one wants that!
Proper research is necessary to ensure the success of any business. Your CPA will hold you accountable to make sure you’ve done your due diligence before you get started. The last thing you need is to start a business on a whim just to learn after investing all your savings that you didn’t have a profitable model in place.
Your CPA will work with you to make sure that you not only conduct the necessary research before you get started but that you’ve walked through all the possible scenarios your business could encounter and prepare accordingly. Your CPA will sit down with you to review your anticipated revenue and expenses for the first year. They will review each expense, line by line, to determine what is needed. During this review, it’s better to be more thorough to make sure all costs are accounted for.
Do you plan to rent or lease a space? How much will that cost? What will the cost of office supplies be? Don’t leave anything out during this process. Once you have an exhaustive list of your expenses, you’ll know your bottom line and will be ready to start working on revenue numbers to determine what needs to be earned to break even, and then produce a profit. Without your bottom-line expenses outlined, you have no idea how much money your business needs to earn to be profitable. Your CPA will work with you to develop these numbers and then begin to strategize with you on how to get there. This is where the business strategy begins.
With the numbers identified, you and your CPA can now get into the nitty-gritty of activities you need to engage in to drive revenue for your business. Your CPA will review your current product lines and evaluate what potential revenue those product lines can bring in. Do you need to consider new product lines? Do you have an existing customer base that is already contributing to your numbers, or do you need to build one from scratch? If so, what is your strategy to advertise and expand your reach to your target customer base?
Does your product line include distribution or retail? What does this strategy look like? What relationships do you need to build as a result? Are there organizations that you need to join for networking to grow business such as your local Chamber of Commerce? Your CPA will evaluate all these options with you to determine the proper roadmap to achieve your revenue goal.
They will review your advertising and go-to-market strategies, and benchmark them with comparable businesses to ensure you are making good decisions that will yield proper results. As your CPA works with you to determine your different business strategies, they will also ask you to break down the pillars of your business offerings, identifying at least three. Without these pillars, you’d have no differentiation in the market, so this exercise is essential to the full development of your business strategy.
Evaluating Your CPA
Your CPA is an integral part of your business; therefore, take your time to make sure you are bringing in someone who is going to meet your needs. Check out their credentials and make sure they not only look good on paper, but make sure they can do more than just your taxes. You’ll want a CPA that will be able to walk with you to build and manage the roadmap for your business. If they can meet these needs and you have a strong chemistry with them, they may be the one for you.
VAAS Professionals is proud to not only offer CPA services to small businesses but to truly work as a consultant with our customers to meet their financial needs. Tenured, we have nearly 20 years of experience working with small businesses in the greater Atlanta area. From the complex tasks of managing and filing your business taxes to helping you organize your budget, VAAS provides a comprehensive suite of services to arm your business with the financial security you need to build a long, profitable future. Schedule a consultation to learn more about how VAAS can serve your unique business needs.