If your small business is growing, sales are strong, and you’re on track for a record year, that’s great! But what does all this mean for filing taxes and setting financial goals for the next quarter?
If you’re asking yourself these questions, it’s time to find a small business CPA near you. A Certified Public Accountant (CPA) can help you with everything from bookkeeping and taxes to financial planning and business consulting.
But where do you find a qualified CPA for your small business and how do you know you’ve found a good one?
Before exploring how to find the best small business CPA near you, let’s get through the basics.
Accounting is the process of tracking, recording, and interpreting financial information for a business. It provides insights into the financial health of the business and helps make informed decisions about its future.
Small business accounting is similar to this definition, but it is even more important for small businesses to track their finances carefully. This is because every dollar counts for a small business, and accurate accounting can help identify areas where costs can be reduced or revenue can be increased.
If you are looking for accounting services near you, keep in mind that depending on the size and needs of your business, these accountants may work on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis.
A small business CPA handles numerous tasks, including:
- Preparing, filing, and amending tax returns
- Identifying allowable tax deductions
- Preparing financial statements, such as balance sheets, income statements, and cash flow statements
- Maintaining and managing accounts
- Helping to maintain a steady cash flow
- Payroll and fixed asset accounting
- Financial forecasting
- Financial analysis and advice, including potential areas for growth
Here are some of the benefits of working with a small business CPA near you:
- They can help you save money on taxes.
- They can help you avoid penalties and fines.
- They can help you make better financial decisions for your business.
- They can provide you with peace of mind knowing that your financial records are in good hands.
A search for a small business CPA near you may yield thousands of results, and trying to wade through them all would be a challenge. So you can start by creating a must-have list based on your business needs.
To find the right small business CPA near you, you first need to determine what tasks you need help with and how often you need their assistance. Make a list of priorities, such as what needs to be done immediately and what can wait six months.
Next, pick the type of firm you want to work with. Whatever you choose, be sure to select a small business CPA near you who has experience with your type of business and with whom you feel comfortable sharing sensitive information.
Red Flags To Watch For There are accountants who seem ideal on paper but aren’t quite what they seem. While shady accounting is never good, it can be deadly for small businesses.
You need to take every precaution to avoid working with the wrong firm, including interviewing, asking for references, and conducting a background check.
You’ll also want to stay active in your accounting processes and watch for red flags, such as:
- A small business CPA who tells you not to bother keeping receipts
- Being asked to sign documents or checks without knowing what they are for
- Not receiving a quote for services after your tax refund has been determined
- Communication slows down or stops altogether
- Hiring a CPA who is not a member of a professional organization, such as the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).
- Hiring a CPA who is not familiar with the laws and regulations that apply to your business.
- Going with the cheapest option. There are many factors to consider when choosing a CPA, and price should only be one of them.
- Not getting everything in writing. Once you’ve chosen a CPA, be sure to get everything in writing. This includes their fees, the services they will provide, and the deadlines they will meet. This will help to avoid any misunderstandings down the road.
- Not communicating with your CPA. It’s important to communicate with your CPA on a regular basis. This will help them to understand your business and provide you with the best possible service. Be sure to keep them updated on any changes to your business, such as new employees or new products or services.
While hiring a small business CPA near you will cost you money, it can also save you a lot in the long run. Without a CPA who’s up to date on tax laws, you’re likely missing out on deductions and other small business benefits. As your business grows, you probably won’t have the time or knowledge to keep track of all your books.