Do I need a CPA, is too broad of a question. What you need to be asking yourself is, what kind of financial assistance do I need. Chances are pretty good that if you are a very small business, your need for a CPA is very minimal.
One thing to keep in mind, many who refer to themselves as bookkeepers are actually accountants however, if they have not taken the required exams to become CPA’s, many states do not allow them to even use the word accountants hence the term bookkeeper.
Bookkeeper or Enrolled Agent Can Handle
- I need somebody to enter my daily, weekly, and monthly transactions
- I need somebody to pay my bills, run my payroll, pay my contractors, keep up on past due customer invoices, watch for fraud and send me a P&L, and keep track of my balance sheet
- I need somebody to file my income tax at year end, file my sales tax throughout the year, file my payroll tax, file my quarterly estimated tax, and go over my books quarterly, semi-annually, or yearly to tell me where I can get the best tax savings for my business
- I need somebody to create financial reports that include my KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) such as my gross profit margin, my break even, my operating expense ratio, how much my employees are costing me as compared to sales, help me to understand where to cut spending.
- I need to figure out a budget for my company, so I can set goals to keep my expenses to a certain amount.
- I am purchasing a new business or expanding the business that I have I need to know the financial consequences of doing this
- I am getting a loan but my loan advisor wants a certified/audited financial statement
- I need somebody to represent me in a tax audit or other tax related legal matter, other than filing tax returns.
- I need to ensure that I am compliant with my industry and my industry financial regulations
- I am starting a new business and I want to make sure I am in legal compliance with my financials
CPA’s have a role in every business and every business will need a CPA at some point, but a CPA is not the answer to all things financial. Many times when a CPA is handling the parts of your finances that are better suited for a bookkeeper or an enrolled agent, you are overpaying.
When trying to decide whether you need a CPA, don’t ask do I need a CPA, ask what am I trying to accomplish with my financials? Once you put that into perspective you will be able to understand if you need a bookkeeper, an enrolled agent, or if you really in truly need a CPA to help your business run smoothly.