If you’re doing accounting tasks for your business, you’ve probably heard of the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), but you may now know exactly what they are. However, applying them will ensure that your business’s finances are represented fairly and accurately. So, what are the principles of GAAP? Read on to learn about the principles and how they should be used for your own accounting practices.
You’ve been doing the finances of your business for far too long, and you recognize that it is costing you time and, in effect, money. If you’ve been considering having a professional take over, you may be wondering exactly what the difference is between accounting services vs. bookkeeping services. [Read more…]
Undoubtedly, just about every individual should create an estate plan as soon as feasibly possible. Many people harbor the misconception that an estate plan is only necessary for the rich or individuals with significant assets. As a result of this misconception, many people end up overlooking the assets they actually do possess because they believe that they don’t have an estate. All people, with very few exceptions, possess an estate and accordingly need an estate plan. If you’re creating an estate plan, here is some information about the role of a CPA in the estate planning process.
What Is a CPA?
A “Certified Public Accountant” or CPA is the title of qualified accountants in the United States. In order to become a CPA, an individual must pass the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination and meet state experience and education requirements. CPAs are responsible for consulting individuals, businesses, government agencies, financial institutions, and nonprofit organizations. While CPAs mostly act as advisors when it comes to taxes and financial goals, they can also provide help and advice related to the estate planning process.
What Is the Role of a CPA in Estate Planning?
Without a doubt, estate planning is best done with the help of a team of professionals working together. Some key players for an estate planning team include attorneys, investment advisors, insurance agents, bank trust officers, and CPAs.
A CPA can bring his or her knowledge of taxes to the table to ensure you create a proper estate plan. Thanks to this intricate knowledge of taxes, a CPA will be able to tell you the tax implications of every decision you make. This will help you ensure that your estate plan minimizes the taxes and maximizes the portion of your estate that will be passed down to your beneficiaries.
Due to the incredibly high rates of taxation and inflation, it is now more important than ever to have a CPA by your side to make preserving your estate as simple as possible. You need sound estate planning to preserve the estate and wealth you worked so hard to attain. Even if you are young, you need to start planning the disposition of property as soon as possible so that your heirs receive everything entitled to them when the time comes.
Another way a CPA will be able to help you with the estate planning process is giving you reasonable future expectations for your estate. As stated above, many people don’t see the need of creating an estate plan because they don’t believe they have a sizable estate. However, it is possible that an estate of modest value today could become very significant by the time you die. A CPA can use their knowledge of market trends and finances to predict whether the value of your estate will increase, decrease, or stay the same a few decades down the line.
Of course, you can’t expect the predictions of a CPA to be 100 percent accurate. However, in many cases, these predictions will be very close. Thanks to these predictions, you will be able to make informed decisions now and when you make modifications to your estate plan in the future.
An estate plan is one of those things that you should do sooner rather than later. The fact that an individual can die at any time is a sobering but true fact. If you want to learn more about the importance of CPA estate planning, contact us here at Larry Bertsch. We offer a full range of accounting (including forensic accounting), tax preparation, and small business bookkeeping services at affordable fees.
A Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is a significant addition to any business, and a company should look to hire a CPA as soon as possible. There are a lot of reasons why having a CPA is a major concern for business, not least of all because it allows a business to operate more efficiently.
Many small and medium businesses don’t understand why having a CPA is such a big deal, but there are a lot of motives for hiring one.
Why Hire a CPA?
1. Company Assets
Assets, in the lingo of an accountant, is anything that the business owns that brings value to the table and can be used as collateral to borrow against. A CPA can precisely categorize a company’s assets so that the owners and managers are able to have an understanding of how much the business is worth at a glance.
In some situations, this can be very useful, such as using the company itself as collateral for a loan.
2. Technical Accounting Knowledge
Even though you might have an idea what a debit and a credit is in accounting terms, you’re probably be hopelessly lost if you had to utilize this knowledge in the framework of a modern software suite. A CPA is skilled in using and manipulating data within the confines of current accounting software in order to make it intelligible to the layman.
An experienced CPA knows the most modern accounting suites inside out.
The thing with how the IRS does audits is that it seems as though the way they choose the companies to review are incredibly random. The truth of the matter is that the IRS would only consider a company for auditing if the information they have about the company doesn’t add up.
Although in a lot of cases it’s simply a matter of accidentally not calculating correctly, even accidents can carry a hefty fine if a company is found in breach of the law. A CPA ensures that this doesn’t happen and even lessens the chance of an audit even occurring through thorough record-keeping.
4. Operate More Efficiently
Some small businesses contend that the amount that would be paid on a CPA would be too expensive for them to even consider it. The fact is, a CPA on staff almost pays for themselves, and even managed to save the company money in the long run. Overall, having a CPA can enable a business to be more profitable by ensuring that cash and assets are used to grow the business more efficiently.
To do this properly, however, you’d need someone like a skilled CPA to show you the way.
5. Plan the Future
Businesses don’t stay small forever. However, some grow a lot more than others. The growth of a business is almost always directly linked to its management of capital and assets. A skilled CPA can help a business to plot where it should be over a series of years and even plan a route that would utilize the existing assets and capital to get there.
Having a roadmap for anything helps to navigate and for a business, this is even more important.
The Road to Growth and Prosperity is Through a CPA
Normally, tax season is something a lot of businesses and individuals dread. With a CPA on staff, you can rest easy knowing that your financial obligations are already going to be managed professionally. If your company needs to hire a CPA, then you should look into getting one that is both professional and efficient in the job they do.
Contact Larry L. Bertsch today to find out how a CPA can make tax season seem exciting for once!
There’s nothing more traumatizing for a business owner than to have their small business audited. Running a small business can be challenging enough, but can become more stressful with the IRS auditing you. While the prospect of an IRS audit may be scary, you can lower your odds of being audited by avoiding certain actions that the government considers to be red flags. Our expert CPA’s highlight a few red flags that could lead your small business to get some unwanted attention from the IRS?
1. Your Business Isn’t Making a Profit
If your company doesn’t make a profit in at least two out of every five years, the government may consider your business to be a hobby. While you should take every deduction that you are entitled to, be aware that your audit risk increases with each year, you spend in the red. Make sure that you keep good records to justify your losses.
2. You Claim 100 Percent Business Use of a Vehicle
Typically, a business owner will use his or her personal vehicle for business trips or to travel to business lunches. However, the IRS knows that some people will try to claim that their personal vehicle is solely used for business, which is unlikely. As with anything tax related, you should keep good records to justify the miles and other expenses that you write off related to the business use of your vehicle.
3. Cash Businesses Get Extra Scrutiny
Restaurants, car washes and other companies that do a lot of cash transactions could be in for extra scrutiny from the government. This is because it is easier to hide money or otherwise fail to report it come tax time. While it may be tempting to shelter some of your money elsewhere or simply not tell the IRS about it, it could lead to fines and penalties later that could negate any potential gain.
How Does a CPA Help?
A CPA can help you organize your receipts, invoices, and liabilities into a coherent set of records. When the IRS comes calling, you can refer to these records to show that you have been complying with tax laws and are engaging in legal tax avoidance as opposed to tax evasion. Having clean books can also help when applying for a loan, asking for outside investment or when you attempt to sell your business.
There is no surefire way to know whether or not your company will get audited in a given year. Fortunately, the overall audit rate is around 1 percent, which means that your odds of dealing with the government in any given year are low. However, if you are facing an audit or simply want to get better organized, give Larry L. Bertsch, CPA a call today.