How to Get the Most Bang for Your Buck When Hiring a CPA

Finding a good CPA is probably one of the biggest investments your company will ever make. It may be a huge pill to swallow initially, but it will pay off in the long run, especially if you end up hiring a CPA who is super financially savvy.

Even though hiring a capable CPA imposes a burden on companies, there are still ways you can make sure you are getting your money’s worth when hiring a CPA:

Relationship Building is Key

Whether you realize it or not, relationship building is everything, especially in business. Hiring the same CPA each and every year saves you not only from having to stress about who to hire but it also ensures that the person you have working on your behalf is familiar with your situation and is able to spot problems almost immediately.

Organization

Many CPAs today charge by the hour, and the more organized you are, the better prepared you are when it’s time for you to meet with your accountant. Being organized not only saves time because you’re able to focus better, it also saves money because you won’t spend hours fumbling in an attempt to find documents.

If You Don’t Know―Ask

Business owners often make many incorrect financial decisions not because they are irresponsible but because they don’t know what they are doing. If you don’t know if you should or shouldn’t do something, ask your accountant. Again, asking will save you money in the long run.

Be Transparent

You don’t have to lie to your CPA; in fact, it’s better for you to be transparent with your CPA. The more transparent you are, the more your CPA can help you.

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How to Know When it’s Time to Hire a New CPA

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Hiring a New CPA

No matter the situation, hiring a CPA is a challenge, and so hiring a new CPA after you’ve already hired one in the past (or already have one) can be even more challenging. Here are just a few ways you can identify when it’s time for you to hire a new CPA:

Your Company Starts Losing Money

When you first hired your CPA, your finances were flying threw through the roof, but suddenly that huge sum of money you were once making has suddenly started to thin out. This is not always because your CPA isn’t doing a good job, but sometimes hiring a new set of eyes who can offer a fresh new perspective can be helpful.

Your CPA Starts Devaluing Growth

If a company isn’t growing, they’re not evolving. If at any moment your CPA or anyone on your team starts to devalue growth and only focuses on the short term gains of the business, it may be time to either have a sit down with your CPA in order to discuss your long term goals or to simply bring on a new CPA.

You & Your CPA Stop Seeing Eye to Eye

You and everybody on your team will not always be on the same page; however, it’s important that you and your CPA see eye to eye. If at any given time you and your CPA start having a difference of opinion regarding your financial goals, it may be time to part ways. You always want to make sure you and your CPA have the same plans for the future.

Have you ever had to hire a new CPA? If so, how did you know when it was time to hire a new one?

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Three Mistakes You Can Avoid When Interviewing a New CPA

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Hiring a New CPA

One of the most exciting parts of any company’s day is being presented with the opportunity to hire brand new talent. While hiring brand new talent can be fun, it is imperative that you use caution, especially when hiring a new CPA.

Here are three mistakes which are commonly made when interviewing a new CPA. Be sure that you take steps to avoid making these mistakes.

Hiring Too Soon

One mistake many companies make when hiring a CPA is being so desperate to the point that they hire too soon. Hiring a CPA should be a slow, calculated process involving careful selection of the best of the best. Once the best of the best is found, the candidates should be sent on a round of interviews to determine if this particular CPA is the right fit for you.

Hiring Without Seeing Credentials

CPAs differ from non-CPA accountants in certain important ways. Because of this, it’s important that you ask to see proof of a candidate’s CPA credential before the interview.

Assuming All CPAs Are Good For You

Just because a CPA is good for one business does not mean that they will be a good CPA for yours. Many CPAs have experience in one or two industries, and if your industry be not among them, that may be a sign that they may not be the right CPA for your company.

What other mistakes can you avoid when interviewing for a new CPA? Leave your comments below.

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Three Bankruptcy Issues Your CPA Can Help You Address

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Bankruptcy

When things get tough financially, the first thing which comes to mind for many people is whether they should file for bankruptcy. While filing bankruptcy can help you when it comes to protecting your assets, it’s not always the best decision for every person. Discussing your bankruptcy filing option with your CPA before you file is extremely important. Here are three bankruptcy issues which you should take the time to discuss with your CPA:

Unnecessary Filings

Some people file for bankruptcy out of sheer panic, and while it may seem like a good idea initially, filing for bankruptcy can cost you thousands of dollars in assets. Your CPA can help you procure a good bankruptcy lawyer before you make such a rash decision.

Paying Back Family Members

When it comes to bankruptcy, your family members are viewed just like any other creditor, which means if you plan to file for bankruptcy soon it’s in your interest to not attempt to pay them back. In fact, a bankruptcy trustee can help you reclaim an amount repaid to a friend or family within one year of your bankruptcy.

Running Up Credit Cards

If you know you will soon be filing for bankruptcy, one of the worst decisions you can make is to run up your credit card or get a new one. Doing either of these activities will not only ruin your fresh start post-bankruptcy, but there is also no guarantee that these debts will be forgiven.

What other bankruptcy mistakes can your CPA help you avoid? Leave your comments below.

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Three Financial Hiccups Your CPA Can Help You Avoid

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Financial Mistakes to Avoid

Hiring a CPA is not always about making money; sometimes it’s about keeping the money you already have. Hiring a CPA can help you not only make superior financial decisions, they can also help you avoid making big mistakes. Here are just a few mistakes a CPA can help you avoid.

Not Creating a Financial Plan

Believe it or not, even some of the most successful business owners you know don’t have a financial plan. Whether you’re a business owner, independent contractor or employee, not having a financial plan is setting yourself up for failure. In addition to having a financial plan, it’s also important to follow the plan. Not following the plan can be just as detrimental as not having one at all.

Failing to Leverage Good Debt

One of the biggest mistakes many people make is failing to leverage good debt. This could mean paying down on those student loans on a consistent basis vs. attempting to get rid of those student loans in one lump sum.

Neglecting to Get Insurance

Thanks to brand new legislation, it is now a requirement to have a minimum level of health insurance. Many individuals and businesses make the mistake of neglecting to get insurance, and because of this end up costing their business thousands at the end of each year.

What financial hiccups has your CPA saved your business from? Leave your comments below.

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Three Misconceptions People Have About CPAs

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Three CPA Misconceptions

Business owners love to brag about certain team members whom they have on their team. The CPA is one such team member. CPA stands for “certified public accountant,” and believe it or not, when your team has a CPA, many individuals view that as a stamp of approval that your business is legitimate.

While having a CPA on your team is important, there are often several misconceptions surrounding CPAs, and a few of those misconceptions include:

CPAs Are Mathematicians

While CPAs must be comfortable with certain levels of mathematics, the idea that CPAs are mathematicians is simply false. In fact, many CPAs will admit that they don’t even like math. Surprisingly, accounting has little to do with math, and more to do with categorizing. It is also more about making sure you know how to track and report finances as they come in and out of your account.

CPAs Are One Size Fits All

Did your friend recently refer an amazing CPA that you are interested in trying out for yourself? While the CPA may work out for your friend’s business, be reminded that CPAs do not necessarily work well for any given person’s situation. Just because a CPA works for one business entity does not guarantee that they will work with all business entities the exact same way.

CPAs Cannot Save You From Financial Distress

One common mistake many people make when working with a CPA is hiring them in hopes that they can save you from financial distress. While it may be ideal to have a new hire save you from your financial problems, that’s not what a CPA is there for. A CPA can, however, help you make sure you make better financial decisions in the future.

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How Your Accountant Can Help You Get Tax Exempt Status as a Non-Profit

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Tax Exempt Status for Non-Profits

Many not-for-profit companies dream of the day when they can get tax exempt status. Receiving tax exempt status usually requires more effort than one would think, however. To receive this status, non-profits can use all the assistance they can get.

Here are several ways that your accountant can assist you in your quest to reach exempt status:

Develop a Budget & Then Determine How You’ll Store Your Records

Non-profit organizations often find themselves in how water simply because they don’t have a budget. Or, they find themselves in trouble because they don’t know how to accurately keep records. Your accountant can help you with this by providing you with the tools necessary to be able to ensure that you are properly documenting all of your finances, expenses, gains and losses.

Help You Hire a CPA Who Specializes in Non-Profit Organizations

Your accountant may know how to help your business succeed financially, but only an accountant who has specialized in non-profits will truly be able to help you when you seek to receive your tax exempt status. He or she will know exactly what to look for within your business, and best of all he or she will also know what documents are needed in order to help you properly make your case.

Help You File Your Application

Once you have all of your application materials together, your accountant can help you file your application. While you can easily do it without your accountant’s help, it may be helpful to receive that additional assistance to ensure you are not looking over anything.

What other ways have you found that your accountant can help you when you attempt to get your tax exempt status? Leave your comments below.

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Three Ways Your Accountant Can Provide Value to Your Business

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Business Growth

Whether we fully understand the role of an accountant or not, we all know that at some point we must hire one. If you’re looking to grow your business, you need to select a competent accountant who has the ability to add significant value to your organization. If they be capable, accountants can help you grow your business more rapidly and also help you stay on top of your business finances.

Below are a few specific ways your accountant can provide value to your business:

Find Ways to Save Money

Believe it or not, hiring an accountant can put you in a position to save money like you have never saved before. Your accountant is literally able to take one glance at your financial records and be able to determine in how you can cut expenses. Once those opportunities to cut expenses are identified, then you will be able to save more.

Provide Opportunities to Make More Money

As you save more money, you’ll be able to make more money. Your accountant should be able to work with you to help you identify financial growth opportunities that not only benefit your business in the short-term but also in the long-term.

 

Eliminate Wasteful Spending

Yes, your accountant can help you save money, but they can also help you eliminate wasteful spending. Many accountants ask that you offer a level of transparency with them when making any large financial moves so that they can assure you are making decisions that benefit your financial health.

 

Looking for other ways your CPA can add value to your life? Leave your comments below.

 

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How to Verify the Credentials of Your CPA

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CPA Credential Verification

Not every accountant is a CPA, but every CPA is an accountant. Not sure what a CPA is? It’s actually the term used to describe an accountant who holds a particular certification. An accountant who holds this certification is referred to as a “Certified Public Accountant” (or CPA for short). Many accountants will attempt to throw around the title of CPA even though they may not even hold this credential. Here are a few ways you can determine whether or not the accountant on your team, or the one you are looking to hire, is really a CPA.

Inquire

Honesty is always the best policy, and if you’re not sure if the accountant you are working with is a CPA, simply put the question directly to your accountant. Many accountants will be open and transparent and tell you if they are CPAs or not. In some cases, if they are not, they will be happy to tell you either why they may have chose not to pursue a CPA or that they are in the process of becoming one. Whatever the case may be, always give the accountant the chance to answer this question truthfully.

CPA Verification

Thanks to the wonderful world of technology, a new website has been created called CPAVerify.org which allows you to verify your accountant’s credentials. This is a tool that has proven to be beneficial to hiring managers and small businesses who are interested in hiring an accountant but don’t trust that the accountant they hire will be honest about their CPA verification.

Request Referrals

Another way to practically guarantee someone’s credibility is to ask for referrals and recommendations. If you are in the process of interviewing a CPA, don’t ever be afraid to ask their former employers or teachers in order to test the accountant’s credibility. In today’s society, it appears to be much easier to cover up the truth about your employment history, and referrals are a great place to start when attempting to uncover any potential untruths.

How have you been able to determine if an accountant is really a CPA? Leave your comments below.

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Four Benefits of Ditching Your Tax Software and Hiring a CPA

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Tax Software vs. CPAs

It’s everybody’s favorite time of the year again: tax season. And while a lot of people are anticipating how they will spend their tax refund checks, plenty of other people are trying to figure out how to avoid owing any money to the IRS.

If you’re one of those people who tends to rely on tax software to do your taxes each year, perhaps it’s time to ditch your tax software and hire a CPA. Using tax software programs can be a good way to do things in certain situations, but in other situations it’s plainly inadequate.

Here are just a few benefits of hiring a CPA vs. using tax software.

A CPA Can Answer Questions on Demand

Sure, your tax software has a FAQ section, but unlike a CPA, your tax software cannot answer questions on demand. Hiring a CPA will allow you to ask questions as they come up, and doing so will also help guide you through the tax preparation process.

A CPA Can Help You Save Money

A CPA can literally walk you through the process of how to save money. Tax software will ask you questions that help you determine how to save money, but a CPA will actually show you how to save money in ways you probably never imagined.

A CPA Can Help You Gather All Your Tax Documents

Not really sure what documents you need in order to file your taxes? In most cases a CPA knows exactly what documentation you need in order to file your taxes and best of all they know how to put all of those documents into one system to get you the best deals on your taxes.

A CPA Can Help You Save Time

We all could use a little bit more time in each of our days, and a CPA can help you find that time by doing your taxes for you. No longer will you have to spend endless amounts of hours trying to determine how to do your taxes.

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  • Huddleston Tax Accountants / Huddleston Tax CPAs – Redmond, WA
    Certified Public Accountants Focused on Small Business
    8201 164th Ave NE Suite 200 / Redmond WA 98052
    425-483-6600

    Huddleston Tax CPAs & accountants provide tax preparation, tax planning, business coaching,
    QuickBooks consulting, bookkeeping, payroll, offer in compromise debt relief, and business valuation services for small business.

    We serve Tukwila, Auburn, Federal Way. We have a few meeting locations. If you are looking for a Redmond CPA firm, get in touch with us! Call to meet John C. Huddleston, J.D., LL.M., CPA, Lance Hulbert, CPA, Grace Lee-Choi, CPA, Jennifer Zhou, CPA, or Jessica Chisholm, CPA. Member WSCPA.