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Accountant help

1593 Views 7 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  msd5052001
Hi guys,

I was just wondering, what are some things you or your accountant covers for you? I hate doing books so I searched for an accountant. I found a great one on linked-in. The thing is, she asked me to list a couple things I would really like her to help with. I went blank on this question. I thought it was just the books but I guess it goes deeper than that. I'm hoping you guys can give me some ideas of what I should ask her to cover.

Thanks in advance!
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• Registering your business, along with getting any additional licenses or permits you may need.
• Filing your quarterly sales tax return.
• Filing your yearly business tax return.

Don't be afraid to ask the accountant questions. Ask what additional services she provides and what she would recommend for your type of business.
Thanks for the tips! I'm trying to compose a list of what to ask her. I'm getting somewhat confused of the differences between accountant and CPA. I thought they were both the same.
CPA's pass the test after a bit more education. So basically a CPA is an accountant, an accountant is not necessarily a CPA.

For a lot of things, you don't need the expense of a CPA.

Our setup with our CPA is:
They do the monthly sales taxes after I email a quickbooks report
They do all payroll, payroll tax filing etc. I fax a payroll form every two weeks.
They do a quarterly statement after I provide a quickbooks review file every quarter
They do all other tax filings for the business, Ohio CAT etc.
They do my year end taxes, business and personal.
They go over the previous years numbers and cash flow and discuss the next years changes.
If I request it they will review the financials and offer advice and opinions.
They review all potential equipment leases or purchases and advise regarding tax implications, at my request.

To add to this, I maintain the ledger, checkbooks, invoicing etc and keep Quickbooks up to date continuosly.
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Hey Liberty, is there anything in that list a non-CPA accountant wouldn't do or wouldn't be qualified to do. Also, do I need a payroll if I'm the only employee?
I don't think you necessarily need a CPA, just a competant accountant. If you are a sole proprietor then you don't need payroll but you will need to file quarterly estimated faderal and state, maybe local or city depending on where you are. But a decent local accountant should be able to advise you on all of that.

Where accountants can get expensive is when they are forced to recreate the books. If you walk in with a shoebox full of receipts and invoices and they have to put it all together then you are going to pay dearly.

But if you get some assistance to get it all setup correctly and make it a point to properly maintain an accounting program such as QuickBooks, then you are basically doing the grunt work and the accounant is doing the high end stuff. Just make sure you work with someone who can accept data from your chosen program.

For the first 15 years we were in business we did 100% of the accounting ourselves and only had help on some taxes. Even payroll can be done yourself. But accounting and payroll services are not that expensive and your time may be better spent on marketing or production.

It's your business and these decisions are ultimately yours to make... good luck.
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Thanks for the info. I'll make sure to get files instead of a shoebox lol. I get bored easily staring at accountant stuff so I knew I was better off finding someone to help
Thanks for the info. I'll make sure to get files instead of a shoebox lol. I get bored easily staring at accountant stuff so I knew I was better off finding someone to help
You definitely want someone that is familiar with just doing the basic bookkeeping for your business and compiling everything to give to an accountant/CPA. You don't want to pay a CPA their hourly rate for basic bookkeeping. If you have any questions on what to ask/look for let me know. I do this for several business' and it's a pretty easy process to get you the information/reports you need to walk into your accountants office come tax time. ETA - You wouldn't need payroll until you are making a significant profit annually. I wouldn't consider it until at least $20k profit a year, but a good accountant will review your whole tax situation and see what makes sense, but if you are just starting out you will be fine going the first year until tax time and reviewing at that point when you complete the 2012 taxes.
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