Why a CPA?

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CPA's are professionals, distinguished from other accountants by stringent licensing requirements. They must have at least a college degree or its equivalent, pass a rigorous two-and-a-half day national examination, and meet certain experience requirements to qualify for the CPA certificate and a state license. The American Institute of CPA's (AICPA) mandates continuing education for its members, and may states have similar requirements for CPA's to retain their licenses to practice.

In addition to meeting the profession's technical requirements, CPA's are governed by a code of professional conduct-one of the most exacting of any profession. In 1988, the AICPA code of conduct was substantially revised to strengthen its provisions and to enhance the hallmarks of the profession: independence, objectivity and integrity. The new code emphasized the CPA's commitment and protecting the public interest.

What Do CPA's Do?

Traditionally, the public has viewed the CPA as being primarily an independent auditor of company financial statements-someone who lends credibility to the date presented by corporate management. The audit function remains a vital part of the profession's role in serving the public interest. However, today's CPA provides a wide range of services, such as review and compilations of financial data for nonpublic entities, which are closely related to financial statements. Other activities performed by the CPA are of a broader nature. The following are some specific services that CPA's provide:

  • Recommending tax planning strategies
  • Preparing tax returns
  • Advising individuals on personal financial planning, including retirement and estate planning
  • Reviewing a company's accounting system and recommending improvements
  • Assisting in the design and installation of data processing and management information systems
  • Conducting special studies) financing, inventories, cost accounting, credit and collection) for business, government and nonprofit organizations
  • Helping clients apply for loans and credit by gathering and preparing information required by lenders
  • Working with clients, attorney and bankers on mergers, acquisitions and expansions.

Why should I use a Tax Professional?
To provide guidance and assurance that all is being done to save tax money. Confidence and security that your taxes are being done correctly. Your opportunity to discuss your financial goals or have some tax questions answered.

I use tax preparation software, why use your services?
I have had to amend so many tax returns prepared by off the shelf software, simply because only a tax professional can identify potential problem areas and ensure your tax return is completed correctly. Software does not tell you that your return is incorrect or you have not followed tax law even though you like the refund that is being shown. By preparing your return with a professional, you receive valuable information to your situation that software will never provide.

When you engage a CPA you are not just paying for someone to number-crunch. You are paying to ensure that your return complies with all applicable tax laws and that you obtain the maximum tax benefit.