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Most tax guys just fill in the boxes, once a year. Certified Tax Coaches go beyond that, helping you proactively plan all year long to take advantage of every deduction, credit, loophole and strategy available. Certified Tax Coaches are tax professionals with advanced training in tax planning who specialize in helping you pay less tax.

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You Know It’s Time To Hire An Accountant When…

Last week we talked about what you can expect when you hire a bookkeeper. This week we want to discuss the roles of an accountant.

The terms “bookkeeper” and “accountant” are often mistakenly interchanged. While there is a small amount of overlap between the two job descriptions, accountants have a responsibility to perform much higher level tasks than bookkeepers. And that’s exactly why they usually command higher salaries.

Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to be certified to be an accountant.  There are plenty of very successful Chief Financial Officers running 7 and 8 figure corporations that are not CPA’s. However, since the CPA designation is very difficult to attain, it often communicates a certain level of commitment to excellence, and the profession as a whole, when someone chooses to earn the CPA designation.  A lesser known, yet even more powerful designation is that of a Certified Tax Coach, or CTC. Unlike the vast majority of CPA’s who practice reactively, a CTC has specialized training in proactive tax planning. A CTC is constantly identifying new and largely unknown legal tax loopholes and deductions on your behalf so you can keep more of the money you work so hard to earn.  In addition, a CTC identifies smart investment opportunities so you can build a tax-friendly portfolio and strategically accrue greater wealth via tax-free and tax-advantaged income opportunities.

You know it’s time to hire an accountant when you want someone to:

Trim your tax bill: It’s estimated that 80% of the population is paying too many taxes. A tax professional with the CTC designation will ensure you’re part of the 20% that’s not by staying on the pulse of the complex and ever-changing U.S. tax code. Furthermore, a CTC will proactively share new tax-saving strategies so you can pay the least amount of taxes possible while operating in full compliance with the law.

Help you grow your wealth: There are some retirement accounts that just get the job done. And then there are those that provide far more impressive financial benefits to you and your employees. A CTC can spot the difference between the two and direct you toward the most advantageous opportunity.

Prepare & adjust your financial records: An accountant will be able to give you an overview of everything you have made and spent over a period of time. They will also be able to identify gaps in your financial reports and adjust them as needed so you don’t have any ugly issues with the IRS (and if you do, they can defend you.)

Help you decrease costs and increase income: An accountant can review information compiled by you or by your bookkeeper and notice patterns in your income and spending. They will be able to see when your income and expenses fluctuate and share insightful counsel regarding the financial health of your company throughout the year.

Prepare your tax returns and ensure your taxes are paid properly and on time: Your accountant will know all of the necessary tax deadlines and will be able to make sure your taxes are paid on time, every time.

Help you scale: An accountant can make cash flow projections, create budgets and help you discern when you’re in a healthy-enough financial position to hire additional help, invest in costly equipment, buy property and more.

Credentials & Expectations:

  • Must be sticklers for accuracy and very detail oriented.
  • Must be able to explain key financial concepts in layman’s terms.
  • Must act in the best interest of the client at all times.
  • An accountant generally has a bachelor’s degree in accounting, business or finance.
  • To earn the CPA designation, an accountant must first accrue experience working as a professional accountant under the supervision of a CPA with an active license and then he/she must pass the Uniform CPA Exam as well as the Professional Ethics Exam for CPAs.
  • To earn the CTC designation, an accountant must complete specialized education focused on proactive tax planning, attend continuing education classes and adhere to rigorous standards set forth by the American Institute of Certified Tax Coaches Code of Ethics.

A Word of Warning

Small business owners, especially those who are just starting out and/or working part-time hours, often make the mistake of managing their own taxes or outsourcing the job to the least expensive candidate they can find. Know this: if you’ve got the right accountant, you’ll save so much money you won’t think twice about paying their bill. There really is no better investment you can make in your business than hiring a proactive accountant that can help you save big because they know tax strategies that you don’t.

If you are interested in learning more about how a CTC can help you take better control of your money, we invite you to sign up for a free consultation with a local CTC in your area. Click here to connect.

Be sure to check back next week to learn about another person who could help support you and take your business to the next level!

You Know It’s Time To Hire An Accountant When…

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