In keeping with the ongoing spirit of tax season (April 16 is looming!), we’re going to consider the value of a good CPA. That stands for certified public accountant, of course. Whether you’re a small business owner or a franchisee, a CPA is an invaluable asset to your organizational team. Many of us, admittedly, are not numbers people. Nor are we aware of the Byzantine rules and regulations otherwise known as the U.S. tax code. Just keeping up with their updates can be a full-time job. There’s a form for this. There’s a form for that. In fact, there are a lot of tax forms. Here’s why a professional should be sorting it out for you.
The U.S. tax code is structured in a way to benefit those who own their own business. One of the main ways is through write-offs and deductions. As a franchisee or small business owner, you have the ability to deduct business expenses such as mileage, travel, office space and a host of other items. You should always check with a professional (like a CPA!) to see exactly what you qualify to write off.
Separating the Personal from Business
When it comes to banking and reconciling your accounts, you’ll want to know where you stand not just for your business, but your personal investments as well. A good CPA can delineate the distinctions necessary to keep your affairs in order at the office—and at home. And charting the progress of your income generation and how it affects your household budget can be the biggest blessing of all.
Your credit rating should be of paramount importance and something you want to carefully protect. It can take years to build up a solid credit rating which can be brought down in an instant. A good CPA knows all the tricks of the trade to help you continually improve your credit score. Rely on the advice they give and watch your number climb northward.
Putting Aside Some Coin
CPAs can be instrumental in setting up withdrawals to help you plan for the future. Whether it’s a college fund or retirement, a good accountant can make sure you’re on the right track, and according to plan. It’s been said that you should make your money work for you, instead of you working for your money. A CPA knows how to get this done properly.
Multiple Income Streams
Many people initially enter the franchising world intent on keeping their day job. In the industry, this is called the semi-absentee business model and allows you, the franchisee, to manage a manager. This also means you’re dealing with multiple income streams and it never hurts to have a professional managing all the bookkeeping to keep your affairs in the proper order.
If you’re in the market for hiring a CPA of your own, there are some helpful tips to consider. First, make sure you get a few solid referrals. That way you can validate the skill level and personal attributes of your future accountant. Next, do a little background research on the CPA or his or her firm. Find out who else entrusts their accounting needs to the proposed selection. Lastly, make sure you conduct a personal interview with your candidates. You’ll want to know if you’ll enjoy working closely with this person. After all, they’ll oversee a large portion of your business oversight.
Tax season continues unabated. If you’re needing a helping hand with accounting and bookkeeping, seek a professional CPA to handle your business affairs and procure yourself some peace of mind.
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