Have you asked yourself, “Do I need a CPA for my small business, or will a general accountant do?” The answer depends. Read on to learn who you should hire for your small business.
Differences Between CPAs and General Accountants
General accountants may have an associate’s or bachelor’s degree, but don’t need any credentials to call themselves an accountant.
CPA’s require a bachelor’s degree with a certain number of credit hours to sit for the CPA exam (Currently 150, taking 4-5 years of college), passing the CPA exam (national pass rate of 53.6% as of 2021), and meeting a work experience requirement (currently 2,000 hours in MN). CPA’s must also meet continuing education requirements, and report to the board of accountancy regarding any public complaints.
As you might guess, CPA’s are expensive to hire given their extensive education and expertise. Many firms take a blended approach to provide clients the best balance of expertise and cost.
Situations where CPA’s can be Beneficial
Knowledge & Expertise
CPA’s know a lot. Some specialize in one niche, like the Meals & Entertainment rules, while others tackle multiple areas including financial statements, income tax returns, and payroll.
Selling or buying a business? Gearing up to grow? These are times when it pays to have a CPA guide you. A general accountant may not have the knowledge or expertise you require, and screwing up a purchase or expansion can ruin everything you’ve worked so hard to build.
Certification & Accreditation
CPA’s are certified. Therefore, they are trusted when it comes to certain business situations, unlike a general accountant with an unknown education and no board oversight.
Does your bank require audited or reviewed financial statements before providing loans and grants? Audits and reviews can only be performed by CPAs.
CPA’s must complete annual continuing education requirements to maintain their license; general accountants do not. Therefore, CPA’s continuously learn the most recent law changes, and turn that knowledge into strategies for you.
New strategies can allow you to save money you otherwise would’ve lost, whether it’s a new credit you qualify for or a compliance item you wouldn’t have known to change, saving you from penalties.
Working with Haworth & Company, Ltd.
Haworth & Company is a local CPA firm in the Twin Cities and Rochester, MN focused on serving the small business community. Unlike large firms, we don’t audit public companies or advise complex international tax strategies. Instead, we provide the services local small businesses need, including monthly financial statement compilation, monthly consulting, payroll, tax planning, and tax preparation. We employ a blend of CPA business advisors and staff accountants to give your small business the expertise you need at a price you can afford. Give us a call or contact us today and see if it’s time for your small business to get a CPA.