Years ago, when I first got out of college, I worked at a public accounting firm in Reno. One of the supervisors, Debbie (single), told the story Mon morning of meeting a guy at a party. She told him that she was a CPA. He stopped a minute, thought, and then asked, “Do you enjoy working with sick people?”
Obviously, the unspoken question was “What is a CPA?” Or maybe he thought anyone who worked with a CPA was sick. Not quite sure. A lot of people don’t fully understand, though, exactly what a CPA does. That’s because there are so many different specialties that go into being a CPA.
I work with clients primarily on taxes. And, along the way, I picked up a lot of knowledge about business structures that will protect your assets (and ones that don’t) and how to quickly identify planning opportunities. Plus, I’ve been able to take the knowledge and systems I’ve learned as a CPA and create leveraged and passive income. I like to think that I’m more of a Total CPA.
Yesterday I talked to a client. We talked about his 2008 year-end statements. And I compared that with the first month of 2009. What trends were there? Where are the biggest opportunities? We found a hole in his automated system right away. I’m glad we found it now, when we could make the correction much more easily. We also reviewed sales tax issues for the many states he was involved in. The law is rapidly changing in many states and we found that something that wasn’t subject to sales tax in New York was in New Jersey. No problem – yet, but it could have been.
We also talked about strategies with shrinking lines of credit and I gave him a tip that got him a line of credit immediately.
His business is doing great. He’s in just the right spot at the right time and is making a lot of money in this current business climate. His challenge is creating systems to take himself out of the business. There are a lot of people who can talk about that, but you’ll go broke trying to implement them. It’s like changing tires on a car that’s driving down the road. If you pull over to do it, you lose the momentum of your company and often will lose your business in the process. So, it’s a fine line between adding systems to take yourself out of the business and keeping the business running at your current high standard.
My client gets that and is doing a great job through our monthly calls to safely build a true Business (not just a Self-Employed job) and create more revenue as he does it.
A lot of people, especially now, view their CPA as a necessary evil. This is the guy that just does your tax return preparation. A trusted advisor can be so much more.
Want more ideas? Please go to What is Your CPA’s ROI?