“Am I missing any tax savings opportunities?”
“Are my life goals on track?”
“How do recent tax changes affect me and my family?”
“What’s the best way to save or pay for college?”
“Should I start a business?”
“Where can I find answers about my finances from someone I can trust?”
A CPA spends years preparing for moments just like these.
You’ve probably heard people talking about working with a CPA, especially at tax time, but many people are not really aware of all the other ways that a certified public accountant (CPA) can help with your money and your financial goals. Here are just a few ways:
- Helping you proactively plan for your life goals
- Tax planning (beyond just filing your return, a CPA can help you proactively save money on taxes and make sure you’re not missing any planning opportunities)
- Setting up a business, including your side hustle
- Financial statements to help you get a mortgage or other financing
- Retirement account distribution planning
- Financial projections for all your savings goals
- The list goes on – if it affects your finances, a CPA can help
CPAs have hands-on experience working with people like you facing a variety of financial challenges and opportunities and will listen to your concerns and offer solutions that best fit your needs. In particular, CPA Financial Planners are uniquely qualified to help you weave your tax planning into your life planning through year-round conversations and personal financial planning expertise.
In the midst of our hectic lives, we all face moments when bigger money questions arise. At times like these, the right advice is essential.
You'll Get Objective, Strategic Advice
CPAs are among the most trusted professions, and for good reason. Not only do CPAs bring an unmatched level of knowledge, experience and education to the process of tax planning and managing your money, they are specifically trained to be independent and objective in their work. A CPA will help you protect your interests, listen to and address your concerns and, equally important, give you peace of mind.
CPAs are Highly Qualified Professionals
It’s not easy to become a CPA. In order to earn the credential of a certified public accountant, CPAs must complete education requirements, pass a rigorous exam and keep their knowledge up to date with continuing education. Today’s CPA requirements include:
- Undergraduate college degree with at least 150 semester hours, which typically includes a Masters in Accounting or Finance
- Pass a challenging 4-part exam similar to the attorney bar exam
- Maintain a state license to practice
- Complete 120 hours of continuing education every 3 years to stay certified
- Commit to a code of conduct, including regular training in ethics
Additionally, a CPA has full representation rights before the IRS, meaning they can represent you in case of an audit or other issue with the Internal Revenue Service. Can't beat that.
Finally, when you’re looking for someone to take a holistic look at your personal financial picture, a CPA Financial Planner has additional qualifications that make them an outstanding choice to help with all your life goals. In addition to the above qualifications, CPA Financial Planners (CPA/PFS) meet the following requirements:
- Minimum 75 hours of personal financial planning specific education
- At least 2 years of experience in the personal financial planning field
- Pass the Personal Financial Specialist exam or hold an equivalent credential
You'll Have Someone You Can Trust
Creating a relationship with your CPA is similar to establishing a trusting relationship with other professionals you rely on for objective advice, such as a doctor or lawyer. Your CPA can help you reach success and prepare for the road ahead and is likely to become an important part of your financial life.
Learn more about finding the right fit for you, check out How to Choose a CPA.