Certified Public Accountant’s (CPA) are important. These are the individuals who can navigate the facts, figures, and rules of the United States tax code and economic system with the goal of helping potential customers who aren’t as well versed in these areas. Keep reading to understand what the role of a CPA is as well as three important tips when starting a CPA firm.
The Role of a CPA
Certified Public Accountants are trusted financial advisors who help individuals, businesses, and other organizations reach their financial goals. As a licensed CPA, an individual is also licensed to provide accounting services to the public.
The CPA field is growing with each year. As of September of 2020, there were 658,267 licensed CPA’s in the United States according to one set of statistics. Another study showed that there were 664,532 active CPA’s in the United States that same year.
CPA’s can include auditors, business investors, decision-makers, tax consultants, and accounting consultants. CPA’s can perform a variety of tasks, depending on their specialty. Such activities include tax and financial planning, consulting services, assurance services, forensic accounting, information technology (IT) services, and environmental accounting. Most positions like these can be found at large to small companies, where the experience of a licensed and well-trained CPA is bound to come in handy for a potential employer.
Some CPA’s seek to strike out on their own, building their own businesses. This allows a certain sense of freedom, without having to answer or fall underneath a corporate structure. A multitude of CPA’s value more of a personal and one-on-one relationship when it comes to prospective clients and working within a corporate structure doesn’t allow this.
For those CPAs who want to build their own firms or businesses, here are a few steps that should be followed to ensure your new business is successful.
1. Start Small
When stepping out on your own to begin a new business, you don’t want to “spend big.” Start off with a small office, don’t hire a huge staff, and try not to splurge on expensive equipment. You might even think about working from home during your first couple of years of starting a CPA firm.
Your goal is to try and have more money coming into your business than is going out. If you’re having to spend money on rent for large space, money for non-essential employees, and paying off expensive equipment then you won’t be able to make a profit. Having to watch your funds rapidly decrease because of spending too much will cause you to have to shut the doors of your CPA firm.
2. Be cost-effective with supplies.
This ties into the starting small approach. You don’t have a lot of money to spend when beginning your business. Maybe you’ve saved up a bit of capital, or have sought out loans from a local bank, or investment firm. Your goal will be to maximize the value of every cent that is in your corporate bank account.
This includes finding the best ways to be cost-effective with the business supplies which you are purchasing. You don’t want to be “the cheap boss,” but you’ll have to find those needed items which won’t break your bank. For instance, you’ll definitely need 1099 envelopes with being an accounting firm, so why not find some for the best price possible.
3. Sell Yourself
Every business venture is built on a relationship between the business and the potential customer. As with any relationship, you want to present the best version of yourself. This presentation includes marketing your business through advertising and personal presentation. As a CPA, there’s a certain sense of professionalism that prospective customers look for.
In addition to making your office look as professional as possible, it also helps to present the best version of yourself. This might mean investing in a new business dress. This might mean taking the time to have your offices cleaned on a regular basis. Whatever the choice, you as a CPA will need to sell yourself the best way possible.