We have all heard of Certified Public Accountants, but the majority of us may not be 100% sure what they are exactly and how much of an asset they can be. Also referred to as CPAs, these individuals have passed a test known as the Uniform Certified Public Account exam and satisfied specific state-mandated experience and education requirements. In every state other than California, a CPA must have one year of schooling in addition to the typical four-year college degree in order to take the exam, which consists of questions about state law and laws of agency of contract. Ultimately, there are a number of services that a CPA provides, ranging from corporate finance to tax preparation.
Generally, CPAs offer financial audit services, including acceptance of disclosures, freedom from material misstatement, and keeping track of generally-accepted accounting principles in financial statements. In addition, they may serve the private sector in a corporation as a finance manager or Chief Financial Officer (CFO). A large number of CPAs are involved in income tax distribution and have the ability to represent clients in the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
With regard to estate planning, a CPA reviews documents like retirement plans, trusts and insurance plans. He or she analyzes financial standings, acquires client information, identifies assets, reviews asset titling, and pinpoints the anticipated assets of a client. He or she also works with insurance brokers, attorneys and other members of the estate-planning team. In this particular field, a CPA is an efficient tool for ensuring one’s asset goals are met following his or her death.
CPAs may also formulate financial statements for bankers, stockholders, government agencies and a number of additional stakeholders. While financial accounting pertains to those that are outside of a particular organization, management accounting provides managers with information that is crucial for conducting business. Some CPAs can prepare income tax returns for a specified fee, while those in forensic accounting detect, investigate and prevent financial fraud. There are a number of tasks that a CPA may perform, and their in-depth knowledge can be very helpful when it comes planning your estate, running a business, investing and ensuring the success of your other financial goals.
Many small businesses have accounting and tax issues that are too difficult to handle in house, which is a main reason for engaging a CPA. In comparison to a firm’s bookkeeper or income tax preparer, a CPA has a wealth of knowledge in these areas due to required continued education seminars.
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If you’re a small business owner in need of a CPA in Phoenix, AZ, take a moment to visit with Jacobsen & Wachterhauser, PLC, an accounting firm with over 70 years of combined experience.