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Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between certified public accountants (CPAs) and accountants?
How do I know if I can do my own taxes or if I need to consult a certified public accountant?
Should I consult a CPA if I am starting a new business?
Are there things I should consider before I talk to you about being my CPA?
Yes. The more you understand about your needs, the better job we can do together of matching our services to those needs. Your first step is to decide what you want from us. Call us first, but prior to meeting with us, you should review your present and future financial goals and needs. Some general questions you should ask yourself might be:
- Will you need help with personal financial issues, individual or corporate tax returns, retirement, estate, or college planning? Are you seeking investment help?
- Do you need financial statements prepared for your business? Must those statements be audited or reviewed? Will you need special financial reports for government agencies?
- How comfortable are you in your own ability (or in the case of a business, your staff’s ability) to handle financial and operational details. Do you want to do as much as possible in-house, or are you considering out-sourcing some of your bookkeeping, accounting, or CFO functions?
- Do you need help preparing a business plan or a personal or business loan application?
- Will your business need other services such as technology planning, strategic planning, process consulting, or costs analysis?
What are pass through entities?
The concept of “pass through entity’s attribution” stems from the fact that this entity’s ownership can be attributed to another entity. The IRS Code prescribes that pass through entities’ income belongs to that other entity. Pass through entity earns the income, but is not responsible to pay the tax related to this income. In effect, the pass through entity’s income and related tax liability passes through to the entity having ownership. Examples are estates, LLCs, partnerships, S Corporations and trusts.
What is an estate plan?
An estate plan is a written document that outlines the disposal of one’s estate and includes such things as a will, trust, power of attorney, and a living will. An estate plan is critical for the family and the business because without it, you will pay higher estate taxes than necessary, allocating less of the estate to your heirs. The estate plan should be used in conjunction with the succession plan to see that the family business is transferred in a tax effective manner.