During the early days of your online business, you wear many hats. As business expands, you need help from specialized sources to keep your focus on growing sales.
CPA vs. Accountant
Anyone who earns a bachelor’s degree in accounting or finance is qualified to serve as an accountant. A CPA, or Certified Public Accountant, is subject to stringent requirements to attain that title.
About 50 percent of accountants are also licensed to act as CPAs, which involves the following additional standards:
- Specific amount of professional work experience
- Passing score on the Uniform CPA Exam
- Conforming with all licensing requirements, such as continuing education, in the state where the CPA is practicing
One important distinction between a CPA and an accountant is that the former has a fiduciary responsibility to clients. This means they must act in the best interest of their clients or risk losing their license.
Benefits of a CPA
A CPA has particular expertise in the area of taxes, and they participate in continuing education to stay current with all laws and regulations.
Here are situations where hiring a CPA is highly recommended:
- When tax time rolls around, a CPA can prepare and file your returns as well as recommend strategies for reducing your liability.
- A CPA can offer advice for special circumstances, such as taking out a business loan or dealing with the death of a business partner.
- A CPA’s experience is invaluable for major operational changes, such as mergers or acquisitions.
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