Oklahoma small business owners deciding whether to hire a small business accountant or a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) begin by gaining knowledge of the services and cost of each option. While every small business is different, there are similarities in the need for the nuts and bolts of business—like organization, tax preparation, purchasing, paying employees, and accounting.
The detailed professionals at Shockley Bookkeeping understand how overwhelming accounting can be for small businesses. That’s why with over 50 years of combined experience, the Shockley team has helped hundreds of small businesses in Broken Arrow, OK get their books back on track and manage them accurately.
Accurate financial data is paramount to a healthy business.
Every small business needs to keep good track of their finances. Healthy businesses keep accurate records of their finances, including detailed reports, accurate tax preparation, and more. Some outsource and others hire an inhouse person to keep the books accurate. The deciding factor for some business owners is the bottom line of how much it will cost them to get and keep their business finances accurate. The deciding factor for other small business owners is their own persuasion of whether they need someone to represent them before the IRS or not.
What an accountant does vs. a CPA
An accountant is not the same thing as a CPA in everything from their licensing, standing with the IRS, and the work they do. Although they both deal with financial data, they have different functions. Here’s a basic summary of each:
What Accountants Do
The bookkeeping needs of small businesses are typically met by the expertise of accountants. They do what bookkeepers do, such as record when a company receives, pays, or owes money, and they provide in-depth analysis of the business. They reconcile financial documents and perform the payroll process. They keep the ledger with accuracy. They know how much businesses owe and how much customers of other businesses owe the business. They prepare financial statements and do tax preparations. Additionally, they:
- Review business finances and give the bigger picture outlook on the business finances.
- Complete daily accounting such as payroll, general ledger entries, billing, and accounts payable.
- Collect on delinquent accounts.
- Take data and create useful and factual information to help with business planning.
- Assist with tax planning and perform audits of the books.
- They may give recommendations and projections to enhance the business’s financial future.
How the IRS Sees Accountants
An accountant is seen by the IRS as an unenrolled preparer, meaning they can’t sign tax returns or represent their customers during a tax audit.
What CPAs Do
CPAs are accountants with a state license, so they have the ability to do what accountants do and more. CPAs have further expertise; they take extra accounting-related courses, and meet licensing requirements by the state that certifies them. They must pass a state licensing exam and take extra classes to keep up their license. Unlike accountants, CPAs can write audited financial statements like a balance sheet or income statement. Additionally, they:
- Prepare and review monthly, quarterly, and annual financial reports
- Prepare tax returns
- Sign tax returns
- Represent taxpayers before the IRS for audits
- Represent their clients during financial litigation
Why an accountant is vital for daily bookkeeping records
Stay in control of your small business books by hiring an accountant to keep your books. Here are reasons hiring an accountant is paramount to your success:
To keep your small business books accurate so you can be confident about your financial decisions.
- To stay in control and current on your business finances.
- To free you up as a business owner to do what you do best: grow your business.
- To track and analyze your business finances.
- To improve employee retention by keeping payroll accurate and on time.
- To prepare quarterly taxes and file your taxes without surprises.
- To assist you in getting the full benefit of tax deductions.
- To help you get on track and stay on track in your business finances.
The cost of hiring an accountant vs a CPA
CPAs are more expensive than accountants. The cost effectiveness of budget-friendly accounting services compared to overpriced CPA services encourages many small business owners to hire or outsource an accountant. Business owners and property managers can satisfy their accounting needs at a fraction of the cost when hiring an accountant rather than a CPA for their unique business requirements.
Many small business owners and property managers find it time consuming and frustrating to set up their books. At Shockley Bookkeeping, a one-time set up fee proportionate to your business needs and its size starts you on a path of precision organization and financial order. Shockley Bookkeeping offers different packages customized to meet your specific needs and budget. We can simplify your life with a personalized package that matches your requirements and goals. Some of our custom options include:
- Tax Preparation
Small business accounting doesn’t have to be difficult
When business owners find themselves immersed in time consuming accounting, their business goals can become sabotaged. Business owners who hire a professional bookkeeping service that understands all the details, they enjoy the benefits of perfectly balanced books and have the time and energy they need to devote to growing their business. Professional bookkeeping services can help you reach your business goals.
Avoid financial or tax liability surprises
A tax liability surprise can plummet your business finances and create unnecessary stress on you and your mission. The trusted, reliable professionals at Shockley Bookkeeping help you avoid the loss of money and time that comes with incorrect tax filing or inaccurate books. If you find yourself dissatisfied with your current accounting system, contact Shockley Bookkeeping for a free quote and consultation.
The transition to Shockley Bookkeeping is simple
At Shockley Bookkeeping, we make it simple for you to transition into services for the first time, or into new services from a previous bookkeeper or CPA. Get a free quote and consultation, choose a service package customized to meet your needs, and receive monthly reports—so you can focus on what you do best.