There are many different careers in the field of accounting ranging from entry-level bookkeeping to the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of a company. To achieve positions with more responsibility and higher salaries, it’s necessary to have a degree in accounting as well as achieve various professional designations. One of the primary milestones in any accountant’s career is to become a Certified Public Accountant or CPA. To become a CPA you have to go to college with a major in accounting. You also have to pass a national CPA exam. There’s also some employment experience required in a CPA firm. This is generally one to two years, although this varies from state to state. Once you satisfy all those requirements, you get a certificate that designates you as a CPA and you are allowed to offer your services to the public. Continue reading Careers in Financial Accounting
There is no reason to fear a Tax Audit if you have been ethical and truthful in your accounting. However, it is best to prepare thoroughly for an audit to make sure that it goes smoothly. Different types of audits require different preparation methods. If a business is brought up for an audit by the IRS, there are several things you can do to prepare your business for audit.
First, review the tax returns that are being audited. Make sure that you are ready to explain how you or your tax preparer came up with the figures in the return when you go into the audit. If you don’t know how your tax preparer came up with the figures, or you have any questions, you should contact your tax preparer prior to the audit for any clarification needed so that you are thoroughly prepared for the audit.
Organizing records used to prepare your tax returns yearly is a great way to maintain proper accounting before an audit. However, if you have not organized your records as you filed year by year, now is the time to organize them for the audit. Make sure that the person performing the audit has access to all records used to prepare the tax returns. Continue reading How to Prepare for a Tax Audit?
How do you find Certified Public Accountants (CPA)? You can go through the yellow pages, of course, and look under the heading Certified Public Accountants. Alternatively, you can do an internet search for CPAs in your area. These methods might not be effective in finding qualified CPAs.
Looking through your local yellow pages for CPAs will give you hundreds of firms and individuals that are Certified Public Accountants in your area to choose from. How do you choose with no information other than the address and phone number? Doing an internet search will give you hundreds of results, many of which will not be local to your area.
The best way to select CPA is by reference from somebody who is already known to you. Ask your banker, or ask your insurance agent, or ask your real estate agent, or your doctor/dentist for his/her recommendation for a CPA. You will get a few names from these professionals, and you will also get some names to avoid based on the experiences of these professionals.
You can use a local search engine such as Yahoo Local or Google Local to find CPAs in your area. If you use Yahoo Local, you will only receive results that are like yellow page results: an address and phone number. There may or may not be reviews by customers, which could also help you to make a decision. Google Local provides you with website links for the Accountants when they are available. This allows you to go to the websites of the Certified Public Accountants and gather information about the firm or individual to help you make a decision.
Once you have narrowed down your search for Accountants to a smaller number, go to your local Better Business Bureau website (BBB.org) or call them to find the rating for the CPAs you have shortlisted. These ratings will tell you if the Accountants ever had complaints filed against them with the Better Business Bureau.
Another source for testing the credibility and ethics of the CPAs is to contact your local Board of Accountancy or similar agency. These agencies are responsible for monitoring CPAs. They also take complaints and follow up with disciplinary measures. The Board of Accountancy may also perform periodic audits of the work performed by Accountants. This information can help you make the right choice.
Do not work with CPAs that do not have proper licensing to practice in your locality. Avoid working with CPAs that have complaints against them. You should also avoid CPAs that will not meet with you in person, sign contracts, or provide proof of education, licensing, and certification. If you still have trouble finding Accountants, select of well known firm of CPAs to handle your affairs. While the fees associated with them may be higher, you will have the peace of mind that your financial affairs are in good hands.