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CPA makes a difference in your protection

Have you ever looked for professional accounting services and been overwhelmed by the number of businesses to choose from? Have you ever noticed some of these companies have a Chartered Professional Accountant and some do not? What does Chartered Professional Accountant, or CPA, even mean?

Let us help shed some light on this.

Chartered Professional Accountants Association aka CPA

The Chartered Professional Accountants Association is a professional regulatory body that focuses on protecting the public. What does CPA stand for? When an accountant has CPA after their name that means they have completed:

  • a university degree (or equivalent);
  • a couple of years of practical work experience;
  • and professional level exams in order to receive the CPA designation.

An ongoing 40 hours a year of professional development is required to maintain the CPA letters. The Association protects the public by ensuring its members meet their high professional conduct and ethical accounting standards. They continue to monitor CPA firms to ensure ongoing competency, absence of professional misconduct, and validity of applicants for membership

Who is regulating the non-CPA firm to ensure they are qualified as well?

Unfortunately, in Alberta, there is no law to prevent anyone from calling themselves an “accountant”. It is the old “buyer beware”; if there is no CPA in the firm name or behind the accountant’s name, there is no one regulating the work being performed.

If the strict monitoring of a CPA firm isn’t enough to help you make a choice, you should also consider current and future financing. Depending on the level of financing, financial institutions may require a company’s financial statements to be prepared by Chartered Professional Accountant.

Check out the CPA Alberta website for more information on protecting the public or to verify that a chartered accountant, or a firm, is registered with the CPA Alberta Association.

How Can a CPA Help Me?

A chartered professional accountant can offer a variety of services to ease the burden of finances. Professional accountants can offer tax services, manage audits, and perform CFO functions. As a business owner, the business is your top priority. Hiring a chartered professional accountant to manage your finances gives you the extra time to invest in your business. CPAs can perform financial services in less time, with fewer clerical errors, and with a wider range of knowledge gained from education and experience.

“Many businesses choose to work with chartered accountants because of so many reasons. These professionals are experienced and vigorously trained to handle all tax and finance-related problems. Yes, hiring a chartered accountant will be an added expenditure, but the money they help you save will certainly outweigh those costs.” source: Small Business Sense

Investing in a CPA is investing in your business

Tax planning can assist you in saving thousands of dollars. Proper planning and filing of forms help you to avoid audits, penalties, or late filings. CPAs are professionally trained and knowledgeable on tax laws and how to use them to their advantage. We all know the headache of cutting through the red tape of taxes. CPAs will slice through and come out saving you in the end.

Nothing is certain in life except death and taxes. What comes with taxes? Audits. Chartered accountants can help protect your business and prepare you for the inevitable. Having a chartered professional accountant backing you when the Canadian Revenue Agency comes knocking is the highest reassurance one can have. They will know the proper steps and procedures to appease the CRA. Knowing your finances have been professionally prepared and documented takes all the burden during this potentially stressful time.

Did you know that chartered accountants can do more than just taxes?

CPAs can fill the role of Chief Financial Officers, CFOs. They can help manage expenses, perform payroll analysis, and assist in financial planning for the future. Outsourcing the role of CFO helps businesses have a professional perspective of the entirety of their finances. Along with business owners and management, CPAs can help develop solid financial plans to ensure the growth of businesses.

With ongoing training and certified professional education requirements. chartered professional accountants a wealth of knowledge available to business owners. Laws and industry standards are constantly changing. CPAs make staying on top of these changes their job. Knowledge is power and nothing comes close to the strength of CPAs when it comes to finances. This powerful ally is waiting to be called on whenever necessary.

Industry-Specific CPAs

Within the Accounting Industry, the CPA profession is diverse as the businesses they serve. CPAs can choose to specialize in certain areas of the accounting profession. A chartered professional accountant’s specialty can vary based on the size of the business they wish to represent, the types of businesses, or even accounting services they have honed throughout their accounting career. Business size has a massive impact on money management.

CPAs choosing to specialize in small businesses will have many more strategies and methods to best serve their clients. CPAs choosing to focus on a type of business within a specific service or industry will have more knowledge of the laws and regulations of this field. They are trained and educated in all areas of the accounting profession, however, CPAs can be more proficient in some services.

Hiring a Chartered Professional Accountant is important for your business. We have a proven track record of success and are qualified and motivated to provide you with the best financial advice and tax strategies for your business.

Click here to contact us today and learn more about how we can help your business grow.

New Entrepreneur Check List:

  • Brilliant idea?  Check.
  • Endless passion?  Check.
  • Supernatural ambition?  Check.
  • Nerves of steel?  Check.
  • A clear vision of success?  Check.
  • An accountant?  …. WHAT? WHY? …I haven’t made any money yet.  Why do I need to worry about accounting?

That is a fantastic question.

You don’t know what you don’t know.  When you don’t know what you don’t know, it’s easy to overthink the unknown.

Does it make sense to incorporate?  How do I incorporate? Do I need to register for GST?  Payroll vs Dividends? What can I deduct? How do I track my information?  When do corporate taxes need to be filed? Paid? How much to save for tax and GST?  Who should own shares in the corporation?

At this point, new entrepreneurs will generally do one of the following:

  1. Spend countless hours online trying to find information.
    There are endless sources of information online. Is it true?  Is it understandable? Is it relevant? How much time was spent researching stuff that you really don’t care about?
  2. Procrastinate.
    It’s easy to become overwhelmed at the thought of all those questions and vow to deal with it soon… very soon… next month for sure. Ignoring Canada Revenue Agency and it’s various filing requirements rarely ends well.  Consequences can range from penalties and interest to CRA seizing your bank accounts. It’s difficult to run a business when CRA strips your bank account of every penny each time you make a deposit.
  3. Ask friends and relatives. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard my clients say, “But my neighbour said I could claim all of my personal grooming expense in my business because I have to look presentable and presentable”.Or “My brother in law says he claims______________ ***insert ridiculous personal expenses here***_______”   All is well and good until there is an audit. At this point, you’re dead in the water.

Bringing an accountant from day 1 can:

Save you time.

  • More time to focus on your business—and less time is taken away from your family and loved ones.

Save Money.

  • Procrastination can be extremely expensive in late penalties
  • Also, save by coming up with a tax plan custom to YOUR business and personal situation
  • Perhaps there are certain elections you’d qualify for… or grants

Gain knowledge.

  •  An accountant can offer a bird’s eye view on your business idea.  What haven’t you thought about? Insurance? Financing? Are you partnering up with someone without a unanimous shareholder agreement?  What sorts of things can you deduct as it pertains to YOUR industry?

Assist in creating a strategic plan.  

  • Should you incorporate?  If incorporation is a logical choice, when should you incorporate?  Perhaps you’d be better off operating as a proprietor for a year or two first.  What would be an appropriate corporate fiscal year end date? People assume that December 31 is the obvious choice for a fiscal year-end.  The reality is, you can choose any date for a year-end and a non-December year end allows for so much more flexibility in tax planning.
  • When are the various government filings due?  Avoid surprises and prepare in advance.
  • How are you going to maintain your records?  Can you manage the documents yourself?  What tools/software and applications are available?  Do you need to hire a bookkeeper? What documents should be kept and for how long?  What are your options for the organization?
  • How are you going to pay yourself?  How much do you need to set aside for tax?
  • How are you going to manage your cash flow?  An accountant can assist with some strategies to make sure there is money in the bank.

Gain Peace of Mind:  – carry on your first year KNOWING that you’ve got a plan of action.

If you have questions about getting started, comment below or contact us.