How you leverage your CPA firm makes a big difference, as does their perspective on business. Unaware, you could find yourself in a low-potential relationship that’s hampering your progress, instead of an opportunity-oriented relationship that’s furthering your vision.
Recognizing that difference, plus using your CPA team in the most effective ways, will empower you and your business to flourish.
The CPA Firm: Traditional/Uninspired vs. Modern/Creative
The traditional and uninspired CPA firm comes from a justifiably long and proud history, but hasn’t evolved to effectively address the needs of modern businesses. Common characteristics include:
- Believes traditional accounting financial statements are the most important and highest value offering.
- Overly-suspicious of any new technology as unproven and unsafe, and committed to being a late adopter.
- Reacts to taxes after the year’s over, often with sizeable adjustments.
- Evaluates twelve-month old financial results for insights that are no longer relevant to your current situation.
- Focuses on small minutia that don’t meaningfully change your situation.
In contrast, a modern and creative CPA team:
- Recognizes traditional financial statements present only a partial picture, and are often muddied by weird accounting/tax rules. Instead, they present your finances with a fresh approach that gives you true insight into your business.
- Keeps abreast of the latest technology developments, continually tests the ones that look promising, and recommends the ones you can most benefit from.
- Anticipates changes in your tax liability during the year, and helps adjust payments so you can avoid any surprises at year-end.
- Forecasts your business profit and cash position forward twelve-months, then helps monitor the results and key indicators so you can adapt throughout the year.
- Continually draws your attention to big picture items like your business model, your profit model, your short- and long-term strategy, and what’s important to your life.
5 Things Modern & Creative CPA Teams Can Do
Examining the above traits, hopefully you find that: yep, you’re working with a modern and creative CPA team. Great! The next question to ask yourself: Are you putting that team to their highest and best use?
A bench full of all-stars isn’t doing you any good, so here’s five key ways you can get your CPA team out on the field for you:
- Helping vet your business ideas. You start percolating a new campaign, product line, location, team hire, etc. — setup a quick video chat with your CPA help flesh out the picture, identify key pitfalls to avoid, clarify an approach path, test financial viability, and more. A clearer concept on the front end is many times likelier to succeed on the back end.
- Designing your financial system. If your financial workflows look the same as they did five years ago, I can almost guarantee there’s a better way. Whether it’s an online accounting system, fully automated online payroll system, digital receipts system, mobile financial forecast system, or more, modern tech will save you time and money, plus make you a stronger business.
- Unpacking your business performance. There’s more to profit than just reading the bottom line — your CPA team can help unpack your critical financial levers, calculate breakeven points, hone in on performance indicators, and design ways to keep tabs on them automatically.
- Saving & de-stressing your tax. Every entrepreneur pays tax, but being smart about what tax entity you choose, learning and benefitting from tax law changes, helping you pro-actively set aside the right estimated payments, and more will result in a seamless, no-surprise experience.
- Acting as your business coach. Modern and creative CPA teams have worked with hundreds of entrepreneurs, and those who have consciously developed the skill, are well-positioned to ask the right questions that open possibilities, clarify direction, and escape your own echo chamber so you can actively direct your business and life.
Finding Your Creative & Modern CPA Firm
Entrepreneurs work to surround themselves with people that can amplify and accelerate their entrepreneurial vision, and your CPA firm plays a critical role on that team. By (a) choosing to work with a modern and creative CPA firm, and (b) fully leveraging their skill set, you’ll significantly impact your long-run success and even quality of life.
Finding that right fit is important, and we recommend pairing up a firm that both specializes in your industry and with whom you form a natural rapport. At ElementsCPA, we specialize in entrepreneurs in the technology and service industries with $1m to $5m in revenue, and if you’d like to explore a relationship with our team, simply request a Coffee Conversation and we look forward to meeting you.