10 ways to leverage your CPA

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Many business executives deal with their CPAs only once a year when they are rushing to meet deadlines for bank reporting or tax filings. That’s too bad, because they are missing out on the best their CPAs have to offer. Companies should view them as partners who can help them make money and thrive. How? Here are 10 possible money saving or money making projects a CPA probably could handle for you.

1. Tax planning strategies. Tax time is too busy for planning, so pick a quieter time to review such items as depreciation and expense strategies on equipment, per diem allowances and owners’ tax strategies.

2. Asset protection strategies. If everything in your business is held under one corporate name, you may not be protecting your holdings to the fullest extent. Some CPA firms use strategies that are so original that they require clients to sign non-disclosure agreements to use them.

3. Internal control system improvements. As your company grows, so can the impact of small problems with handling money. Your internal control system should grow with you, and your CPA firm likely has experience in setting up systems that can do the job.

4. Succession planning/valuation studies. Think you will work forever? Many CPA firms can help guide the succession planning process, including grooming future owners, setting and documenting the value of the company and helping to draft and finance buy-sell agreements.

5. Executive coaching/management team training. Business owners and managers often need a refresher on financial basics. Your CPA might arrange such courses for your fleet managers and might offer one-on-one coaching in corporate and personal business strategies.

6. Customer service improvements. Increasingly, CPAs are getting involved in the top line of sales and strategies to support sales. A CPA can help you increase revenues by assessing customer or employee satisfaction and working this into monthly operational strategies.

7. Feasibility studies. Should you own or continue to rent that building or terminal? How would changing your tractor-to-trailer ratio affect your profitability? Such questions require feasibility studies, and CPAs often perform them for clients.

8. Profit model studies/business plans. Every line of business has a “profit model,” but very few companies ever study it. The result is that the owners never really learn how to control their financial results. CPAs are skilled in studying profit models and can help you make improvements.

9. Personal financial planning. Company owners often work diligently to plan their companies’ financial success but do little planning for personal finances, such as children’s education, retirement or insurance. CPAs often offer personal financing planning to their business clients.

10. Merger, acquisition or sale due diligence. Time to grow, combine or get out? Many CPAs specialize in studying the financial feasibility of these opportunities as well helping with the non-financial aspects.

No matter what your relationship with your accountant or CPA, don’t let tax time be the only time you see him. You just might find he could help you break through to new levels of profit and success.

Find online articles on how to improve your internal financial practices, including “Don’t make the mistake of using your Accountant only at Tax Time,” at this site.