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CPA Shopping

 
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Old 01-17-2012, 03:24 PM   #1
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CPA Shopping


Hey guys, shopping for a CPA to help me out with accounting and deciding business type. Are there any things I should be looking for specifically in a cpa for this particular industry? Any specific questions I should be asking them?
Any one have opinion on big firm like HR Block over small local firm? Any advice or opinions appreciated.
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Old 01-17-2012, 03:29 PM   #2
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Re: CPA Shopping


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Originally Posted by actionman View Post
Hey guys, shopping for a CPA to help me out with accounting and deciding business type. Are there any things I should be looking for specifically in a cpa for this particular industry? Any specific questions I should be asking them?
Any one have opinion on big firm like HR Block over small local firm? Any advice or opinions appreciated.
I have a really good one, he lives in Doylestown. I can give you his info if you think that would work.

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Old 01-17-2012, 04:40 PM   #3
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Re: CPA Shopping


Most CPA firms will be able to handle what you're wanting done. H&R Block is not a CPA firm nor do they hold themselves out to be one either.

CPAs are held to very high standards and are governed by the CPA board of their respective state. Whatever you do, don't choose someone who is not a licensed CPA. There are lots of people that do "accounting" but aren't actually CPAs. It would be the equivalent of hiring a non-licensed contractor....hmm that sounds familiar.

Give jb's CPA a try.
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Old 01-17-2012, 05:05 PM   #4
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Re: CPA Shopping


Check out this thread:

http://www.contractortalk.com/f16/ad...keeper-108869/
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Old 01-17-2012, 05:25 PM   #5
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Re: CPA Shopping


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There are lots of people that do "accounting" but aren't actually CPAs. It would be the equivalent of hiring a non-licensed contractor....
I agree to hire a CPA, but that's a poor analogy. You are essentially saying that bookkeepers work illegally and that's not true.
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Old 01-17-2012, 05:52 PM   #6
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Re: CPA Shopping


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Originally Posted by Shawn Prentice

I agree to hire a CPA, but that's a poor analogy. You are essentially saying that bookkeepers work illegally and that's not true.
Bookeepers are unlicensed and shouldnt be doing the work of a CPA whether illegal or not
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Old 01-17-2012, 06:33 PM   #7
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Re: CPA Shopping


There are plenty of businesses, including some here, that use bookkeepers for day to day accounting and payroll and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

If you were to say that using a CPA would be of more benefit to someone who was being audited or in trouble with the IRS since CPAs can represent you in front of the IRS and bookkeepers can't, then I'd agree. But, your personal opinion that a licensed CPA is better than a bookkeeper just because they are licensed is nonsense and holds no weight. Just because someone is "licensed" doesn't mean that they are necessarily any good at what they do. There are plenty of "licensed" contractors, doctors, attorneys, operators of motor vehicles, and yes, CPAs, that have no business doing what they are doing.

Last edited by Shawn Prentice; 01-17-2012 at 06:44 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 01-17-2012, 07:48 PM   #8
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Re: CPA Shopping


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Originally Posted by jb4211 View Post
I have a really good one, he lives in Doylestown. I can give you his info if you think that would work.
That would be great, can you message me his info. It's a little far for me but worth a look.
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Old 01-17-2012, 07:54 PM   #9
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Re: CPA Shopping


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That would be great, can you message me his info. It's a little far for me but worth a look.
True, but it may be something that can be worked out either through the internet or snail-mail. Let me him first and I'll shoot you his info. He was the head accountant for one of the A/C casinos then he was the head accountant for a local hospital. He' now retired from the 9-5 and has his own business. He only handles businesses and estates.
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Old 01-17-2012, 08:03 PM   #10
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Re: CPA Shopping


Thanks jb for the contact.

Thanks Griz for the link. As always very informative and helpful. Trying to check things off the list here!
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Old 01-19-2012, 02:33 PM   #11
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Re: CPA Shopping


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Originally Posted by Shawn Prentice View Post
There are plenty of businesses, including some here, that use bookkeepers for day to day accounting and payroll and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

If you were to say that using a CPA would be of more benefit to someone who was being audited or in trouble with the IRS since CPAs can represent you in front of the IRS and bookkeepers can't, then I'd agree. But, your personal opinion that a licensed CPA is better than a bookkeeper just because they are licensed is nonsense and holds no weight. Just because someone is "licensed" doesn't mean that they are necessarily any good at what they do. There are plenty of "licensed" contractors, doctors, attorneys, operators of motor vehicles, and yes, CPAs, that have no business doing what they are doing.
I'm going to disagree with that.

First, a CPA has a college degree and if he/she is a more recent CPA, then they have a master's degree (in some states). A bookkeeper is not required to have any education at all.

Second, a CPA has passed a VERY difficult exam and thus has proven a certain degree of proficiency. A bookkeeper is not required to pass an exam.

Third, a CPA is required to have continuing education every year in order to renew their license. A bookkeeper is not required to have continuing education.

Fourth, a CPA is licensed and thus subject to certain professional duties and obligations. And, if they are a member of the AICPA and/or their State's CPA society, there are additional professional guidelines to follow. These duties, obligations, and guidelines are designed to benefit the public who rely on CPA's. A bookkeeper has none of this.
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Old 01-19-2012, 03:23 PM   #12
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First off, a license doesn't make you any good at what you do. It simply means you've met minimum standards. If the CPA exam is like most other standardized tests, then 70% is passing and that isn't really that good. Do you want the CPA who got a C- and proved their knowledge level is one point above a D or the one who got an A?

Second, to say there are no educated bookkeepers is false.

Third, to say there are no bookkeepers that don't continue their education, say by learning the new tax codes every year, is false.

Lastly, just because a CPA's license "binds" them to certain duties and obligations doesn't mean that there aren't some that don't follow them. There are plenty of "license" holders in any licensed trade that lack morals and ethics. You saying there are no bookkeepers that hold themselves to high standards and have a commitment to excellent customer service is false.

My earlier post was made because the fact of the matter is that a license doesn't necessarily make a CPA better than a bookkeeper. Ideally and on paper it does, but that isn't reality. Although I finally found an excellent CPA after going through 6 of them, I've met bookkeepers along the way that were better than some of the CPAs I've used in the past.

You have made a blanket statement and those are usually false. Show me factual data that says there is not one bookkeeper in this world that is better than the worst CPA and provide a link to your source.

Last edited by Shawn Prentice; 01-19-2012 at 03:27 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 01-19-2012, 04:06 PM   #13
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Re: CPA Shopping


Unlike other state exams, the CPA exam is designed to not pass most people. Only about the top 20% are passed. That is the top 20% of all scores of all the test takers. Theoretically, you can get 90% of the questions correct and still fail the exam.

My blanket statement is just as bad as your blanket statement. Like any profession, be it attorneys, CPA's, bookkeepers, ore general contractors, there are some who fail the profession. In general, though, I think you will find CPA's more capable than bookkeepers.

Just to prove my point, the IRS has had so many problems with incapable bookkeepers, that they published Circular 230 (Title 31, Subtitle A, Part 10) originally published in 2011 to deal with the problem. Basically, non-CPA's and non-attorneys now have to take a test and have continuing education in order to "practice before the IRS". "Practice" includes preparing and filing documents, corresponding and communicating with the IRS, rendering written tax advice, and representing a client at conferences, hearings and meetings.

Last edited by Station1; 01-19-2012 at 04:27 PM.
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Old 01-19-2012, 04:28 PM   #14
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Re: CPA Shopping


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My blanket statement is just as bad as your blanket statement.
You mean this one...

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Originally Posted by Shawn Prentice View Post
My earlier post was made because the fact of the matter is that a license doesn't necessarily make a CPA better than a bookkeeper.
Because that is not a blanket statement. I never said every licensed CPA is bad at what they do, nor am I saying that every bookkeeper is good at what they do. I am saying that a license doesn't necessarily make one good at what they do and it appears that you are saying every CPA is better just because they are licensed.

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Like any profession, be it attorneys, CPA's, bookkeepers, ore general contractors, there are some who fail the profession. In general, though, I think you will find CPA's more capable than bookkeepers.
Then we agree. That is basically what I have said all along. To me, a license, or college degree for that matter, is only as good as you make it and some aren't worth the paper they are printed on.
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Old 01-19-2012, 04:35 PM   #15
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Re: CPA Shopping


In general, if you hire a CPA, then chances are you are getting quality work even though there are probably a few out there who do not do a good job. If you hire a bookkeeper, you will not know if they are capable or not.

Last edited by Station1; 01-19-2012 at 04:38 PM.
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Old 01-19-2012, 04:41 PM   #16
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So, if you are charged with a criminal offense, you won't hire an attorney because his license is not worth the paper it's written on.
Now you're being ridiculous and twisting my words to suit your argument. I wouldn't hire an attorney just because he/she was licensed, I would hire a licensed attorney that is good at what he/she does. You're missing the point, "A license does not necessarily make one good at what they do", but you are convinced it does so I digress
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Old 01-19-2012, 04:47 PM   #17
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Re: CPA Shopping


Question for you: Are you familiar with Statements on Standards for Accounting and Review Services?
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Old 01-20-2012, 12:23 AM   #18
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Re: CPA Shopping


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Originally Posted by Knighton View Post
Whatever you do, don't choose someone who is not a licensed CPA. There are lots of people that do "accounting" but aren't actually CPAs. It would be the equivalent of hiring a non-licensed contractor....hmm that sounds familiar.

Give jb's CPA a try.
So i could fill out my states paperwork pay their couple hundred dollar fine and get my gc licence. that doesnt really mean s*** no offense dude. To become a CPA you have to at least get your bachelors, and then pass the state exam which you only get three chances to do(at least in CT). But i would agree with you to go with a CPA over a bookeeper do to your accounting/taxes. My advice to actionman would be to avoid a big firm, my buddy is a CPA. Most big firms handle big corporations, and if they do handle guys like you and me they arnt intune to the in's and outs of small business exemptions and taxes. Find someone who handles small business's almost exclusively. if you can find one that handles alot of contractors even better. avoid a big firm

Last edited by Spaint90; 01-20-2012 at 12:28 AM.
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Old 01-20-2012, 10:37 AM   #19
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Re: CPA Shopping


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Question for you: Are you familiar with Statements on Standards for Accounting and Review Services?
If you are not familiar with this, then you don't fully understand the difference between a bookkeeper and a CPA.
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Old 01-20-2012, 11:35 AM   #20
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Re: CPA Shopping


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If you are not familiar with this, then you don't fully understand the difference between a bookkeeper and a CPA.
You do know that CPA's hire bookkeepers to keep books for them right?

A CPA will take care of you very well, but most small businesses can do with a bookkeeper except at tax time when they need a cPA or enrolled agent to prepare their taxes.

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