How to Get the Most from Your CPA

Before an aspiring accountant can earn a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license and title, they must complete years of education and experience, in addition to passing a rigorous professional examination. Once these professionals are properly licensed, they can provide a host of different financial services for individuals, small business owners, nonprofit organizations, and other entities. Engaging these services can help you meet your financial goals more efficiently and effectively than you could without professional guidance and support. 

In this article, the experienced CPAs at Ferguson Timar discuss how to benefit from your CPA relationship. By approaching this relationship thoughtfully, you can benefit from its value to a far greater extent than you otherwise might. As there is no one-size-fits-all way to approach a CPA relationship, carefully consider your unique needs, goals, and broader circumstances when implementing the tips noted below. 

Clarify Your Priorities

Your financial needs and goals for the future may have evolved significantly since you started working with a CPA. Or perhaps you are engaging in CPA services for the first time. Either way, taking time to clarify what your priorities are can help your CPA make the most of the time they spend on behalf of your personal or company finances. 

For example, some clients are primarily concerned about mitigating tax liability, while others are concerned about sustainability, diversification, and/or growth. Regardless of your focus, clarifying what you want out of the relationship can guide your CPA to realize your vision. 

Recognize the Possibilities

Are you aware of all the services your CPA provides? Most clients engage the services of a CPA primarily for tax and broader accounting matters. Yet, CPAs often offer many other services that may be useful to you and/or your company. For example, at Ferguson Timar we offer the following:

  • Accounting services
  • Tax preparation, guidance, and strategy services
  • Outsourced CFO services
  • Retirement income planning
  • 401K planning and risk management
  • Life insurance planning
  • Disability income protection
  • Estate planning
  • Business succession 
  • Business entity formation 

If you educate yourself about the services your CPA provides, you can build a more dynamic relationship with them and their expertise that can benefit your financial outlook in countless ways.

Take a Year-Round Approach

Regardless of whether you only work with a CPA for tax services or your financial needs are more complex, understand you can maintain contact throughout the year to further your relationship. As your finances evolve and your circumstances change, you should keep your CPA informed. The purchases and sales you wish to make, the investments you want to acquire, and even adjustments to your estate planning or business succession strategies can all impact your taxes and financial goals. By thinking of tax services and accounting as more than an annual financial checkup, you can strengthen your relationship with your CPA and maximize your hard-earned assets. 

Remain Open to Strategic Guidance

Have you ever heard doctors make the worst patients? When you are a savvy, educated, and capable person, it can be difficult to take advice from others, even those who are reputable professionals with extensive experience in their fields. Yet, it is important to remain open to receiving strategic guidance if you want to reach your financial goals efficiently and effectively. This is not to say you have to treat every word your CPA says as final, but allowing their truly informed opinions and assessments to influence your decisions is generally wise. Otherwise you aren’t benefitting from the relationship and expertise for which you pay.  

Cultivate a Partnership

To truly benefit from all your CPA offers, think of them less as a consultant and more as a partner.  In other words, if you cultivate a relationship based on trust, a clear vision of what you try to achieve together, and a willingness to see the other’s point of view, you will be more likely to “let them in” to the extent they can do your personal or company finances life-altering good. Instead of checking in with them from time to time, travel down the same road together toward a dream destination. A partnership will benefit you far more than an occasional consulting relationship ever could. 

Allow Ferguson Timar CPAs to Help You Realize Your Financial Goals

The CPAs at Ferguson Timar are widely respected throughout the Southern California accounting, business, and professional communities. We are always available to assist you as an individual and/or as a business owner. Contact our team today at (714) 204-0100 to discuss your financial goals either for the first time or with a clarified vision of the future. We look forward to assisting you in meeting those goals and making the most of what our firm offers.