When Should a Small Business Hire a CPA?

small business CPA services


Most successful small business owners appreciate that flexibility is often key to growth and broader success within any given market. While it is true that some business models can retain relevance and inspire ongoing operational success without evolving over time, they are few and far between. Therefore, it often isn’t surprising when owners of operations that were relatively small when they were originally launched realize their needs for support have changed as their reach has expanded. 

Take bookkeeping, for example. When owners or members of sole proprietorships, partnerships, and limited liability companies first launch their visions, they may use either bookkeeping software or a bookkeeping service to keep track of their income, debts, tax liabilities, inventory, and other consequential “business math.” Yet, if their operations expand significantly over time, that original approach may prove insufficient to address the challenges and overall complexity of a successful company’s evolving needs. 

In this article, the knowledgeable certified public accountants (CPAs) at Ferguson Timar discuss when it may be time for the owner(s) of a small business to move beyond basic bookkeeping approaches. By taking advantage of the services a skilled CPA offers, the owner(s) of a small business may even find they’re in a strong position to grow their operations more broadly in ways that are both efficient and effective. 

How CPAs Differ from Bookkeepers 

Bookkeepers engage in largely administrative tasks. They manage transactional records, maintain financial records, and generally ensure a company’s books are accurate. By contrast, CPAs are accounting and taxation experts who have met extensive educational, practical, and testing standards. These professionals offer personalized and highly strategic services that bookkeepers do not. These services include:

  • Tax preparation and strategic financial planning
  • Risk management and financial consulting
  • Auditing and strategic accounting

In addition, CPAs are fully capable of managing the administrative tasks traditionally associated with a bookkeeping role, including payroll, expense, and income tracking, etc. 

Putting the Skills of a CPA to Work 

A growing small business operation may face scenarios that require services that exceed the skills of a bookkeeper. These consequential circumstances may signal to a business owner that access to tailored expertise is required urgently:

  • Accounting analysis for growth strategy or risk mitigation 
  • Acquisition or merger
  • State or federal authority audit requests
  • Business valuation 
  • Compliance concerns
  • Financial statement preparation
  • Insurance evaluation 
  • Investment analysis
  • Retirement planning
  • Tax preparation and liability mitigation

However, many small business owners also come to realize they can benefit from working with a CPA simply because their operations are increasingly complex, growing, or are poised to grow and are in need of a sharper, more strategic outlook than a bookkeeping service can provide. If a company’s bookkeeping approach proves insufficient for any number of reasons, it is likely time to contact an experienced CPA for more personalized guidance and attention.  

A Question of ‘When?’

If you think your company could benefit from CPA services, you might be wondering when you should make this connection. Although every company’s circumstances are unique, the short answer is that being as proactive as possible tends to be advantageous. Some small business owners even engage CPA services prior to launch, as doing so allows their operations to evolve from a particularly tailored and strategic foundation.

While you may be tempted to wait until next year’s tax season rolls around, you’ve been notified of audit activity, or you’ve solidified expansion plans to connect with a CPA, the reality is the sooner you make contact, the sooner your company can benefit from personalized services designed to meet the unique needs of your operations. 

Connect with the Reputable CPAs at Ferguson Timar Today 

When the needs of a small business have outgrown traditional bookkeeping services, CPAs can both meet these evolving needs and help companies expand on the foundations they’ve already constructed. By engaging the services of a CPA, small business owners can become more empowered to make informed decisions about company finances, growth, liability, and risk management tailored to their particular circumstances.  

The respected CPAs at Ferguson Timar are ready to help you make the most out of your company’s potential. Contact our client-focused team today at (714) 204-0100 for personalized financial, legal, and tax guidance that meets the requirements of your evolving business needs. We look forward to speaking with you.