Believe it or not, it can take up to seven years to become a CPA. Between college, work experience, and passing the CPA exam, many CPAs have had a good deal of preparation before earning their titles.
Yet what is the difference between an accountant vs CPA? Is it worth the extra money to hire a certified public accountant?
The right professional can save you a good deal of money on bookkeeping and tax preparation. Hiring them can be a very wise investment.
Here’s what you need to know about an accountant vs. a Sarasota CPA.
Accountants often take care of bookkeeping and some tax preparation matters. They will likely have a degree of training and experience but have no certification.
A CPA, on the other hand, has met state licensing requirements that include passing a certification exam. They will also need minimum education, which is usually a bachelor’s degree in accounting. In addition, there are work experience requirements that vary from state to state.
Legal Representation For Taxes
It’s usually smart to look for a CPA when it comes to your taxes. They have a knowledge of tax law that many other accounting professionals lack.
A CPA is also legally permitted to represent you to the IRS in case of an audit. They can defend your tax return in the event that authorities have questions.
Code of Conduct
Unlike traditional accountants, CPAs are required to operate by a certain code of conduct. They must act with integrity and in the public interest. It’s also important for them to have objectivity and independence.
Scope of Work
CPAs can perform the same types of duties that accountants are responsible for. These include accounts payable, accounts receivable, and collections. Journal entries and budgeting can also be performed by both CPAs and accountants.
Both CPAs and accountants are responsible for reconciling accounts at the end of each month. If something is higher or lower than usual, such as utilities or product expenses, your accountant can figure out why.
Accountants and CPAs can also both examine cash flow and make recommendations for keeping your expenses down.
In addition to these responsibilities, however, a CPA can do some things that a traditional accountant cannot.
For example, they can prepare audited financial statements and file them with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). They can also use their superior knowledge of taxes to minimize your chances of an audit. In addition, they provide tips on taxes that other accountants won’t know about.
Investing in a Sarasota CPA
If you’re looking to minimize what your business pays in taxes, as well as get expert help with tasks like budgeting and planning, you can’t go wrong with hiring a Sarasota CPA. These professionals have the experience and knowledge to keep your finances in great shape.
Don’t stop getting smart about hiring a CPA now. For expert professionals in the Sarasota area, contact us today.
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