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What EXACTLY do I ask my accountant to do?

How do I arrange for taxes, once I’ve set up my corporation? Do I hire an accountant and send the accountant all my receipts? How do I know that my accountant is a good one that gets me all the tax deductible stuff and can recommend appropriate tax loopholes?

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3 Responses to “What EXACTLY do I ask my accountant to do?”

  1. lizzit said :

    Well, for one thing, you hire your accountant BEFORE you set up your corporation. That way, s/he can recommend the most tax-efficient one for the type and size of business you are starting. Isn’t it depressing to find out after-the-fact that you’ve picked the most expensive option?

    Your accountant has three jobs, which you can have done all by the one accountant or by three different ones. Most people hire just one to do all three.
    Tax compliance – ensuring all the daily, weekly, monthly, and annual legal and tax regulated forms are correctly filed on behalf of your company.
    Auditing – review the detailed financial transactions of your company and certifying that everything is above board. This is usually done prior to the tax work.
    Planning – setting the course by designing tax- and legally- efficient business practices to allow your company to grow and you to keep more of the profits in your pocket.

    There is a forth element, too: Bookkeeping. An accountant is not a bookkeeper, but many accountancy practices also handle your bookkeeping. It’s cheaper to hire a separate bookkeeper. Either hire a full-time one as an employee of your company or else hire a part-time one on the recommendation of your accountant (as your bookkeeper and accountant have to work together).

    Ask friends with similar businesses or sizes of business who their CPA/CA is and whether or not they’d recommend him/her. Verify their credentials with the state CPA (or national CA) organization. If you have no friends with businesses, then use the state CPA (national CA) organization to pick a few that are local to you; and then do a background check yourself: Is their website professional? Do the staff seem knowledgeable and courteous? Can they provide you with references?

  2. waggy_33 said :

    I would hire a CPA who has corporate experience. You will need to do something about bookkeeping and the CPA can help you establish the proper chart of accounts that will help capture all of your expenses. He will also be able to advise on tax elections that need to be made and when they need to be made.

  3. Julie said :

    There are really 2 issues. Accounting for income & expenses, and reporting income & expenses.

    Depends on the size and volume of your business. If your business is small, you may be able to keep records yourself or hire someone part time. BUT, you should meet with an accountant and ask first–have an accountant get you started. Meet with the accountant quarterly the first year (before quarterly estimated taxes are due in April, June, Sept. & Jan). You should rely on an accountant to do your tax filings and payroll. It may turn out that you cannot/prefer having someone do the accounting/tax work for you irregardless.


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