When is an Accounting Firm needed?

The label “Accounting Firm” applies to three different service companies: 1) CPA Firm, 2) Tax Preparation Firm, and 3) Bookkeeping Firm. Each is important in the right conditions, and in some cases legally required. For instance, publicly traded companies must seek the services of a CPA accounting firm for financial audits.

Let’s look at each type of accounting firm separately and understand when they are most critical.

CPA Firm

As noted above, publicly traded companies are required to have annual audits by a CPA accounting firm. For the largest CPA firms, audits are their bread-and-butter income. In some companies and organizations, licensed auditors might spend thousands of billable hours sampling and testing the company’s accounting system to ensure proper controls are in place and that their financial records represent the company fairly. The CPA firm turns out an audit report at the end of the process that is
then included in the company’s annual report.

There are relatively few large CPA firms. Most CPA Accounting firms are smaller one-office firms led by one to three CPA’s that provide services to smaller companies. These services might include audits of small publicly traded companies, management consulting, and business tax preparation services.

Typically, they will not do bookkeeping and tax preparation, except for their business clients. In those cases where they do offer tax preparation for individuals, they charge a premium in my experience.

Tax Preparation Firm

Although tax preparation is often thought of as a CPA skill, most Certified Public Accountants do not prepare taxes, other than their own, perhaps. Likewise, very few tax preparers are CPA’s. Instead, most tax preparers start by doing their own taxes, enjoying it, then doing taxes for friends and family. Eventually, they decided to start offering it for a fee and either join up with a tax preparation firm or hang out their own shingle.

There are several large tax preparation firms, the largest being H&R Block. These firms hire seasonal workers and will provide some training at the beginning of the year. Nevertheless, most tax prep firms are small single practitioner accounting firms that specialize in income tax preparation for individuals. Most tax professionals work during tax season. If they are successful and watch their spending, they may earn enough during those few short months (January to April) to enjoy vacationing the rest of the year. Some tax preparers will offer bookkeeping during their slow seasons.

Bookkeeping Firm

These are typically small, privately owned accounting firms that provide bookkeeping and payroll services to small businesses (less than 50 employees). Often, they operate from the accountant’s home, and they may serve up to a dozen clients. They will pick up transaction detail from the client monthly or quarterly and provide financial statements on the same schedule. Nearly every bookkeeping firm will also provide full payroll servicing.

A full-service bookkeeping firm will also provide management consulting including helping the owner interpret the financial statements and provide suggestions for improving financial wealth and profitability. If trained in business tax forms, these professionals will offer tax preparation services in addition to their writeup services.

Learn more about what you can do to have your own successful accounting firm and the opportunities available in your area HERE.

If you also listen to podcasts, consider “Building the Premier Accounting Firm”!

Branding Your New Accounting Business On a Tight Budget

As an accountant, you know the importance of setting a budget and sticking to it. Starting your own accounting business will require a disciplined adherence to a budget, and one of the things you need to fit into that budget is branding. Your company’s brand is best described as how your customers feel when they think about your company. No matter what type of brand you’re going for, branding your company is the way you shape how those customers feel. Here are a few things to keep in mind when you’re branding your new accounting company while staying within a budget. 

First, the Name

Your new company has to have a good name that’s easy to say and remember and gives a potential customer an idea of what you’re all about. Many accounting firms just take on the names of their owners, and that’s an acceptable practice; it’s a sign of credibility in the industry and gives you some legitimacy. However, consider coming up with a different name that includes one of these keywords relating to accounting:

 

  • Accounting
  • CPA
  • Bookkeeping
  • Firm
  • Taxes

 

These words will help your online branding by helping your business rank higher on SEO, especially if you can find a way to include one or more of them in your company name. 

Create Your Logo

Your logo is an integral part of your brand. If you’ve branded correctly, seeing your logo should make your customers feel certain emotions, often without them even realizing it. Accountants usually have a professional type of logo; luckily, LogoCreator.io has a variety of templates for almost every industry, so you can make your very own logo without being too outlandish or unusual for the rest of the industry. People like to see some uniqueness, but you still want them to realize that you’re an accounting firm. 

 

Part of creating your logo is determining your company’s color scheme, another important factor that will help guide any promotional items you might have made to distribute, your website design, or even the interior of your offices. You don’t have to spend money in this step, but it is important to consider what colors you want people to associate with your company. Certain colors are also more or less associated with certain emotions; you can find out more about that here

Keep Your Marketing On Brand

Now that you have a name and a logo, you can start marketing your company. You will probably want to consider getting on at least a couple of social media platforms, and you might even consider starting a blog on various accounting topics. You have expertise that other people are looking for, and especially in this field, starting a blog can help build your reputation as an expert accountant. Blogs also give you a good amount of content to share on your social media profile, which helps drive traffic to your site. If people in your area are already used to visiting your site for valuable information, that makes them that much more likely to seek out your services too.

 

However, remember that your content and marketing should be on-brand. This means you need to find a voice and tone for your posts, one that doesn’t clash with what you want your business known for. If you need help figuring out a good voice for your branding, you can find some helpful information at Column Five Media.

 

Branding really involves getting people to feel a certain way when they hear about or see your business. It’s the face of your company, and it should be something you put some thought and effort into. Branding your accounting business on a budget isn’t difficult; it just takes some thought and planning to get right. 

 

All of this complements the process to become the premier accounting firm in your area. Contact us today to see how we can help you with your accounting business.

:Written by Kristi Horton

Mitul Mehta, From a Kid Who Loved Numbers To CPA

Although his parents wanted him to become a doctor or lawyer Mitul Mehta was drawn to numbers. Imagine writing code before you were a teenager.

Although Mitul received his degree in accounting his career path went the route of technology and consulting. Imagine that background leading up to his wife starting her business and asking him to take care of the books.

Now Mitul has a thriving accounting business offering traditional accounting services coupled with technology and consulting.

Listen as Roger Knecht, president of Universal Accounting Center, and Mitul Mehta (https://www.cpa-mehta.com/) discuss his business, the advice he has for others as well as the future of accounting.

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From a Dare to Running a Successful CPA Firm

So often our choices in life lead us in directions we couldn’t imagine. This is true for Veronica Wasek, CPA, as she entered the accounting profession and letter built a successful accounting firm. (Founder & CEO of VM Wasek)

Listen to what Veronica shares to start and build your own successful firm offers quality accounting, bookkeeping, and tax services.

Everyone has their own journey but after hearing what Veronica says you’ll have the confidence to keep moving and build your own business.

Find out more about how you can start and build your own accounting business (Your Turnkey Business Plan) 

The Virtual Bookkeeper’s Roadmap

Building the Premier Accounting Firm