Many people think of CPAs as professionals which just help individuals or businesses monitor their spending and get their affairs in order for tax season. However, most certified public accountants have a broad range of knowledge and offer a number of services beyond basic accounting. Some of the more out-of-the-ordinary tasks that you can call a CPA to help you with are outlined below.
Investigative or forensic accounting is one common but still less well-known set of services that a certified public account offers. These services consist of the accountant looking through accounting records to disprove or find evidence of fraud, negligence, and other wrongdoing or criminal behavior. These investigations usually produce outcomes that are used in trials. Litigation services, by the way, are another service that certified public accountants often may be called on to provide. The litigation and forensic services of an accountant could be utilized in various situations, from disputes between spouses or family members all the way up to investigations of corporations or big charities. A certified public accountant can help you hone in on the problem if you think there is any discrepancies or wrongdoing in your business or your dealing with somebody that is close to you.
Certified public accountants also can offer financial or estate planning services. Managing your finances so you can live comfortably and still reach your long-term goals is the objective of financial planning. Financial planning it not just for retirement as many individuals may think; at different points in life – to save for a house, to set aside money for your children’s education and so on – it’s also essential. In order to make a plan for managing your finances, a certified public accountant will help you assess your liabilities and assets. Estate planning, meanwhile, consists of trying to maintain the maximum possible value of your estate, which consists not just of your house, but also all your property. Doing whatever possible to reduce legal fees, taxes and court-related expenses when your estate is given to your family is how you maximize value. A good accountant can counsel you on how to handle your finances and plan for what will happen to your estate in the future. It is never too early to begin working on financial estate planning which may be contrary to popular belief.
The skills that certified public accountants have can be applied in several situations. Specializing in helping companies to maintain compliance with a variety of laws and regulations concerning the environment, taxation and much more is one such application. This is an important service, specifically in the face of changing laws. Many accountants specialize in the information technology side of accounting, which is becoming more and more prominent. Other CPAs specialize in international laws regarding trade and finances and can supply advice on this subject. Specialized consulting services, such as business and management consulting, are also provided by certified public accountants.
A CPA can offer far more than the traditional range of auditing, consulting, and accounting services. Of course, you also can always count on a certified public accountant to check over your records, balance your revenue and expenditures, and provide budgeting and other financial advice. Individuals, small businesses, corporations, and non-profits can all benefit from the services of a certified public accountant, and most will have to call on the help of one of these professionals many times.