In a world where we receive constant pressure to buy this or that, we often find ourselves lost in a maze of choices and misinformation, not knowing if the purchase is something we truly need. We spend countless hours researching products and reading reviews, bouncing from website to website to find the best deal. Ask yourself this…how much thought and research do you put into the CPA and financial advisors you choose? Have you put as much time into those investment decisions as you make your everyday purchases? You should! CPAs and advisors have a profound impact on our lives and should be a part of our financial and tax decisions.
Try to put yourself in this situation: It’s tax time. You think you have a pretty simple situation. You work, own a house, have investments – nothing is out of the ordinary. When it comes time to file taxes, you simply take them to the nearest provider, drop them off, and don’t bother to come back until you hear the results. Is this good decision making? Probably not.
There are vast benefits to sitting down with a quality CPA when it comes to your taxes and financial decisions. You need to form an open and honest relationship with a quality CPA. The key word here is QUALITY! Here are some things to consider when choosing a quality CPA or topics to discuss if you have already a CPA:
Make an appointment. You cannot form a relationship with someone you never see. Consider going beyond tax appointments. Schedule quarterly appointments to head off anticipated changes that could impact you and your finances negatively. This is especially important for business owners. Business changes can have a huge impact on a personal situation.
Make taxes work for you. A quality CPA should help maximize your deductions. They should consider your stage of life, get to know you, search for any incentives you aren’t taking advantage of, including HSAs, IRAs, and retirement plans. Be sure to ask questions to help position you to be your best financially.
If you are approaching retirement… this is a crucial time to plan. It takes a quality financial advisor and a quality CPA who work openly together to create a solid plan for you. That solid plan could require you to make some changes years before you pull the trigger on retiring. Business owners, consider this – in addition to retiring, did you create a solid succession plan that not only leaves you financially sound but leaves your business sound as well? Will the transition to that new owner be a smooth one? Start planning with your CPA and financial advisor to ensure the next generation is prepared.
Life changes. Life is always changing for better or worse. Any time one of those changes happen, be sure to notify your CPA. Births, marriages, divorces, new home purchases – you name it, it can have an impact on your plan and your taxes. A quality CPA will be able to help you take advantage of these changes and minimize any negative implications.
Let them be your financial advocate. CPAs who advise and plan have a unique advantage in today’s market. Not only can they position you to maximize deductions, but when it comes to estate and succession planning, they can guide you down the right path, assisting in the creation of necessary documents and transitions as your advocate. If they don’t perform the service themselves, they should have strong connections to another provider in your area who they can work with to make sure you have peace of mind.
Taking time to make sure you choose the best CPA or financial advisor is just as important, if not more important than making decisions on other items we buy. Take the time to get to know your financial advisor and CPA. Discussing these items during your tax appointment may be a start but remember that a quality CPA will let you know if they feel you should meet more than once a year. Invest in quality planning with tax preparation – it is important that you make educated decisions on your financial and tax wellbeing.
Start building a long-term relationship with our quality CPAs today! Contact one of our offices in Fond du Lac, Sheboygan, Plymouth, Markesan, Minocqua to get started.