When Do You Need Outside Financial Advice?

When Do You Need Outside Financial Advice?

Think back to your first job. You probably didn’t need to use an itemized tax return and just had a simple 1040-EZ to mail. Owning property, starting a business, having a family, establishing college funds, investing in real estate or stock and preparing for retirement – these milestones come later. With every new phase of your life, your financial needs become more complex. At some point, it makes good sense to call on a financial advisor to protect your wealth and prepare you for what’s to come in life.

CPA services save you more than they cost. With gains from tax savings, wise investments and protection from financial risk, you have more reason than you think to choose a financial advisor. A financial advisor helps you meet your future on sound financial footing at every point in your career.

Financial Advice for Everyone

CPA firms are for more than the wealthiest companies or individuals; they provide vital financial advice for all their clients. In Long Island, CPAs work with everyone from Fortune 500 business owners to budget-conscious families. Think of seeking financial advice as a wellness check for your finances – something you do not because you need immediate help but because spotting areas of concern early lets you take action before you lose money or spend time on course corrections. For many clients, the ideal time for this financial service is before the tax rush. February and March are prime times to meet with a Certified Public Accountant for an overall financial health check.

For corporate clients, financial oversight is even more important. With a CPA’s services, you and your business are prepared for any changes that come your way. Having your finances in order makes mergers and acquisitions, sale of the business or its assets, IPOs and tax compliance easier for all parties. Being prepared for audits by having your CPA take care of your accounting needs gives you peace of mind.

A La Carte Financial Planning

Working on your own means you’re responsible for every part of your financial planning – even the parts you find challenging. By working with a CPA firm, you choose the level of involvement you want your advisor to have. If you prefer to draw up your own budget or do your own taxes, your CPA becomes another pair of eyes to ensure you’ve accounted for everything. If you prefer to put your accountant in charge of your finances, you can do so with confidence. Having an accountant as your safety net allows you to take an active role in your finances with the assurance that you’re making the right moves.

Business owners often want to manage investments and budget planning themselves but find day-to-day tasks get in the way of other duties. CPA firms can take care of these everyday events for you, freeing you to focus on other aspects of running your business. Your time is valuable, and as that value increases, the cost of hiring a Long Island CPA becomes a money-saver. Letting an outside accounting firm handle payroll, tax compliance, general ledger maintenance and other routine tasks also lets you pare down your in-house finance department, which could also be a significant source of savings.

Forensic Accounting and Audits

No matter how carefully you plan, unforeseen events can change the course of your financial future. Sometimes the news is good, such as a stock market windfall, a successful home sale or a lottery win. Occasionally, it’s an unexpected audit or error in the books. When these surprises happen, you need a CPA for more than wellness checks and maintenance. The sooner you get a financial expert on the case, the more readily you can face all your financial challenges. Going into an audit with your financial advisor can make the difference between paying significant fines or coming through squeaky clean.

Smarter Choices, Better Protection

Sailing through audits is one example of how a financial planner can benefit you, but everyday decisions also benefit from a CPA’s advice. Steering you toward wise financial choices protects your wealth and lets you keep more of the money you’ve earned. Knowing when to sell stocks, for example, can make a big difference to your bottom line. If you buy a stock that then earns $1,000 profit on your initial investment, your initial impulse might be to sell and cash out, leaving you to pay capital gains tax at your regular rate. Your CPA would advise you to hold onto that stock for a year or longer, so you’ll only pay 15 to 20 percent, depending on your earnings. To put this in real terms, you could earn $540 on your $1,000 windfall, or you could keep $800 to $850 of it.

Accountants speak the language of finance. It’s their job to make sense of tax laws and translate them into wealth protection for their clients. Whether you’re beginning to build your personal wealth, starting a business, seeing to your family’s future or preparing to enjoy retirement, you’ve worked for your money. Hiring a qualified CPA means your money now works harder for you, leaving you better able to preserve your wealth and invest it in what you value most.

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