When it comes to your personal finances (or your business), who does your taxes? Is it a specialized tax preparer? Is it a piece of software? Maybe it’s a friend who likes spreadsheets? If the answer to any of these is yes, be careful! There may not necessarily be a problem with any of these options. But depending on your needs, you may want someone who can do more than just basic tax preparation. In other words, there are differences in accountants vs. tax preparers.
What most people don’t understand is the difference between tax preparers versus accountants. Hiring a tax preparer is generally a once-a-year event. However, hiring an accountant, with a focus in tax preparation, may be a benefit further down the road. You can also retain these year-round tax accountants for the purposes of tax planning. We offer resolutions to tax problems, and general bookkeeping and accounting needs.
Timing is everything. And unfortunately individuals discover that their trusted tax preparer does not fulfill their entire need, after-the-fact. The preparer is not well versed on other more complicated (though seemingly related) matters. Take for instance, navigating the details of an Offer in Compromise with the IRS. Or look at the process of setting up an S-Corp or LLC. Either of these tasks can be beyond the scope of what a tax preparer is equipped to handle. Even day-to-day bookkeeping for small businesses and individuals is difficult to get done accurately and affordably. It may be that your tax preparer has to collaborate with an accountant.
Although a true tax accountant will have quite comprehensive tax knowledge. Though a tax preparer is not necessarily the same as a full-spectrum accountant. At firms like Business and Financial Solutions, we offer year-round accounting and tax services. Additionally our services include bookkeeping and financial management for your business. We also cater to individual needs. And we provide the guidance that only comes from seasoned consultants.
We can certainly empathize with the impulse many Americans feel about turning to their regular tax preparer for other accounting tasks. But it does present its unique challenges. The problem is that it’s like asking your favorite chef to also farm. It’s just not in their arsenal of expertise. And they may try their best to accommodate you but that can lead to varied results.
Having a doctor you can trust, a mechanic you can rely on, and a lawyer who has your best interest in mind matter to you. So shouldn’t your accountant be equally qualified. This is essential since they advise you on the one thing that let’s you pay for all the others. —your pocketbook?