CPA vs Accountant: What Does Your Company Really Need?

Let’s face it- you could probably be managing your financials better. But how?

It’s actually less a question of how, and more a question of who. Different businesses’ financial needs require different services. Different services are offered by CPAs than accountants.

So what does your business need?

Read on to find out about the different roles and responsibilities of a CPA vs accountant. Then, you can match these services with your business’ needs to get the right person for the right job.

CPA vs Accountant

You might think the terms are interchangeable. They aren’t. CPA’s:

  • have focused educational backgrounds in accounting
  • must pass the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Exam
  • are required to log a number of state education and experience hours before becoming eligible to even sit for the CPA exam
  • can offer certain tax and financial services that accountants are not licensed to offer (like auditing).

Accountants, on the other hand,

  • have more diverse educational backgrounds, including general business degrees
  • are not required to pass the CPA exam to provide financial services
  • cannot represent your business in front of the IRS in case of audit
  • will cost your business less than a CPA.

Now that you have a basic understanding of the differences between a CPA vs accountant, you can begin to think about the services you need and which will be a better fit.

Who Is Right for Your Business?

CPA’s are more qualified than accountants, so they’re going to cost you more. The peace of mind that comes with having a licensed financial professional handling your money might be worth it, though.

CPA’s can also represent your business in front of the IRS in case of an audit. Accountants cannot. Having legal financial representation in case of this scenario also offers peace of mind for your business.

It also might not be necessary.

If your business is just starting out, you might consider hiring an accountant. Although accountants are not required to acquired licensed and cannot act as financial fiduciaries for their clients, they can prepare your taxes and take care of routine financial work, like data entry and financial reports.

This might be just enough for you. If you have been taking care of all your business’ financials yourself, you might not be making enough yet to need all the bells and whistles that a licensed CPA offers.

You might consider combining the services of both. You could have an accountant take care of routine financial work and file quarterly and yearly reports, while you consult a CPA when it comes time for taxes.

By delegating tasks to the right person for the job, you’re spending your business’ dollars effectively and covering all your bases.

Finding Your Financial Professional

Still have questions about which financial services are right for your company?

A consultant can help answer them, and work to match your company up with the perfect financial professional for your needs. We offer direct hire services to help get your business’ needs taken care of quickly and effectively.

Get in touch to find the top financial talent and get them working for your business!