By: KM Guru

The benefits from hiring a certified public accountant should not be underestimated. Whether you are a small business owner or self-employed, you can get a tremendous boost with a qualified CPA to assist you with your accounting and tax needs. This is especially true if you are not well versed in accounting and taxation for business purposes.

Be Specific in Choosing a CPA

Did you know that accountants specialize in specific fields of interest? Not every accountant has the qualifications to meet your individual business needs. It is such a big step to select the right CPA because such a choice can make a difference in the accuracy and thoroughness of your financial reporting and tax filing.

Services Provided by a CPA

Certified public accountants, such as Chris D. Churchwell, 427 S. Wall Ave., Joplin, Mo. ( provide a wide range of services that should not be overlooked. Public accounting is the primary function fulfilled by a CPA, who can operate in virtually any area of finance. CPA services can be applied directly to the public or through employment by corporations or associations. Another role of the CPA is that of a business consultant. Most CPAs who work as consultants do not work as auditors.

Income Tax Preparation Not a Problem for CPAs

There are very few financial tasks bigger than income tax preparation. Not only is it a big task, it is draining and time-consuming. Reputable tax services can do all the work for you. Certified accountants have been trained in preparing taxes. These sharp financial wizards will do everything from procuring pertinent documents to filing the taxes themselves. CPAs, along with attorneys and enrolled agents, may represent taxpayers in matters before the Internal Revenue Service.

Big Difference Between Tax Preparer, Tax Accountant

It is important to discern the difference between a tax preparer and a tax accountant. Fees by a tax preparer are usually based on the complexity of the return, while a tax accountant can charge hundreds of dollars an hour. DonÕt forget to ask the cost upfront and whether the fee will be based on the number of slips, hours or a flat fee. Beware of tax professionals who base their fee on the percentage of your refund.

Make Sure Tax Professional Will Fix Return with Errors

If you want to find out whether a tax professional will fix a return in the event of an error, find that out before hiring anyone to do your taxes. When tax preparers make an error and you are assessed more tax and a penalty and interest on that, you should require the tax service to pay the penalty and interest. You need to know any service guarantees before you hire them.

Personal Comfort a Key When Hiring a Tax Professional

Personal comfort is key when hiring a tax professional. Money is a very personal topic for many people. You have to be very comfortable with the professional you are dealing with. Establishing a relationship with a tax professional can help make the process easier year after year.

Training, education important for Tax Preparers

Tax preparers may not have any formal education, while accountants might have a professional degree and have usually completed a four-year university degree. Large companies have their own accredited tax school that all employees must go through. When choosing a tax professional, be sure to ask about the type of training or education they have received and whether that training is accredited.

Reputation Important for Tax Preparers

In the process of choosing a tax professional, it is important to ensure that the person handling your tax return is reputable. An independent tax preparer may offer great rates, but once your return is filed, they disappear. This can cause a lot of headaches if there are questions about your return after the fact. Make sure that you research on the firm to ensure it has history and checking with the Better Business Bureau to make sure they are reputable. At the end of the day, it is the taxpayer who is ultimately responsible for the accuracy of their return.