CPA/Accountant

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by jacobslarr, Jun 1, 2007.

  1. jacobslarr

    jacobslarr LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4

    I am looking for an accountant for my business. How important is it for the CPA firm to have actual experience with landscaping companies? I was thinking of using the guys who do my taxes, but they dont have any clients currently in the business.

    thanks

    larry
     
  2. Nathan Robinson

    Nathan Robinson LawnSite Senior Member
    from 47712
    Posts: 317

    not important.
     
  3. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,927

    I think what IS important is their understanding of small businesses. Your distinction is between landscaping industry and other industries. However, I think there is a distinction between small businesses offering services, and other businesses that are large, or are doing primarily product sales.
     
  4. J&T Kiev

    J&T Kiev LawnSite Senior Member
    from N.W In.
    Posts: 416

    For small business a CPA should be well versed in, and understand the needs of that small business.

    Tax laws are subject to change almost as often as the wind changes direction . The ability to take advantage of the way these laws work, and affect small business is an necessity.

    Make sure your choice is a CPA too, and not just an "accountant", as there is a difference. CPA's will have a college degree and in must cases a Masters, also with specific training in math and accounting/tax procedures. Also, a CPA must pass a State Exam and be licensed to be a practicing CPA, while in nearly all states under the law anyone can call themselves an "accountant" with no training, no education and no licensing or exams required at all.
     
  5. GELAWNS

    GELAWNS LawnSite Member
    Posts: 66

    I agree it is helpful having a CPA that works with other lawn care companies. When we first started out, we went to a CPA before even setting up the business. With her experience, she was able to give us a lot of advice and examples from other companies she has worked with.
     
  6. grassmoker

    grassmoker LawnSite Member
    Posts: 15

    and I have numerous clients in a wide array of businesses. I can tell you from personal experience that your CPA or Accountant doesn't necessarily have to be an expert in the landscaping business to properly serve you. What I think is important is that your CPA or Accountant serves clients that have similar issues. Contractors and other small business services face many of the same issues that landscaping business face.

    I'd also check the credentials of your CPA or Accountant. Don't just hire someone who claims to be an accountant. That could mean anything from they took a few courses at a Junior College to they have their college degree and their CPA license. I'm biased and tend to put more stock into the CPA license due to the education and experience requirements as well as the oversight by the state boards (i.e. you need to complete an extensive amount of continuing professional education hours each year, need to take ethics courses each year, etc.). In the end, it really comes down to how comfortable you feel with the individual performing the services for you. There are great Accountant's out there and there are some not so great Accountants's out there. The same can be said about some CPA's.

    Just my 2 cents. I hope this helps.
     
  7. nick-bigfootlawn

    nick-bigfootlawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 106

    For anyone who has a CPA, what do they charge. The one I thought about hiring charged $175/hr and that's when I forgot about getting a CPA.
     
  8. Fantasy Lawns

    Fantasy Lawns LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,913

    mine charges $250 per hr

    BUT this can be kinda misleading .... most of my task take her or one of her girls 20 minutes .... bill will be $75 .... my yearly is around $450 .... quarterly like $55

    The total total last year was under $1k

    Piece of Mind ==> Priceless
     
  9. J&T Kiev

    J&T Kiev LawnSite Senior Member
    from N.W In.
    Posts: 416

    My CPA is over 200 an hour. For me, the cost of a CPA is easily recovered from the deductions. Also, the CPA fees can be kept relatively low if both you, and your CPA use the same accounting system. My accountant has pointed out things that would raise the dreaded "red flags" at the IRS. As I previously stated Tax laws are subject to change often, and to take advantage of the way these laws work. affect your business is worth its weight in gold.
     
  10. grassmoker

    grassmoker LawnSite Member
    Posts: 15

    Wow! I guess I need to raise my rates. I charge $100/hour and that's with me doing the work. I charge out my bookkeepers time at $50/hour.
     
    supperdude16 likes this.

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