CPA / Attorney / Accountant

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by 29 Palms Property Management, Jan 20, 2006.

  1. 29 Palms Property Management

    29 Palms Property Management LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 347

    How important is it to consult with any or all of the above about your small business? How many people here us them, and how often. I just wanted to get everyone's opinion on this matter. How much can and does a CPA help you?
    I just want to make sure that I have all matters covered for this 2006 year that is starting. It's going to be a crazy, but great year, with the projections I have and the already signed accounts and the bids pending.
     
  2. Green-Pro

    Green-Pro LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,420

    I would say the CPA is going to be the most beneficial to speak with and retain, I would definitely recommend doing this. Tax laws are subject to change much more often than any others it seems. The ability to take advantage of the way these laws work and affect your business is worth its weight in gold IMO. However its a two way street, don't just sit back and be a passive participant because you use a CPA you need to show some initiative as far as understanding what he/ she's telling you, if you are unsure ask again and again until you "get" it.

    This is the only one of the three you mentioned I would rely heavily upon, most legal issues pertaining to the structure of business, debt collection should be able to be handled by you providing you are comfortable navigating your Secretary of States website among others.

    BTW, others may not agree but to me a CPA is an accoutant with the certification, when I refer to an accountant I'm usually thinking CPA, when I see you list both I tend to think of your mentioning accountant as what I would call a bookkeeper.
     
  3. PTP

    PTP LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tulsa
    Posts: 1,383

    Where do you see your business going in the next 10 years? What do you want it to be? If your dream includes using these professionals, then get started with them now. Take the steps that will bring you closer to your ultimate goal.

    Now, if you just mow a couple of lawns part time on Saturday or something like that, it may not be worth it for you.
     
  4. Hard Worker

    Hard Worker LawnSite Member
    Posts: 186

    My CPA is but an email away, I use him frequently to answer questions for me. I'm always coming up with some hairbrained idea to bounce off of him. As long as I take my taxes to him he's happy to help anyway he can.

    My advice get one that you feel comfortable talking with. Mine does not try and talk above my head, he speaks plain english in terms that I can understand. He's been a real big help! Kept me from making some potentially costly mistakes.:nono:
     
  5. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,547

    What specifically did he do to help you avoid mistakes? I hear everyone talk about their attourney and cpa, and it seems like overkill and a waste of moneyto me.
     
  6. Hard Worker

    Hard Worker LawnSite Member
    Posts: 186

    The first meeting with my CPA went for over an hour. I had summorized numerous questions and fired them. One question in particular I asked was concerning 1099's, I had thought at one time to use "sub-contractors" as helpers thus eliminating some of the hassles associated with paperwork, he immediately said bad idea and went on to explain. Things such as this that I wasnt too concerned about and really saw no danger in, opened my eyes to potential pitfalls later on.

    My advice it is worth using these professionals, do it right the first time! Yes it will cost a little more up front but oh, how much can it save down the road. Any other questions you may have feel free to PM me.
     
  7. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,547

    I just dont see the need to spend the money if your a small business with one or two employees. I guess maybe its just me, I kind of like to do the paperwork, and dont mind reading up on tax things. I know when I started every penny was needed, I left a $50,000 a year job and was making about $1600 a month gross doing lawn maintenance, so I had to do everything I could to save a penny back then.
     
  8. n2h20

    n2h20 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 503

    i dont like doing my taxes and sales tax.. its above me and I would rather pay my CPA 200 a year to do it all for me and know it was done right (at least hope so) than have to fear a call from the IRS one day.
    Id say get in the habbit of using a cpa now.. if you have a cheap (haha) attorney that could be helpful for contracts and what not.
     
  9. drsogr

    drsogr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,275

    I would think it would depend on the person. Currently I do all my taxes and so on, but I enjoy doing the research. But I am strongly considering getting a CPA this year as I think it would help free me up some time, and would let me focus on the things necessary to run my business. When you spend hours upon hours researching new taxes laws and making sure you are doing everything legit, it can actually be cheaper to just hire a cpa. I think doing all my taxes now will help me have a better understanding though, for when I do decide to get a cpa.
     

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