Does your accountant know our business?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by GarPA, Jan 8, 2003.

  1. GarPA

    GarPA LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Posts: 2,585

    One of you made a comment today on another post about hooking up with an accountant who knows the lawn/landsacpe biz. I have a new accountant and they seem pretty sharp....but....should we try to find one who "says" they know our business better or is that not a big deal as long as they are a CPA....actual experiences you've had would help all of us..thanks
     
  2. bubble boy

    bubble boy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,020

    mine knew about what the avg. person living in our area knows (affluent area so there is a base of knowledge people have)

    however explaining a concept to him is easy. never have to repeat myself, he gets everything first time.

    he is a smart guy, but he also has common sense.
     
  3. bruces

    bruces LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 648

    From a CPA's viewpoint, if I only worked for people whose business I really knew, I wouldn't be doing much.

    Granted, the better I understand your business, the better we can communicate and maybe the better I can help you. However, I don't believe it is necessary that I really know your business to do your accounting and give you tax advice.

    What I do need to know is enough to ask you the right questions about your business and transactions so that I can give you good advice and maximize your tax savings.

    If I did accounting for 5 LCOs then I would probably understand the business better, but the fact that you are my only LCO client doesn't necessarily handicap me.


    Good communications is the key. If you think your CPA doesn't understand what you are doing, explain to them.

    To a great extent, the tax rules are the rules, no matter what the business, and the lawn care business is not particularly complex from an accounting and tax standpoint as compared to other businesses.

    So, to make a long answer short, no they don't really need to know the business.
     
  4. GarPA

    GarPA LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Posts: 2,585

    Bruces..thank you...since you are from that discipline I respect your advice.
    My concern has been that I interviewed 3 CPA's in the past 3 weeks...2 of them were clueless about the accelarated depreciation issues for small business....I suppose that is not "landscape" related....but nonetheless I was not impressed....why should the dirt digger have to be advising the guy in the white shirt....I read the tax stuff til I fall aslpeep on the chair....yes I'm anal...but I want to keep all the $ I bust my cajones for....thanks again
     
  5. bruces

    bruces LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 648

    If they are clueless about depreciation issues, I would question their competence in other areas as well (as far as tax advice). That is an issue that applies to almost all of our business clients, regardless of their line of business. Almost all businesses have equipment issues, dereciations issues, etc.

    If these folks are holding themselves out as tax advisers, they are sorely lacking. On the other hand, there are CPA's out there who don't do a lot of tax work, they might concentrate in auditing, computer consulting, non profit entities, etc. that don't require him to deal with depreciation issues.

    These folks can be very competent at what they do, but that isn't what you are looking for.
     
  6. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    Mine knows it extremely well...my accountant (CPA too) is my brother and he worked part time for me when I was first starting up in the business.
     
  7. GarPA

    GarPA LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Posts: 2,585

    Yo Rod....so why did he quit working for you??huh..huh huh??

    Tough to work for? Just Kidding...

    I did interview a good cpa yesterday...he does a number of construction companies...so he was familiar with the kind of ?'s/issues we bring to the table ....he already had some great ideas for 2003....so I guess interviewing them, just like our prospects interview us, was the thing to do....the first 2 guys just scared the crap out of me thinking is this the "norm"...thankfully it wasn't
     
  8. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    Yo Rod....so why did he quit working for you??huh..huh huh??


    I guess he just decided to get a real job...lol Nope, little brother was on the up-and-up to get into the corporate world. He's doing great, too.
     

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