Green Industry CPA?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by lsylvain, Mar 18, 2003.


Would you switch to a CPA specializing in the GI?

  1. I have a CPA now: Yes

    5 vote(s)
  2. I have a CPA now: Yes, only if I was unsatified with my current CPA

    5 vote(s)
  3. I do not use a CPA now: Yes

    1 vote(s)
  4. I have a CPA now: No

    0 vote(s)
  5. I do not have a CPA now: No

    4 vote(s)
  1. lsylvain

    lsylvain LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 779

    Has anyone ever seen or heard of a CPA that specializes in green industry businesses? The reason I ask is I will have my CPA certificate in about a year and would think I would enjoy still being involved with the industry.

    If not, what services would you like to see out of a CPA related to the GI?

    I am not just talking about book keeping and taxes. More speaking of consulting type services.

    Here are the things that I have thought of as services off the top of my head:

    cost accounting:
    Job Costing:
    Financial planning:
    Help with H2-B employees
    Pay Roll designed for seasonal employees
  2. bruces

    bruces LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 648

    Speaking as an experienced CPA who is now involved in the green industry, I don't see the accounting for this industry as being specialized at all. It is just a fairly run of the mill service business as far as accounting is concerned.

    You might be able to market your green industry knowledge if you had several clients in the business, but it might be tough to get clients in the business if you are competing with them.

    They might not want to share their personal business information with you.

    My opinion, for what it is worth.
  3. lsylvain

    lsylvain LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 779

    If I went ahead with this idea I would not run/own a GI company.

    I beg to differ, about the GI being similar to other service industries.

    1. we have seasonal employees
    2. we have months of down time to budget for
    3. Fierce competition (from scrubs to giant corps)
    4. hundreds of different service to offer.
    5. differentiation of product
    6. and many more.
  4. Fvstringpicker

    Fvstringpicker LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,661

    Sounds kinda like you've already made up your mind. I am a CPA, Ret. engineer, and owner of a small LCO. I agree with bruces that as far as accounting goes, its your routine debits and credits. You made a couple of points about the nature of the business. Here, your problem would be that your larger, well established companies, are already set up with larger, well established firms. Many small soles cannot afford much more than routine bookkeeping and tax work. I was suprised at the number of LCO that are run by ex-exeutives/professionals. In Peachtree City, north of here, seems like every laid off pilot and airline worker has a LCO. As far as a consulting practice, it's sorta like you said, "Fierce competition (from scrubs to giant corps)" Just a caveat, for what its worth.
  5. lawnworker

    lawnworker LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 897

    Bruce, I have a question for you. If I was to set my business up on formal accounting procedure, How would I address IRS section 179 depreciated Mowers? Would they have any value as assets. I have never used formal accounting before, but I am now becoming interested in making the change, due to the fact I am taking accounting at college.
  6. bruces

    bruces LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 648

    Yes, they have value as assets. You would record the assets at cost and show the offsetting depreciation taken in the accumulated depreciation account. The net value comes out to 0, but you've got the assets on the books.

    If you want to complicate things more, you can use "book" depreciation for financial statement purposes (write off over estimated useful life rather than 179), and tax or 179 depreciation for tax purposes. Then you have an adjustment from the deductions on the financial statements to the deductions on the tax return.

    That should give a truer picture of the value of the assets, as they are being written off over time.
  7. bruces

    bruces LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 648

    Your points noted are valid but I still don't see a difference in the accounting and bookkeeping.

    From a consulting standpoint, if you develop an expertise you might have something to sell, but it is going to have to be to larger companies, not most of the members on here.

    It seems that a lot of the LCO's are smaller companies that either don't or won't spend the money for professional accounting services on a regulare basis (maybe other than for tax preparation).
  8. lsylvain

    lsylvain LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 779

    You don't think that you could market consulting to the smaller companies?

    I would have gotten a CPA when I first started the biz if there was a firm out there that new something other than debits and credits. One of my mentors in Acct only deals in service business and only carries about 10 clients and all of them are just booming. All of them sole-props and mostly construction companies. He helps them decide what projects to take on, what to avoid. One of his guys has never put a nickle of his own money in the biz with the use of short term financing.

    I may be wrong, but it just seems like as many people that come to LS for help, there would be plenty of people willing to pay for it.

    anyway.. it was just a thought
  9. Buddy Markley

    Buddy Markley LawnSite Member
    Messages: 31

    A CPA is a professional in the art of managing money matters.

    So when you sit down to get a free consultation then you should be able to get a feel about their knowledge. He/she should be able to conform to any biz that has a need for his services.

    Tax laws and money matters follow set patterns and laws, other than that I can think of a need for a "Green Biz" CPA.

    Just thinking out loud.

  10. J&R

    J&R LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 835

    I married one 33 years ago. so you know how much it cost me for one. she is still here doing my books.

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