Most business owners have a CPA and/or bookkeeper, but do they have a Financial Planning Expert? Meaning, is someone analyzing the financials for efficiencies or inefficiencies, performing trend analysis, or looking for savings opportunities? Traditionally, there is very little planning that goes into most services offered by your typical CPA. With taxes, most of the time you don’t know what you owe until you owe it. Similarly with bookkeepers, they are preparing financials based upon information you’ve provided and nothing else. A financial planning expert will bridge the gap in looking for planning opportunities within business, plan for taxes, and should make sure the associated tax return reflects such implementations. This article details five reasons why incorporating a financial planning expert into your business plan will only help you succeed.
- Setting achievable goals. Whether the goal consistency or to grow, setting achievable goals for your business is paramount to reaching your version of success. Few businesses excel in the first couple of years, not without a strike of luck and dang good marketing, at least. Setting goals for yourself and your employees is important, yes, but setting achievable goals is what makes or breaks you. Small victories pay off in the long-term and keep you feeling like you’re making strides in the right direction. Having a goal in mind without giving yourself time to succeed will only discourage you in the short run, affecting the potential longevity of your business.
- Creating an effective strategy. That brings us to the question – “What is achievable and how do I get there?” Invest in a CPA with financial planning experience. I say invest, because this is more than an expense, it’s an investment. There is no better person to have in an entrepreneur’s corner than an able CPA. Yes, this is an additional cost, and yes, you may feel it’s too expensive, but the guidance they will provide in running your business will be more beneficial than any fee paid for their services. Implementing focused strategies coupled with concerted efforts aimed towards achieving your current and future business goals is imperative to the financial health of your business long-term. Also, most experts guarantee their fee, in that they will save you at least what you’re paying them.
- Determine current and future financial needs. Once you have goals and strategies in place, you will then determine what is needed to help you get there. Your financial planner should be able to help you nail these down. There would need to be some cash flow planning surrounding each of your goals. Also, the likelihood of securing debt is much higher when presenting a well thought-out and intentional business plan to lender(s). Your planner will be able to help calculate what amount is needed and what you can afford given your current situation.
- Tax laws and regulations are ever-changing. This is no secret. We understand running a successful business is your priority. We also understand busy schedules and ever-changing tax laws makes the financial aspects of owning a business challenging. If you’ve found a financial planning expert who is also a CPA with a tax background, you’ve hit the jackpot. When it comes to taxes and current year rules and regulations, you really don’t know what you don’t know. Find you a go-to person who can help ensure you are taking advantage of all tax savings opportunities each year.
- Accountability. Find a CPA who is intentional with checking in. Let them analyze the financial health of your business every year. Collaborate with them on potential changes within your business to meet those financial goals you’ve set previously. Be incredibly truthful with how it’s going, and what you’re doing or not doing. You are paying for their professional advice – so, take it.