That saying about “It takes a village to raise a child” could just as easily be said for a great many things, including your practice. It takes a team to get the job done right the first time around; correcting mistakes is costly, not to mention a real waste of your time. A valuable member of that team is your accountant. I’m not a Certified Public Accountant. I’m not going to endorse any particular person. I am however going to tell you that if you haven’t already done so, now is the time to hire a CPA for your taxes. How do I know this? Well, have you ever heard of the School of Hard Knocks? Been there. Will likely return sometime. Let’s see if you can avoid some pitfalls!
As a Thriving Clinicians you are likely doing any number of activities to better serve your patients/clients. Activities means revenue and revenue is good. Revenue also attracts the attention of our friends who collect tax monies.
Your individual tax situation is beyond my capacity to even comment on. Here is what was once asked of me and what I’ll now ask of you, “Do you know the difference between someone who just plugs numbers into the computer program and someone who can really help you figure out what you need to be doing?”
The person who plugs numbers into the computer program for you is great if you’ve got little revenue coming in or few moving parts to your practice. With your work to Thrive however you’ve set yourself up to have many moving parts to your practice. You might have deductions you didn’t realize you had or things you need to claim that you didn’t know you needed to claim. Ignorance is no defense with the tax collector!
CPA’s are at the top of their profession ~ just like you! They want to help you with any number of financially related parts but here’s just some of what they can assist you with: setting up the professional umbrella you may want to use or even if you want to use one (corporation or a partnership), audits, financial planning, tax preparation and filing, payroll, corporate or non-profit accounting and estate planning. Here’s something very nifty ~ when and if you decide to sell your practice they can help you with that too!
How to choose? Ask your friends, family and other professionals. Some CPAs specialize in different types of employment related work. If you own your own freestanding SLP multidisciplinary facility you’ll want to use a CPA who has had that experience, and not someone who has never worked with such a business structure. Interview them! Make sure they have a style that works best for you. Check out how you can reach them.
Other information you likely want to know when you interview a potential CPA:
What’s their fee*?
Where did they go to school and do they keep up with CE hours?
Will they provide you with references you can call?
How much support can they provide you with as your Thriving Practice grows?
How do they communicate with you when they need information to complete paperwork on their end?
How will they get you the forms you need to file your paperwork and in what time frame?
*An important piece to keep in mind ~ a CPA who charges more but has a great reputation might well be worth the extra funds as they might save you from costly mistakes.
Please don’t hire the first person you interview! Take your time, interview at least 3 if not 4 CPAs and then take the time to make a decision that reflects your professional skills to reflect, analyze, be thoughtful and Thrive!