When selecting a financial advisor, consider using a Certified Public Accountant. They can offer more than just tax services.
In selecting a financial advisor, it is possible the needs of the investor can best be handled by a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), who can do more than just prepare tax returns.
CPAs are different than “registered tax preparers’’ because they have to meet intense education requirements, pass the Uniform CPA Examination, and must take at least 120 hours of continuing education every three years.
In order to select the best CPA for investment needs, it is best for an investor to ask the CPA if he or she has worked with clients who are in similar financial situations to their own. Follow-up questions would revolve around how well that arrangement worked out, and whether the working relationship still exists.
CPAs must be registered or licensed in order to give advice on investments, so if an investor has investment needs beyond tax implications but wants to work with a CPA, an interview should be set up to make sure the CPA is properly licensed to give investment advice.
The website of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (www.aicpa.org) offers information for CPAs who want to expand its service offerings to include personal financial planning such as retirement investment and risk management. Ask a CPA candidate if he or she has accessed that information at www.aicpa.org/pfp.
When it comes time to look at the tax return, a CPA can advise an investor about tax implications of planning for retirement, planning for a college education if necessary, and other long-term plans.
CPAs offer a unique perspective on several aspects of an investor’s portfolio, and can provide key information in regards to audits, estate planning, non-profit accounting and of course tax preparation.
In order to find a qualified CPA, investors are encouraged to ask for recommendations from friends and family, but also from business associates who work in the same field. Questions can involve the quality of the CPA’s work, and his responsiveness in communication.
Fee structure is another consideration with looking into hiring a CPA. Some charge by the hour, while some give a fixed price based on the extent of work to be done. Because CPAs are involved in the tax returns as well as investment options, an expensive CPA can save and investor money in the long run with greater knowledge on tax savings than a younger, less expensive CPA.
There are numerous choices in terms of services provided when selecting a financial advisor. Certified Public Accountants can be a viable choice, depending on an investor’s needs and the CPAs skill and knowledge set.
Kent McDill is a staff writer for Millionaire Corner. McDill spent 30 years as a sports writer, working for United Press International and the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Ill. From 1988-1999, he covered the Chicago Bulls for the Daily Herald, traveling with them every day through the nine-month season. He also covered the Bulls for UPI from 1985-88, and currently covers the team for www.nba.com. He has written two books on the Bulls, including the new title “100 Things Bulls Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die’, published by Triumph Books. In August 2013, his new book “100 Things Bears Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die” gets published.
In 2008, he resigned from the Herald and became a freelance writer. The Herald hired him to write business features and speeches for the Daily Herald Business Conferences and Awards presentations.
McDill also writes a monthly parenting column for the Herald’s Suburban Parent magazine.
McDill is the father of four children, and an active fan of soccer, Jimmy Buffett and all things Disney.