How to Choose a CPA Who Knows About Health Care Professionals?
CPAs do many things. Some are trained in auditing large corporations. Some have worked with small businesses and do tax returns. What is hard to find is one who
knows the needs of health care professionals. If you asked most CPAs what a contractual allowance is, or an IBNR, they would have a hard time explaining it much
less knowing how to make the calculation and entry. At Jerry E. Bartram, CPA we know the health care industry inside and out. Working for years as the CPA for large
and small medical, dental and veterinary practices along with being a CFO of a hospital and a dental school gives us a unique perspective of your needs.
Recently our firm was chosen by the MDTAXES.com network to be the MDTAXES Network affiliate for the Inland Empire area. MDTAXES.com is a network of CPAs
throughout the country that specialize in the tax planning and preparation for young health care professionals. We feel very proud to have been chosen.
Why Should You Choose A CPA?
One advantage of working with CPAs is that they speak your language. These professionals live and work in your community and grapple with the same economic
issues you do. Each practitioner is trained to complete tasks as complex as evaluating a business's options for global expansion and as simple as routine tax preparation.
Because they apply their skills every day in real-life situations, they are adept at untangling financial as well as non-financial puzzles and illustrating the total picture with
clarity and objectivity. Whether you are struggling with questions about how to chart the future of a rapidly growing company or trying to finance a child's education, a CPA can help you assess your options.
What Is a CPA?
CPAs are distinguished from other accounting practitioners by strict licensing regulations. To become a CPA, it's necessary to pass a rigorous two-day national exam and meet
stringent experience requirements in addition to completing a five-year course of study in a college or university. To maintain their licenses, CPAs pursue continuing professional
education that keep them current with the latest business and related issues. When you work with a CPA, you can be assured that he or she has mastered a significant body of
specialized knowledge. CPAs function as advisers to individuals, businesses, financial institutions, not-for-profit organizations and government agencies on a wide range of financial and related matters.
CPAs also are governed by a strict code of professional ethics that emphasizes the CPA's commitment to serving the public and protecting the public interest. One of the
most demanding found in any field, this code embodies the hallmarks of the accounting profession: competence, independence, objectivity and integrity.
In addition, CPA firms regularly undergo independent reviews by their peers in the profession to ensure that their services and procedures meet high quality control standards.
Finally, CPAs are consistently on the cutting edge of the financial world, leading the way in the technology revolution and continually seeking valuable, new information-based
services that will benefit individual and business clients.
How Can I Tell If a CPA Is Right for My Needs?
Once you have outlined your personal and business objectives, set up an interview appointment and be prepared to ask specific questions. Following are some key ones:
- Are you a certified public accountant? Since this designation is awarded only to people who have passed a rigorous two-day national exam and stringent state
licensing requirements, it offers assurance that a CPA has developed technical mastery of financial concerns.
- Are you licensed to practice in my state? This is particularly important if you are working with someone in a neighboring state.
- What are your training and experience in the areas most important to me? While all CPAs have a thorough knowledge of business and tax issues, many have
further training in specific areas of practice. Ask prospective CPAs about their background in the disciplines that concern you and how much of their business is devoted to these areas.
Consider, too, whether the person's business style and attitude match your own, be it formal or informal, conservative or aggressive. A long-term working relationship
between you and your CPA can offer you an informed, consistent approach to personal and business financial issues, so compatibility is important.
What Does Membership in the AICPA Mean?
It's important to know whether the CPA you're choosing belongs to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). Membership in this national
professional organization is a mark of distinction shared by more than 344,000 CPAs, each of whom is governed by an exacting Code of Professional Conduct. AICPA
members also must satisfy extensive continuing education requirements, which means they remain informed about professional trends and changes in the law. New AICPA
members are required to have completed 150 semester hours of higher education. In addition, AICPA members must regularly undergo a review of their accounting and auditing practices.
How Can I Get the Most Value From a CPA's Services?
CPAs have these suggestions on how you can make the best use of their services and get the most value for your money:
- Be prepared to discuss your plans and objectives. CPAs can most effectively advise you and serve your best interests when they understand your goals.
- Gather all relevant personal and business financial information so you can give the CPA a clear picture and ask specific questions.
- Be clear and candid about what you expect from the CPA's services.
- To save yourself unnecessary fees, keep good records and avoid using the CPA's professional time for routine work.
- Keep your CPA informed of changes in your professional and personal life. A marriage or divorce, the birth of a child, an inheritance, a career change or a
generous bonus can have a significant impact on your tax liability and financial goals.