Knowing how often to meet with your Reno CPA will help you maximize your CPA’s services. Many people look to Reno CPAs as a kind of history service that goes back and reviews, and then prepares. This is somewhat true, but you need to be aware of the fact that you will benefit more by understanding how a CPA can help you with preparation and timely decision-making. By only meeting in the crunch time just before April 15th, you miss out on any potentially beneficial tax and financial decisions that can be implemented during and prior to the end of the year.
When is the best time to hire a Reno CPA? The simple answer is now. Establishing a relationship with an experienced CPA in Reno can significantly help you with your personal and business tax preparation, financial and business planning, and help you plan and maximize your financial goals. It is also better to hire a early on, rather than after you get a notice from the IRS (“love notes” I like to call them!).
When you are faced with an IRS business audit, you are most likely going to be stressed and overwhelmed. Hiring a Reno CPA to help you is the best decision you can make. IRS auditors are trained at asking the right questions to get the most money from you. During this stressful situation, play it safe and smart– have a CPA on your side. They have the experience you need.
Many ask about the difference between a Reno CPA and a bookkeeper. In fact, many individuals think they are one and the same. However, there are many differences between a CPA and a bookkeeper, such as the higher level of education and continuing education requirements, successful completion of the CPA exam, and much more. Both are important to a business; however, a Reno CPA can help you and your business with a far wider range of abilities.
A 150 hours of schooling, passing the CPA exam, and continued education… But why did I want to be become a Reno CPA? Better yet, why did I want to open my own office?
Growing up I always had a mind for numbers and was interested in business. I started my entrepreneurial ventures at a young age. When I was 13, my brother, who was good in sports, started playing in Babe Ruth League. Since he was a better athlete than I was, I decided to run the snack bar instead of playing. This was a great way to make money, and learn about profit potential. Now, at this point I did not have a clue that being a Reno CPA was in my future. I just knew that I was comfortable with numbers and enjoyed business.
After graduating from Hug High School, I went on to the University of Nevada, Reno. It was there, in the accounting department, that I was guided into the world of accounting. My professors were great and really did help steer me in this direction. Being a Reno CPA made sense. It was everything I enjoyed, along with the ability to help individuals and businesses.
When I started off, I was working with larger firms, but I started to notice a problem. A lot of the CPA firms that I worked for were all about making sure the numbers were right, but not as worried about the client. I decided that I had to run my own firm and do things in a more personal manner than the larger accounting firms.
As a Reno CPA, I like the mentoring aspect of the business. My personality is such that I really like to, “think outside the box,” it is such a cliché but it really helps them in areas other than accounting and the numbers. Being a CPA is a great way to help people while working with numbers and business. Yes, there was a lot of schooling and a test to get here, and I continue to educate myself yearly, but I love what I do.
Reno’s Best CPA,
If you decide to fill your tax return out by yourself, you may be missing tax deductions. Reno Accountants have educated themselves and have hours of experience in handling various types of returns. This allows them to find more deductions for you.
One of the most missed deductions is car and travel expenses. You may think that since you don’t own a business you may not be eligible for travel deductions, but that is not the case. There are travel deductions available for medical visits and charity work. Make sure to ask your Reno accountant about all the possible ways you can save on your next tax return.
In regards to medical, there is a standard rate that can be deducted for your travel expenses to and from the doctor. Although this may not seem like a lot, it all adds up in the end. Your volunteer work with charities is another opportunity. Yes, you can write off your donations, but you can also get a deduction for your travel expenses to and from the charity or charitable event. Every time you are in your car, it is important to ask yourself whether you can write of your mileage.
Another commonly missed deduction is job reimbursements. There are many times throughout the year where you may need to buy something or drive somewhere for your job, but you are not reimbursed. If you have expenses like these and your employer did not reimburse you, then you can deduct these business related expenses on your tax return.
These are just a couple of the many tax deductions available to you. To make sure that you are deducting everything that you can talk to a Reno accountant about your next tax return.
Until Next Time,
Reno’s Best CPA
As a CPA in Nevada, I understand that there can be confusion about whether you need a lawyer or a CPA to deal with the IRS. The truth is it depends on the experience level of the certified public accountant. Let me explain the basic process, and when an attorney may be needed.
It all starts with the IRS finding something wrong with your taxes. For example, I have a client who is being audited for 2007. The reason he is being audited is that a revenue agent came across his taxes and noticed that every deduction that he took for 2007 was the exact same dollar amount that he took in 2006. This was a red flag because the revenue agent knew it was impossible that he had spent exactly the same amount on mortgage interests and property taxes.
Once the IRS has flagged you as having a problem with your taxes, there are two main course of action. The IRS will bring it to your attention and they will offer you an assessment. This value will be what they think is the amount you actually owe them. If you decide to pay this amount then you are done. However, if you do not think this is right then the process begins.
At this point, you need to hire a certified public accountant to help you fight the IRS. An experienced CPA in Nevada will understand all of the tax laws and do everything they can to come to an agreement with the IRS. However, if your case moves to tax court you should hire an attorney.
An attorney will have a better understanding on when to push and when to pull back in court. They are more familiar with the court process and are more likely to reach an agreement. With that said, an experienced CPA can take you all the way through the battle. If the court case is focused solely on tax opinions and tax positions, than a certified public accountant should be able to represent you.
If an attorney is needed, it is important to remember that your CPA will be working for you the whole time. Just remember that your CPA will know when and if you need an attorney. When in doubt do not be afraid to ask questions and ask your certified public accountant in Nevada to explain the process to you.
Reno’s Best CPA,
As a certified public accountant in Reno, I am often asked what the difference is between a CPA and a financial advisor. Because of the frequency of this question, I thought I would take a second to discuss the similarities and differences.
Stockbroker versus Financial Advisor
First, I want to talk about the difference between a stockbroker and a financial advisor because people often think they are one in the same. A stockbroker buys and sells things (stocks, bonds, mutual funds). On the other hand, a financial advisor will do trading, but also look at other ways to invest.
What is a Financial Advisor?
Along with trading, a financial advisor will look at estate planning. They will also have their clients look into gold and foreign currencies. They have a short-term and long-term view on their clients’ money and want to help them prepare for retirement.
How is a CPA different?
A certified public account is better known for handling taxes. Along with taxes, they are known for dealing with audits whether they audit a business or represent a business in an IRS audit. Some CPA’s are trained and qualified in offering business advice on where to cut costs and how to turn your business around. With that said, it is important to remember that this is not a standard among CPAs, you need to make sure you ask your potential CPA about their background before taking too much advice from them.
Can They Be the Same?
The part that confuses people is that a good and experienced CPA can overlap with a financial advisor and vice versa. The best way to remember the difference is to think about the real numbers and current state of things when thinking about a CPA and the long-term “if” and “then” ideas when thinking about a financial advisor. If you are not sure if a CPA in Reno can suit your needs please give Evans Nelson & Company CPAs a call today (775-825-6008) and we will help you find the right person to help you with your financial needs.
Reno’s Best CPA,
With the tax deadline fast approaching, I thought I would take a second to talk about motivation.
I find that the busier I am, the more productive I am. Therefore, during tax season, it is not a problem to stay motivated. It is the rest of the year that is the problem!
Appreciative Clients Help
Seriously, it helps to have clients be appreciative of what you are doing for them. Often, they are unaware that you have just saved them thousands of dollars or gotten them out of a mess that they did not even know they were in. Those clients that take the time to say thank you or acknowledge the service I provide really give me a boost of energy.
Simple Lesson In Motivation
The best thing I can say about being motivated is that it has to come from you. In my opinion, motivation from outside is a short-term thing. The German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche was quoted as saying, “he who has a WHY can overcome almost any HOW.” My recommendation is to focus on the results. If you do not have results in mind, then you are definitely going to struggle to stay motivated during the slow times, the fast times, and well, all the time.
Keep It In Front Of You
Often, people search for motivation, but forget that the easiest way to stay motivated is to keep your goals or desires in front of you. If you want that shiny red sports car, put in on the fridge. Do internet searches on what kind of car, what the prices are, and can getting a used one still make you as happy? I had a friend who purchased a 1996 Model 944 Porsche in 2005. Rather than saying he bought a 9 year-old car, he said, “I’ve finally fulfilled my 9 year-old dream of buying a brand-new 1996 Porsche!” Kind of funny, but perspective is the key!
In the end, you need to remember that motivation comes from within. However, it helps to keep your goals, wants, and desires in front of you. Lastly, although tax season is the busiest time of the year, it truly is the most fulfilling for me. For most people it is not the busy times when they need to stay motivated, it is in the slow times.
Reno’s Best CPA,
I thought this was a fun question to discuss. I am often asked, “What do all the initials that follow your name mean?” This question is very important. People need to understand whom they are hiring to work with their money and knowing the difference between these different sets of letters will help you make the right choice.
The Easy One- CPA
The CPA is the easy one. CPA stands for Certified Public Accountant and means that you have special training, primarily in accounting and taxes, to help individuals and businesses in their financial dealings. It requires that you pass a difficult 4-part exam, an ethics exam, have at least 2 years of experience working for a CPA, and (under Nevada law) have at least 1,000 hours of looking at companies books and preparing their financial statements. Furthermore, once you become a CPA, you are required to have approximately 40 hours of continuing education each year. I say approximately because depending in which area you practice, it could be substantially higher than that! Most people do not know that each state certifies the CPAs in their state, rather than having a national certification. The requirements in the State of Nevada are more stringent than those of our neighbor to the west, California.
Okay Now For CVA
The CVA stands for Certified Valuation Analyst. It means they have special training in the valuation and determination of value of businesses. It does NOT mean they can do appraisals. I originally used the certification in helping attorneys resolve accounting matters in the court (litigation support). I’ve also used it in estate cases, divorce cases, shareholder lawsuits, mergers with other companies, helping companies determine whether or not to buy a competitor, helping business owners decide whether or not to add a new partner or enter a new line of business, and even in gifting situations where a business owner wants to give part of their company to their heirs. It is extremely technical in nature, and the part I like best is explaining what is going on in easy to understand terms to my clients.
Last But Not Least- CFE
My most recent addition to the letters behind my name is the CFE certification. It stands for Certified Fraud Examiner, and means I have formal training in the research and investigation of fraud and forensic accounting matters. I have been doing this for about twelve years, and love it! The “sleuthing” of accounting really gets me going. I love seeing how the fraudster got away with it, assisting law enforcement in putting away the bad guys, or even resolving how an owner is stealing from his partners! It can be complex, or as simple as fixing procedures around the office to deter employees or customers from making off with the valuable assets of the company.
Before you hire an accountant, make sure you understand what they are certified in and that they can adequately handle your financial needs. Remember, when it comes to your money you need to make the best decisions possible.
Reno’s Best CPA,