CPA: An Asset to Your Business Endeavor
article originally appeared in the Long Island Business News.
By Alan E.
Accountant - words that have over 100 years of history in New York
State and have come to mean skilled, reliable and trustworthy.
into a valuable asset for business in the United States, in New
York State and on Long Island, which has long been a place of business
diversity. What was once farms and rural communities has transformed
itself into industry, businesses providing services worldwide and
locally, resort areas, construction, suburbia, horse farms, and
perhaps the most unlikely of all, vineyards.
of these businesses needs the financial services provided by the
Certified Public Accountant.
has evolved from the stereotype green shade and "bean counter"
to a person or firm that helps businesses grow and plan its financial
CPAs are catalysts for business. They keep their figures on the
pulse of everything connected with business. Being a CPA means more
than just being smart. It means knowing where to get the answers.
The accountant who says, "I know all of the answers,"
is not necessarily as good as the one who says, "I can get
you the answers."
has banking relationships to assist you with getting financing on
a temporary or long-term basis. Your CPA generally can see Long
Island’s economic future and help your business plan for its economic
future. Your CPA is knowledgeable in taxes and essential in order
to avoid costly tax blunders.
also can assist you with your ongoing (or entry into) international
business. And while CPAs are technologically proficient, it does
not mean that they are experts. But because CPAs have had personal
experience with the technology in their own offices and with that
of other clients, they can assist you in selecting software, hardware,
or a company with expertise in the technology that you may be seeking.
CPAs will understand your business. They will make a point of spending
time with you and your employees initially and periodically thereafter,
so that they can translate what has been seen into an accurate financial
that require budgets, CPAs have been trained to assist you. It will
force you to analyze every aspect of your business and then track
your actual performance to the budget.
are not inflexible and they can be changed throughout the budget
cycle, but the reason for variances will help a business grow and
avoid repeating mistakes.
heard and read about Y2K until you wanted to scream. But Y2K is
a perfect example of an item that virtually no business budgeted
for, but one that is costing the American business community hundreds
of millions of dollars. Many budgets were (and are being) modified
as a result of Y2K.
York State Society of Certified Public Accountants has 32,000 New
York State CPAs as members (there are probably 350,000 CPAs throughout
the United States) and it has 11 chapters throughout New York State.
Until about 25 years ago, there was one Long Island Chapter; however,
as the Long Island business community grew further eastward into
eastern Suffolk, some forward-looking CPAs felt the need for a separate
chapter that would better serve the CPAs and businesses from western
Suffolk to the East End. Hence was born the Suffolk Chapter. Between
the Nassau and Suffolk Chapters of Certified Public Accountants
there are about 8,000 (6,000 Nassau and 2,000 in Suffolk). Those
CPAs are ready to serve the business community, and some specialize
in niche industries.
be well known for health care, lawyer support services, publicly
traded companies, as experts in the construction industry, tax specialists,
experts in the not-for-profit field, restaurant specialists - you
name it, and there is a CPA specialist for it. The CPAs range in
size from solo practitioners to local offices of the largest accounting
firms in the world.
is a key part of the CPA’s value to you and your business. Recently,
the Financial Accounting Standards Board, commonly referred to as
the FASB, voted to eliminate an accounting concept known as "pooling
who is assisting you with an acquisition will be monitoring the
progress of this change in the rules and a number of transactions
may be accelerated in order to take advantage of the existing rules
rather than being subject to the proposed rules.
also are knowledgeable in all types of insurance coverage. That
knowledge does necessarily come from having attended college. It
comes from having been attentive to their clients’ businesses and
having assisted the clients in obtaining the coverage or having
seen the mistakes that clients made.
works with the insurance agent in helping you get the best coverage
that is right for you and your business and your family.
There is legislation
being proposed nationwide, including New York, commonly referred
to as the Uniform Accountancy Act or UAA, one provision of which
will permit CPAs to expand the services rendered beyond the traditional
accounting services that businesses have come to expect.
some accounting firms throughout the United States presently offer
various financial services, the laws throughout the 50 States are
inconsistent. The UAA will specifically allow CPAs to provide most
of their clients with insurance, investment advice and other similar,
but previously prohibited, services. "Uniform" does not
mean exactly the same law in each of the states.
CPAs may be permitted to perform these services, they still will
have to be licensed, in accordance with the laws of the states in
which they wish to operate, by the regulatory insurance authorities
and securities’ authorities as well as complying with any federal
laws. Previously, the laws of the states and the rules of the CPA
profession, prohibited accountants from offering such services.
The CPA -- never underestimate the value.
Alan E. Weiner
is the senior tax partner at Hertz Rubenstein & Co., Certified
Public Accountants located in Melville.