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The Ultimate Guide to Accounting Services  Thumbnail

The Ultimate Guide to Accounting Services

Taxes CPA

If there’s one thing that’s true about finance, it’s that everyone either manages or hires someone to manage their taxes. If you’re good with numbers and don’t want to spend extra money on accounting services, then you may decide to manage your own tax needs. However, many business owners want to remove the stress that comes with financial accounting and management. And then, there are some of us who don’t really know much about accounting to determine what the wisest options would be. At Delta Wealth Advisors, we’re giving you the ultimate guide to accounting! Let’s dive right in.


What do accountants do?

Accountants are responsible for keeping, analyzing, and communicating financial information and records. Accountants extend their knowledge and expertise to individuals, small businesses, and larger corporations who contract them for their time.

Depending on the caliber of work that is needed, individuals and businesses will hire Certified Public Accountants (CPA), who have taken all necessary courses, passed the CPA exam, and have fulfilled licensing requirements for their states of residence. All accountants are not CPAs; however, all CPAs are accountants. 

Accounting may look as simple as crunching numbers, but it is not. In fact, accounting is an umbrella that covers a vast array of jobs and roles within corporations. Additionally, there are three types of accountants:

  • Public accountants: A public accountant provides accounting services to a wide range of private clients, including but not limited to budgeting, portfolio management, and recordkeeping. 
  • Management accountants: A management accountant is contracted by public or private entities and governmental bodies to oversee investment strategies and management, risk assessment and management, budgeting, and strategizing with company leadership to meet realistic financial goals for the future. You’ll sometimes hear these accountants referred to as “in-house accountants”. 
  • Government accountants: Government accountants oversee financial management for each level of our society such as public education, law enforcement, and the Armed Forces.

 

What services do accountants provide?

Accountants can provide many types of accounting services, from simple project-based work to the ongoing management of your broader tax and finance strategies.

  • Tax services: Tax services involve preparing and filing all necessary tax returns, and advocates for the individuals and companies to decrease tax liability. CPAs can also represent their clients in the case of an audit conducted by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
  • Bookkeeping: A big part of keeping any business in good financial health is staying on top of money coming in and out. Accountants often provide bookkeeping services to accurately categorize expenses and income for an ongoing, accurate report of a business’ profits and losses.
  • Audit/assurance services: Assurance services improve the quality of financial and nonfinancial structure for all stakeholders. Auditing is an evaluation of financial information to ensure that it is compliant with local, state, and federal policies and regulations.
  • Management services: These services assist in managing daily operations and constructing long-term planning and strategic financial initiatives. An accountant, in this mode, may oversee cash management and financial planning, creating and preparing financial reports, risk management, and investment portfolio management.
  • Forensic accounting: These accountants offer services that work alongside law enforcement agents to track funds that may have gone missing, despite having been seen previously. This service usually keeps business owners transparent in order to effectively communicate about any type of financial problem, including tax evasion. 
  • Financial controllers: As the managers of commerce divisions, financial controllers oversee and assign work to staff members and onboard new clients. They also ensure effective reporting and documentation by serving as occasional auditors, where applicable.
  • Accounts Payable: These accounting services examples ensure that payments are made by a business by managing transactions, preventing payment duplication, and gathering financial records.
  • Accounts Receivable: Accountants who work in this department use their expertise to build efficient systems that process invoices to prepare for payment.
  • Bank reconciliation: This service makes sure that businesses are maintaining accurate bookkeeping of financial records and reduces the amount of financial red flags. Accountants extend their services by helping the business reduce expenses and prevent fraudulent activity.
  • Payroll processing: Accountants in the payroll division ensure accuracy and compliance with state and federal regulations. Additionally, they provide accurate employee financial records, including income, employer and employee deductions, and any applicable bonuses.

 

How much does a personal accountant cost?

You’ve probably heard the phrase, “Nothing good comes cheap,” but that statement couldn’t be truer when it comes to accounting. If you decide that a personal accountant is the right move for you, you should be prepared to compensate your accountants for the amount of time you need their services. An accounting firm price list would show you a range anywhere from $75 to $450 an hour, depending on whether or not you’re looking to hire a CPA. Let’s take a deeper look into average accounting pricing packages—just keep in mind that these rates can vary widely depending on your geographic location and specific needs:

  • Bookkeepers: $80/hour
  • CPAs: $175/hour
  • Tax Return Filing: $250 to $1,800
  • Financial statement creation: $1,000 to $2,500
  • Financial Audits: $2,000 to $10,000

Now, you may decide to just hire a bookkeeper, which is suitable by all means, according to your needs. However, most consumers might decide to hire CPAs because of their additional credentials and experience. Their additional education and experience can yield higher accounting services fees than a standard accountant without a license. Sometimes, investing in a CPA can provide a more sustainable, long-term benefit.

 

Do I need an accountant to do my taxes?

If you’ve ever asked yourself, “How much do accountants charge for tax returns?”, then you’re not alone. You’ll be pleased to know that the cost of hiring an accountant to prepare and file your taxes varies based on which tax forms you need to file. Typically, the average cost of tax preparation by a CPA to prepare and submit a Form 1040 and the corresponding state tax return, excluding itemized deductions is approximately $176, while the average fee for an itemized Form 1040 and a state tax return is around $273. On the other hand, if you are self-employed, the average cost hovers around $457. This increased cost is the result of the additional tax schedules required for self-employed filings. You should always remember that CPA fees can vary, according to the level of detail that is required for your tax filing, and in those cases CPAs can charge more. 

 

Is it worth getting an accountant to do your tax?

While there are tons of accounting software options out now––and those options may, in fact, be cheaper––there are even more people who lose out on the maximum advantages because not all software systems can pick up the latest trends in the financial world. Remember the software is only as good as the information you input. Meaning if you don’t know to input certain expenses, those won’t be deducted from your income. There are just some things that may require a physical set of eyes from a professional who can save you more money, time, and energy. Here are some things that an accountant can help you with that your software may not be able to do:

  • Accountants can give advice such as what you can deduct and how to appropriately reduce tax liability
  • Your account can sit down with you and give clarity on financial reports and other accounting processes
  • Accountants can target the areas where you are likely to yield profits and growth.
  • An accountant helps you create sustainable strategies for effective business financial performance.

 

Find your financial clarity with Delta Wealth Advisors

Delta Wealth Advisors serves as one of the flexible accounting firms in Indianapolis—and much more. We offer a full suite of accounting, tax, and consulting services to meet your personal or business needs, and we can marry those accounting services with our investment management and financial planning support to address every piece of your financial puzzle. In addition to our accounting, bookkeeping, tax planning, and audit services we also present you with several specialty services that aim to meet you where you are.

To relieve the stress of knowing your personal or business financial standing, we offer monthly and quarterly options for bookkeeping services. Additionally, you may take advantage of our invoicing, bill-paying, and payroll preparation services. No matter what size your business is, we ensure that all employees are paid on-time, accurately, with no hiccups.

 

Financial Statements

To ensure an accurate and comprehensible reflection of your personal or business finances, we compile, review, and audit your financial statements.

 

Tax

As an accounting firm, we have a responsibility to help manage your tax liability. Because of this, we offer several tax-related services pertaining to both business and personal. Check it out:

  • Business and Individual Tax Preparation
  • Tax Planning and Projections 
  • Liquidations, Mergers, Acquisitions and Reorganizations
  • Estates and Trusts
  • Gift Planning
  • Tax Strategies for High Net Worth Individuals
  • Stock Options for Executive Compensation
  • Succession Planning and Transfers of Business Ownership
  • Representation Before Federal, State, and Local Tax Authorities
  • Sales and Use Tax

 

401(k) Audits

401(k) plans are important, as they allow your employees, retired and active, to manage finances for the future. We help you, the business owner, provide equitable plans that are in compliance with all federal regulations. Our team will work alongside you to ensure that all eligible employees have the same opportunities to participate in a plan where contributions have been made in a timely manner, and that benefit payments are made according to the plan’s terms and conditions.

 

Consulting

As your financial partner, we offer advice to enhance your financial outlook, as we help you prepare:

  • Business and Individual Tax Preparation
  • Tax Planning and Projections
  • Liquidations, Mergers, Acquisitions and Reorganizations
  • Estates and Trusts
  • Gift Planning

 

If there’s one thing that’s true about finance, it’s that everyone either manages or hires someone to manage their finances. Delta Wealth Advisors provides a versatile, professional trajectory for your business or personal finance. The secret? It’s how our investment managers and accountants work together to produce the most value possible for our clients. Contact us today to learn more about our unique approach—or click below to download our whitepaper that highlights the benefits of a close investment manager/CPA relationship.