When managing your business, navigating the financials and federal compliance can feel inundating without proper knowledge or training. When considering partnership with an outsourced financial professional, are you having a hard time distinguishing a CPA from an accountant? Are you wondering, “what can a CPA do that an accountant can’t?” In the content below, we answer this question by defining and differentiating the primary roles of a CPA and a traditional accountant.
What Can a CPA Do that an Accountant Can’t?
Traditional Accountants: Primary Responsibilities
An accountant is responsible for the recording and reporting of business and financial transactions. Different from bookkeepers, accountants are tasked with thinking about the big picture to help ensure growth and/or solve financial problems. In most cases, an accountant must obtain an accounting-related degree and become a certified accountant.
Non-certified accountants typically perform tasks regarding:
- Maintaining general business accounts
- Consolidating simple tax-related matters
Certified, traditional accountants are responsible for common tasks including but not limited to:
- Verifying financial data recorded by the bookkeeper
- Recording transactions
- Filing receipts
- Generating reports about cash flow
- Analyzing accounts
- Reviewing vendor invoices and sending invoices to clients
- Performing audits and forecasting cashflow
- Managing payroll
- Preparing tax returns, income statements and balance sheets
It is important to note that all accountants with the appropriate training and experience can perform a wide range of services.
Small Business CPAs: Primary Responsibilities
A certified public accountant (CPA) is a professional accountant who has acquired an additional level of credibility and expertise upon meeting specific state qualifications and criteria. To become a licensed CPA, an accountant must pass the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination in addition to completing other required educational and work benchmarks.
As opposed to accountants, only CPAs have the credentials to perform mandatory audits for publicly traded U.S. companies. Additionally, CPAs are responsible for completing tasks including but not limited to:
- Preparing tax returns for businesses and individuals
- Representing taxpayers before the IRS concerning audits and other matters
- Signing tax returns
- Preparing and reviewing financial statements
So, What Can a CPA Do that an Accountant Can’t?
Predominately, accountants typically perform the routine work, and they can complete tax returns. However, CPAs are alternatively responsible for analyzing the work, representing you and on the behalf of your business at a tax audit, and helping you make more high-level business and tax decisions.
Primarily, the most significant difference between a traditional accountant and a CPA is that a CPA is the only credentialed financial professional who can write audited financial statements, such as a balance sheet or an income statement. Furthermore, only a CPA can also issue an opinion on audited, reviewed, or compiled financial statements as a CPA license is required to provide these attested services.
MyRQB: Helping Your Business One Accounting Task at a Time
The key to business success is to focus on what you do best and delegate the rest. By outsourcing your bookkeeping and accounting tasks, your business can receive important and accurate financial reports in a timely manner.
We are the associates you have been looking for. At Remote Quality Bookkeeping, we are dedicated to helping you obtain the necessary information to make effective business and revenue decisions, especially during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Our team of specialists provides cost-effective, efficient, and accurate bookkeeping and accounting services for small businesses and franchisees throughout the United States. At MyRQB, we take care of all the back-end work and provide you with instant access to financial statements so you can always know where your business stands.
We partner with countless industries, servicing fourteen Franchise Brands including UPS Stores, US Lawns, Shelf Genie, Elements Massage, and Edible Arrangements to name a few.
Are you ready to begin implementing your outsourced bookkeeping strategies today? Contact us today at (866) 567-4258 or via our online contact form with any questions or to learn more about our services!