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CPA or Bookkeeping Accounting Firm

If you're looking for a way to make your money work for you, read on. It's a guide to all things related to CPA, so whether you're thinking about going into it or have already decided to do it, we will tell you something you may not know about the industry.


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About The Industry

What is CPA means?
CPA or Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA) is the abbreviation of Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada. A chartered professional accountant is a Canadian who has earned a bachelor's degree in accounting and passed a rigorous examination. They get designation awarded by the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA). This national professional association is an independent, not-for-profit professional body with over 45,000 members. Members must have been licensed for at least three years and have passed a comprehensive review of their knowledge and skills.

What is the difference between an accountant and a CPA? What can a CPA do that an accountant can't?

It is very easy to confuse what a CPA can do that bookkeeping or accountant cannot. There are many things a CPA can do that an accountant cannot. For example, a CPA can perform audits for businesses, while an accountant is not. A CPA can also provide tax advice and prepare tax returns for businesses, while an accountant is not. A CPA can also provide services to business owners in several different areas, including accounting, taxation, financial planning, and much more..

Is a CPA worth it?

A chartered professional accountant (CPA) is an accounting professional who has been trained to understand and apply the principles of accounting, auditing, tax preparation, and other financial services. There are three main types of CPAs:
 - Attorneys
 - Certified public accountants
 - Chartered accountants
It is solely depending on what job a person requires. File the wrong thing with a taxman, especially with complex numbers. Though unqualified people without proper training, you may have difficulty explaining your tax and facing penalties.

How much does CPA make in Canada?

The average salary of a CPA in Canada is $65,830 in 2020, but that doesn't mean it is easy to get one. The Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA) says that there are only about 2,200 accountants in the country, most of which work in big firms like Deloitte, Ernst & Young, and PwC..


6 Accounting Firm Tips For Getting More Clients 

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1. The Power of Intangibles

What are intangibles? These are non-monetary assets that give an edge over other business owners. Examples of intangibles include relationships, reputation, and credibility. The idea is to have some intangible value that can persuade people. In other words, if you want to sell a product or service, what does it offer that can be seen and touched, felt, smelled, and heard? Conversely, how do you sell the intangible benefits of a product or service that customers can't see, feel, smell, or hear?

2. Why Your Customers Don't Always Buy in your suggest? But They Do Sometimes

A tax preparer is just a person who prepares taxes, but a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) can provide more advanced financial services. Therefore, it's usually in the best interest of a customer to utilize the services of a CPA, make them count. Position yourself as a far better partner than tax accountants, and convincing your skill is the key.

3. How to Be Persuasive When You're Not Being Threatening

Every business should up-sell their service. However, most professional accountants will be put off when their clients start asking, "How much?" or "What are your requirements?" To make sure you're getting what you want, you have to be able to show you've considered all the possible outcomes and how each will affect a business's bottom line. To be persuasive and to convince your clients that you're the right choice for them, you need to be able to answer these questions. Your client will appreciate the knowledge you provide them as a professional.

4. Advise client on How to Collect On Past Purchases

So how can you get past the fact that the average person would be like, "Gee, I already paid for that," when trying to collect on past purchases? How do you overcome the fact that they don't remember that they've paid for it? This strategy is another way to use your standard accounting knowledge to your advantage. 

If you are familiar with accounting and know-how to collect on past purchases, then why not use this knowledge to your advantage? With some small investment in time, you could make a killing and save a lot of money for your client if you know what to do.

5. Help client to Prepare All Paperwork For Tax Audits.

So what exactly can CPAs do to help their clients prepare for tax time? First, gather all of their financial documents. Then, have them neatly organized and in chronological order. You can also make use of cloud-based filing and organizing solutions, such as the free Online Invoice App (formerly known as "TurboTax Online") and TurboTax Mobile. Consider running a webinar to advise and provide value-added to your client and help them review any issues.  

Tax software/applications will make it easier to file and organize tax returns anywhere. Any business will want to keep their accounting records up to date if the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) wants them for tax purposes.

6. Critical "Backend" Skills Every Entrepreneur Must Master

A recent survey conducted by Intuit of 1,000 small business owners found that nearly three-quarters (74%) of the respondents didn't know how to manage their books and finances properly. Most small businesses are under-capitalized, and they need to know the most basic accounting functions to grow and work their business correctly.

 Let the customer know that by utilizing a CPA as an expert in the area, passing on accounting knowledge to the client is invaluable. Entrepreneurs appreciate the skills passed on to them, and their business will grow fast.

Protect Your Practice

How could CPA accountants get sued by their clients?

It is tricky because there is no logical reason why a CPA should be sued. After all, CPAs are not lawyers and are not subject to the same laws that apply to attorneys. However, it does happen from time to time. The consequences can be disastrous for the professional responsibilities and their practice when it does. So what's the first step in avoiding this scenario?

How would insurance protect the CPA business?

Simply put, it's education: every CPA must take a few ethics classes. The way it works is, whenever there's a lawsuit involving an accounting professional and their client, the plaintiff's lawyer will demand to speak with the defendant's CPA. At that point, the CPA will explain in detail why they did, what they did, and why it was legal as an accountant. It will, of course, appease the lawyer and hopefully result in a settlement without the need for a trial.

Here is a hypothetical example that illustrates the point. Suppose an accounting firm prepares a tax return for a client and fails to give the client some written opinion on whether the CPA adequately prepared their tax return. Should CRA audited the tax return and found several substantial errors, the client filed a lawsuit against the accounting firm for not adequately advising them in the capacity as their managing accountant. A situation like such is difficult, and the firm might reasonably fear every error on the tax return they missed, and the potential of liability could very well exceed millions.

Should a CPA firm get any cyber insurance?

Some CPAs and even their clients believe that because they are a CPA business and do not offer anything on the internet (or social media), they are not at risk of a data breach. However, with technology advancing rapidly, any business or CPA needs to be prepared for potential threats.

An email address can be used to log into a website. For example, if the website's password is stolen and the email address associated with the password is used for logging in to the website, the hacker can access the site and all the information stored.

When a cyber-attack is launched against a company, it's not just a matter of whether or not you can trace the source of the attack, but also whether or not your company will be able to withstand the potential damages of such an event. Unfortunately, a common mistake for businesses without an IT team is to assume that they are safe from cyber-attacks. And when cyber attacks do happen, the company may not have sufficient resources to recover from the damage done.

So, the hard answer is, I believe ALL CPA firms need cyber insurance.

What should an accounting firm expect from their insurance package?

Here's a breakdown of some of the most common business insurances.
Know what to expect on your insurance coverage for an accountant firm:

Comparing the features of your policy, you should expect the package of

  • Errors & Omissions 
  • Commercial General Liability including Employee Benefits 
  • Office Property Package
  • Cyber insurance covering ransomware extorsion and data breach
What Coverage do we offer that are unique and what are the cost?
Will any insurance sufficient for the firm?

One of the biggest arguments I hear about group programs is that they are cheaper and enough for every accountant. Unfortunately, group members and individual policies aren't as drastic as many think. The average cost per person in a group plan comparing each feature side by side may usually be higher than what you'd pay for a single plan due to a risk pool of a similar nature. Having the prestigious rights to join a certain group due to certification or career experience may not necessarily reduce the pooled risk and lower the insurance premium.

When it comes to business insurance for an accounting firm, you're going to find two significant types: property and liability. You'll also find that there are different types of businesses, which can get confusing when trying to understand the differences in coverage.

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In conclusion

An accountant's goal is not simply to be accurate in their numbers. It is to provide a service that helps solve real problems for clients. It includes assisting them with keeping good books, calculating taxes, providing financial reports, and even creating financial models. To do this, you need to be good at more than just math and figures. You need to understand your clients and their businesses. You must be able to communicate with them effectively, and you must be a problem solver, willing to think outside of the box when your client needs it. If you can do all of these things, your clients will be more likely to recommend you and continue to use your services in the future. Finally, having group professional liability insurance may not be the cheapest option as there are more options in the market with lower, better coverage if you start comparing.