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What Is a Certified Public Accountant?

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Perhaps you already know what accounting entails. Generally speaking, it involves maintaining the general ledger of a business or organization, preparing financial statements, and performing tax work for individuals and/or businesses. Anyone who provides such services, whether as the employee of a company or as an independent contractor, can be considered an accountant.

However, an accountant can only use the designation of a certified public accountant after he or she has earned the credential from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. When you work with a CPA, you know that the person you’re working with has met or exceeded certain professional standards of experience, education, and ethics.

What Is Involved in Becoming a CPA?

Before a person can become a CPA, there are three different accomplishments he or she has to attain:

  • Education: Earning a bachelor’s degree or better in accounting, business administration, or finance
  • Experience: Working as a public accountant for two years or more
  • Exam: Passing score on the Uniform CPA Examination

The Uniform CPA Examination is intentionally challenging to ensure that only the most qualified candidates pass.

Upon becoming a CPA, continuing education is necessary to maintain the credential. A certified public accountant has to take continuing education classes on an annual basis and earn a certain number of credits every year.

As CPAs, we are expected to adhere to a code of ethics that governs our professional behavior. The code is issued by the AICPA and undergoes constant revision, but it basically identifies acts that are discreditable to our profession, as well as outlining responsibilities to clients and establishing standards for objectivity and integrity.

What Does a CPA Do?

CPAs can serve a wide range of clients, including businesses, non-profit organizations, governments, or individuals. However, at KMA Bodilly, most of our focus is on business accounting, which means that our services fall into four main categories:

  • Accounting
  • Attestation
  • Consulting
  • Tax Services

At KMA, we often function for our clients in much the same way that an in-house Chief Financial Officer would, handling day-to-day operational tasks like filing payroll taxes, monitoring cash flow, providing monthly reports, and preparing financial statements. We provide dependable attestation services to give accurate reports of financial data to state and federal entities, as well as key stakeholders. As consultants, we guide our clients in regard to strategic planning, business valuation, and business succession planning, and we can help to plan and prepare your taxes so that you pay as little as possible while adhering to applicable tax laws. This is just a brief overview of the services we provide at KMA. Contact us today, and we can explain the options available to you in more detail.

Convincing Reasons to Hire a CPA to Better Manage Your Company’s Finances


When you are busy running your company each day, you sometimes do not have a lot of time to take care of your books. The everyday tasks that go on in your business demand your attention and at the end of the day, you may be in no mood to balance your books.

Neglecting them leaves you in the proverbial dark about how much money you have coming in and going out of your business. By hiring an accountant who specializes in audit services in Madison, WI, you can have your books organized and updated without having to devote time to this job yourself.

Figuring Out Where Money Goes

If it seems that you are always short on cash at the end of the week or month, you have to figure out where it is going. When you hire professionals who provide audit services in Madison, WI, you can have an objective third-party accountant come in and discover what you are spending your money on the most.

The accountant can also uncover incidences of fraud that could potentially rob your business of thousands of dollars each month. With this third party vendor help, you can better control your expenditures, figure out if your spending is out of budget, and cut back on expenses that are robbing you of your cash flow.

Tax Prep Services

The federal government requires you to pay your taxes on a quarterly basis. Your accountant can fill out and submit the proper returns for you. He or she will tell you what your tax bill is so that you can write a check and mail it to the IRS.

A professional accountant who specializes in audit services in Madison, WI, can help you manage your business’s finances. You can outsource tasks like your bookkeeping, manage your expenses, and filing your taxes each quarter.

Why Is It Important to Hire an Accountant?

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If you are a small business owner, especially if you are a recent startup, you may be reluctant to hire an accountant to handle your finances. You may consider it an unnecessary expense, thinking that your company is too small to require the services of a business accountant. However, poor financial management and cash flow problems are among the top reasons cited for entrepreneurial failures. The number of businesses that fail within the first 18 months of operation is 80 percent. Far from being an unnecessary expenditure, it may well be that professional financial services represent an indispensable asset to your company.

Here are some of the top reasons why hiring an accountant is important.

1. Avoid Regulatory Burdens

Regulatory burdens refer to the many filing deadlines that the IRS requires business owners to meet, as well as the penalties and fines imposed for not meeting them. The majority of small business owners cite regulatory tax burdens as one of the biggest challenges to running a company. Accounting professionals can handle these challenges for you and make running your company a little easier.

2. Concentrate on Your Business

You likely started your company because you have a passion. Unfortunately, the day-to-day realities of owning a business may prevent you from focusing on the passion that drives your company. Handing these concerns over to a financial professional allows you to concentrate on the work you set out to do in the first place.

3. Save Money

With an understanding of the ever-changing tax laws, an accountant can help you maximize your deductions and limit the amount of your tax liability. Therefore, the amount you spend on hiring an accounting professional may be outweighed by the savings on your taxes.

You may think that it is cheaper to hire an in-house financial professional than outsource to a business accountant. More often, the opposite is true. When you hire a professional CPA firm, you only pay for the services you receive, whereas if you hire in-house financial staff, you need to pay their salaries plus overhead costs like on-boarding, benefits, payroll taxes, etc.

4. Prevent Fraud

If you’re a small startup, you probably can’t afford a large financial staff, meaning that you may only be able to hire one or two professionals. This puts you at higher risk for fraud due to the lack of separation of duties. CPA firms have experienced business accountants dividing tasks and checking up on one another’s work, meaning the risk of fraud is decreased.

A business accountant is something you shouldn’t try to do without. Contact us at KMA to learn more about accounting services available to owners of companies large and small.

4 Reasons Your Business Can’t Do Without a CFO

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Money management is key to keeping your business afloat. If you have zero cost control measures in place, though, or don’t know how to process and handle your company’s financial information, that will impact your revenue. Here’s why you should outsource CFO Services in Madison WI to handle these tasks for you.

Complex transactions

When you run a business and it’s likely that you’ll find yourself dealing with complex financial transactions, then you need help. These transactions will require someone with a higher level of experience and knowledge. Also, if you are going to deal with customers and suppliers as well as banks, shareholders or government regulators, then it’s going to be in your organization’s best interests to hire financial experts at KMA for assistance.

Strategy and decisions

You need to access and monitor the financial performance of your business. That’s going to help you determine a lot of important information that can help you run your business better. For instance, you’ll find out what’s costing you money and where you can save. If you have zero knowledge and experience in this area, then hire financial pros. By paying for CFO Services in Madison WI, you have pros to assess the financial condition of your organization. The data they’ll acquire for you will help you make decisions that impact your budget and revenue as well help you achieve your sales goals.

Financial forecasts

Secure the help of an experienced CFO to help you prepare financial forecasts that you’ll distribute to your shareholders. If you’re looking for potential lenders for funding, then you’ll need to provide these forecasts as well. A CFO can help you put together the documents you need so you can make your shareholders happy or have greater chances of getting your loan application approved.

New activities investment

Your CFO can help you choose activities that you can invest in to generate leads and drive business growth. Whether those plans include expanding your business, using better marketing approaches to boost traffic to your site and more, you can discuss the situation with your CFO expert and find the right solution to your problems.

Get the right person onboard. Hire someone to handle the responsibilities of a CFO for your business. Whether you need help in collecting the accounting data you need or you require financial forecasts of your company, qualified financial experts can help.

5 Reasons for a Business to Make Financial Projections

Financial Projections Madison WI

The process of making financial projections is vital to the health of your business. Reviewing the relevant details to come up with an accurate forecast of upcoming income and expenditures helps you stay on track.

1. Seeing the Big Picture

Before you can start making projections, you will need to gather all the relevant data and review it. This gives you an opportunity to take a step back from the details of managing day-to-day operations and get a wider view of how your business is doing. As a bonus, you will have your records organized and on hand for tax preparation.

2. Setting Metrics for Success

Going through the accounting data helps you see what metrics correlate with getting closer to your organizational goals. Identifying key performance indicators allows you to develop a detailed plan for achieving business objectives.

3. Assessing the Situation

The information you get as you work on your projections lets you take stock of your company’s current status. Is your business on track to meeting goals? Is there consistent underperformance in certain areas? Issues that may otherwise fly under the radar come to light and can be addressed.

4. Handling Future Problems

As you draw up your financial projections, you will also understand potential problems that will likely arise. You can then figure out solutions to these problems and integrate them into your planning. Thus, projections are an important factor that helps steer company strategy.

5. Fine-tuning Strategy

Assessing your company’s current and future financial health has strategic implications. Your projections allow you to see likely outcomes based on current performance. Do these outcomes match your goals? If not, this is an opportunity to strategize a course adjustment for your company.

At KMA, our professionals are available to assist with financial projections, accounting services and more. Learn more about how we can support your business growth by contacting us online or calling (608) 664-1040.

When Should a Startup Hire an Accountant?

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Establishing a startup is an exciting venture. Some of the world’s best innovations have originated from small grassroots teams with a clear vision and dedication. For all of the drive and ambition your startup might have, though, you need to ensure that your bookkeeping is in order, too. Many great companies have been threatened by a failure to keep accounting in order and manage financial record keeping. As a startup, then, when should you hire a professional accountant? The answer is different for every company, but there are a few important factors to take into account when determining the right time to hire an accountant.

Handle Financial Events Appropriately

As your startup is growing out of its incubation phase and revenue continues growing, the stakes of dealing with accounting will continue getting higher. Handling your own accounting internally may be a manageable task when you’re still seeking clients and building your brand, but at a certain point, investing in a professional becomes a necessity. The following financial events are good moments to consider on-boarding an accountant for your startup:

  • Filing a tax return: You will eventually have to file a tax return for your company, and it’s unwise to do so without help from a professional accountant. Even the smallest error on a return can prompt an audit from the IRS, and this is a process you certainly don’t want your new startup to undergo. Trust your company’s tax return to the expertise of an accountant.
  • Establishing a business plan: Once you’ve solidified the general brand, product, and services you intend your startup to focus on, you should write a detailed business plan to give your ideas a trajectory. This is a task that an accountant should be involved in, too, so that you are budgeting funds and projecting profits as effectively as possible.
  • General advising: Keeping an accountant on retainer is often helpful for startups and entrepreneurs venturing into the marketplace for the first time. An accountant can provide general advising and guidance to help you stay on track fiscally.

Enlist Help From a Professional Accountant

As a startup, your success is dependent on the ability to sustain your ideas with solid business practices. Solid business practices demand professional guidance when dealing with fiscal issues, bookkeeping, and any other concern of accounting. Equip your startup to be successful by enlisting help from a professional accounting firm that will help your business grow. Behind every successful startup is a effective team, and every effective business team needs an accountant.

Sidestep Over These Hiring Mistakes When You Look for Tax Preparers

Landing in hot water with the IRS is going to put your business in a bit of a bind. If you want to ward off disasters of this kind, then get help. Look for a firm that handles tax preparation in Madison WI. With expert guidance and help, you can file and pay your taxes with ease.

Before you hire tax services in Madison WI, make sure you avoid the following hiring mistakes.

Being cheap

You want to save on costs. That’s great. But doing so at the expense of finding the right professional is going to put your business in trouble. Don’t take that risk. Instead of looking for the cheapest person to get the job done, start looking for reputable companies that can deliver the solution you need.

Zero credentials

Before you pick a tax service firm, you’ll want to confirm the company’s qualifications and credentials. Check the Better Business Bureau. Is there a ton of complaints against the firm? Then that’s more than enough of a warning for you.

Late start

Tax season doesn’t change. It’s the same time every year. That means you’ve got all the rest of the year to start looking for capable and competent as well as trustworthy tax preparers to help you. If you fail to find the right tax advisor because you ran out of time, then that’s not an acceptable excuse. Start looking for a tax professional way before the deadline. That way, when the time comes, you’ll be ready.

No experience

Don’t take chances with your taxes. A mistake could cost you a lot. That’s why hiring a professional is a must. Don’t let a neighbor’s friend or a contact who dabbles in taxes do all the decisions for you. Find a pro with considerable experience to assist you through the process.

Forgetting about the future

When you pay taxes, you’ll want to keep the bigger picture in mind. Hiring a professional and seasoned CPA can help you since you have someone who can advise you on your decisions. If you plan on filing to turn your organization into a sole-proprietorship business, then your CPA can advise you on the best way to go about it. He can simplify the process so you’ll have a better sense of what’s going to happen, what you can expect and if it’s the right move for you.

Get the right people on board your team. For tax preparation in Madison WI, contact the KMA Accounts and Advisors today.

What Is Outsourced Payroll?

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If you’re used to cashing checks rather than handing them out to employees, you may not be terribly familiar with outsourced payroll. Thankfully, KMA is here to help you have a better understanding of payroll services.

The Steps

When you outsource payrolling, the company will set up its software with you, entering all employee data. For each pay period, the accounting provider will access each employee’s time card data, adding new employees when necessary. All hours worked will be confirmed and designated either “paid” or “unpaid.” Pre- and post-tax deductions will be taken into account, and your employees will receive their pay. Depending on your preferences, pay can be made with direct deposits, pay cards or through physical checks mailed to employees or your business.

Additionally, a provider can pay your business insurance company or vendors for you, giving you one less task to take care of. You should also make sure all taxes and insurance payments related to payroll are handled by the provider.

Reasons to Consider Outsourcing

There’s plenty of software available that allows you to take care of your own commercial accounting tasks. That said, there’s no guarantee the program operates according to the latest tax regulations and laws; you may very well find yourself on the receiving end of a penalty or fine. You also may not be prepared for the time commitment involved with handling payroll. We understand that you want to do everything you can to save money while operating your business, but you could cost yourself more than you realize by choosing to take on this task by yourself. Leave the job to the pros who do this for a living.

There’s no doubt that it’s great for business owners to understand the basics of business accounting, but the fact remains that it’s best to turn to experts. For more info on outsourced payroll services, contact us.