4 Financial Professionals to Have on Your Team
Happy New Year!
We are in a new year, and many of you will have finances on your goals/resolution list. Financial goals are one of the top two resolutions people make each year. I’m here for it!
As we are getting our finances organized, I wanted to provide an overview of the financial professionals that you should have on your team at some point in your journey. Titles can get confusing so let's walk through the different types of financial professionals, their credentials, and what they do so you can select the right person for your needs.
Financial Planner- It is time to hire a Financial Planner when your needs become a bit more complex, and you need sound guidance that’s tailored for your unique circumstances. Your financial planner helps you map a path forward, whether you’re planning for retirement, investing in the market or real estate, saving for your child's education, or preparing to leave a legacy to your family.
A financial planner is a professional who works with clients to manage their financial affairs, develop financial goals and create strategies to achieve those goals.
Financial Planners offer expertise and guidance for investing, retirement, tax planning, insurance and estate planning.
Some financial planners may hold the “CFP®” professional designation to establish their professional qualifications.
Financial advisors are required to obtain specific licenses depending on the products or services they provide and how they're compensated for those services.
Tax Preparer - We all share the responsibility of paying taxes, and our tax system is overcomplicated. It’s time to upgrade from TurboTax when you find yourself paying more in taxes than you should, you are missing out on deductions or credits, or you are in that middle class where it is challenging to find tax relief.
There are two tax professionals that can help you with effective tax preparation and strategies;
A Certified Public Account (CPA) or an Enrolled Agent (EA). Both professionals are licensed by the government and have demonstrated a high level of expertise in tax laws and regulations, but their training, licensing requirements, and areas of expertise differ.
CPAs typically have a broader range of expertise in areas such as accounting, auditing, and financial reporting. EAs, on the other hand, typically specialize in tax matters, including tax preparation, tax planning, and representation before the IRS.
If you just need tax preparation, an Enrolled Agent has extensive knowledge and can be a great resource.
If you have broader accounting needs like financial statements, audit preparation, business valuations, and tax preparation, then a CPA would be suited for your needs.
Business owners and aspiring business owners: These last two are just for you.
Bookkeeper- If you are a business owner with growing revenue and shrinking capacity, then it is time to hire a bookkeeper. One of the keys to your success as a business owner is to know your numbers. Your numbers will tell you how the business is going, help you to make solid decisions, inform what products sell better when and to whom. This is the secret sauce.
A Bookkeeper is a transactional and administrative role that handles the day-to-day tasks of recording financial transactions, including purchases, receipts, sales and payments.
They are responsible for managing the books, creating invoices, payroll, and balancing ledgers.
There is some overlap between CPAs and a bookkeeper. Some CPAs will do their own bookkeeping while others will have a bookkeeper in house.
Bookkeeping is vital to your business. It is worth the investment to understand your numbers. Many bookkeepers will prepare your statements that make tax time so much smoother.
Business Coach- I must give an honorable mention to business coaches. As a business owner, you simply can not do it all- nor should you. Even the best business person has blind spots, areas of opportunities, or simply the need to keep up to pace with the ever changing environment. This is when it is time to hire a business coach.
A coach can help you identify your goals and build a strategic plan to achieve them.
They can help implement policies and procedures that are critical for the growth of your business.
A coach can help you reduce the waste in your business and increase efficiency.
Simply put, they are an investment in you so that you can be your best self which will increase revenue.
At some point in our lives, we simply don’t have the capacity, ability, or willingness to do some or all of the financial tasks I’ve described above. The investment you make in these professionals should prove to add significant value to your personal and professional lives.