When you’re an author or writer, even if you work as a freelancer, calculating your taxes can actually be tricky. Many people don’t give so much importance to this, that’s why it is common for a lot of professional writers or authors to wrongly assume that, because of their budget, they are not able to afford the hiring of the professional services of an accountant; however, not doing it could actually be a big mistake.
Getting the services of a public accountant it’s actually the best investment that any author can make; it can help them to save the so hard-earned money, so they can work more calmly. If you have an accountant that works for you can actually help you that all of your finances are recorded legally, without losing money. This can also help you to avoid some further big troubles.
What actually an accountant can do for you?
A CPA, as a professional of the finances area, can perform several tasks for authors, and these are some of them:
- Preparation: This professional is in charge of preparing the author’s finances, and also analyzing and interpreting them appropriately.
- Strategies: The professional can design and manage different economic strategies, such as a financial strategy to increase an author’s earnings.
- Interpretation: Can accurately interpret all the author’s accounting data to determine how him/her can have greater control of the finances, therefore take wise measurements.
- Implementation: With all the data available, the professional accountant will apply the correct and appropriate accounting for managing her client’s finances.
- Decision-making: Likewise, the accountant can participate in the decision-making processes at the management level after interpreting all of the author’s financial information.
- Administration: They can manage the finances of their clients, as well as identify financial risks, that can be of various types.
- Verification: At all times, the accountant will verify that all financial movements are real and comply with current tax obligations.
- Supervision: The accounting professional is able to supervise and manage all the financial statements at a historical level, also the projections and available budgets. This helps the author know how much money he has and know what expenses can be avoided.
In general, accountants are responsible for the authors’ money and managing actions and strategies that help manage the finances of their clients in the best possible way, ensuring compliance with current regulations and laws.
Why does an author need an accountant?
Many authors are enthusiastic about numbers and, oddly enough, about paperwork. However, taking care of your own finances can be risky and even bring legal consequences if the process is not done well. Here are some of the reasons any writer needs to have an accountant on hand:
Taxes can be complicated
In general terms, it could be intuited that taxes are a simple matter: taking accounts, making deductions, calculating percentages… Right? The truth is that they are more complicated than they may seem at a first impression. There also exists a series of norms and rules around all of the documentation, this must be delivered, which will avoid penalties. A certified public accountant understands all the rules, accommodate the documents, and actually complete all the paperwork accordingly, which will help you, as everything is according to the laws, to avoid any kind of problems in advance.
Better to leave the specialized job to professionals
While in theory, anyone is able to handle a pair of scissors, that doesn’t mean everyone should cut their own hair. The same applies in the case of accounting matters. Investing in an accounting professional who knows all about taxes is better than figuring things out for yourself. This provides great peace of mind and comfort in the long run without putting yourself or your finances at risk. Better yet, some accountants specialize in authors, so they know how to do their job right.
It will help you correctly calculate your deductions
Deductions help reduce the amount to be paid in taxes; however, if they are calculated without the proper knowledge, you can fall into tax evasion, which has quite severe consequences at the legal level. A public accountant will be able to carry out tax planning to make the most of all the benefits, always within the margin of the law. This will help you save money without risking tax consequences.
They help you save time
In many jobs, time is valuable. In the case of writers, time is one of their most important assets, so why spend an additional amount of time trying to understand how to fill out the forms and perform the necessary calculations? By hiring an accountant, he will take care of all the minors in the shortest possible time. Accountants are especially helpful for creatives who sincerely hate numbers or are busy all the time.
They can help you get access to financing plans
Many authors need to invest in elements to do their work more efficiently or even make investments to make their capital profitable. Accounting professionals can help you gain better access to various financing plans that suit the author’s capabilities, minimizing financial risk. For example one of my clients writes for the local papers in Palm Beach, FL so I suggested to her to hire a accountant Palm Beach to put together a financial plan.
An accountant helps you avoid losing money
We cannot emphasize enough how complicated tax calculation can be, which is why many authors who decide to do their own calculations end up paying more than they should initially. Although there are ways to calculate taxes directly, no method is as reliable or safe as having the experience and knowledge of an accountant.
There is an accountant for every budget
Not all authors make millions from their works; however, this does not mean that they cannot invest in an accountant. There is a wide variety of accounting professionals, so it is possible to get one that suits your budget without any problem. Of course, it is essential to verify their credentials, ask for references, and make sure they have experience in the area.
The CPA must be able to keep the accounting books properly, keeping them updated as often as necessary in each case. This includes collecting payment receipts, bank deposit receipts, analysis of financial transactions carried out, and everything essential according to your case. CPAs are trained to thoroughly analyze all finances and keep track of the money movements that are made to advise their clients properly.
The accountant can financially educate a writer
Accountants often advise their clients financially, which is very helpful. It is essential to take their advice into account since by observing and analyzing an author’s finances first-hand, can detect the areas where the money is being wasted. To help increase your clients’ profits, as well, can advise you on investments to generate more income, which is certainly quite a significant return on investment.
How to choose the right public accountant for you?
There are many accountants available to you, some with more or less experience in the field; however, not all will be suitable for your needs. So how can you choose the right one for you? For this, you must consider the following elements:
Study your needs
Before starting your search for accountants, you need to understand precisely why you need one and what you need it to do for you. The accountant will handle those responsibilities entrusted to him, but you need to know what you need before assigning work. These responsibilities may include managing financial books, calculating taxes, tax advice, auditing finances, and even giving financial advice.
Must have verifiable experience in your area
Just as not all doctors have the same specialties, accountants also specialize in different areas and patients. Accountants who specialize in authors and writers know how to handle their clients’ ledgers properly, plus they can educate them on their financial and tax situation. It won’t hurt to spend the time doing a little extra research to find the best expert in the field.
The selected professional must have not only experienced but also the corresponding certifications in their area. This is because they must comply with the legal requirements due to the sensitivity of their responsibilities. An accountant must be able to issue financial reports, keep accounting books, calculate taxes, and much more, always complying with the law.
Public accounting professionals often handle several clients’ books and taxes simultaneously, so getting recommendations on one, in particular, can be a simple task. It is important to verify, with real clients, that the professional is good at what he does, and that he has been able to build a network of reliable clients thanks to his good service and dedicated work. The same applies if the recommendations are mostly negative; this would be an alarm signal that will indicate that it is better to keep looking.
Establish the budget that you can invest
It is useless to do an exhaustive search for a CPA if you do not have enough money to pay the fee they ask for. So it is advisable to establish the maximum budget that can be invested in this professional, to then be able to search among professionals who adapt to the economic capacities that one has.
Compare the costs
When you have the initial list of CPAs that could serve your needs, their costs and rates should be consulted. Some charge monthly fees to maintain finances and books and an additional amount for tax calculations. Others charge a single payment for services provided when they are needed or even annually. It is essential to check these details to make sure there are no surprises in this field.
Check online portals for counters
Many online tools will help you find the right meter for you. These tools not only allow you to get contacts but also to verify their reputation simultaneously such as Google Reviews. Likewise, many CPAs are active in social networks, and they can give you indications about their services if you contact them directly, which can be very beneficial.
Make an initial consultation
Once you have one or more accountants selected and verified their experience in the field, an initial consultation is necessary. Many accountants offer this first consultation for free. This is when you will conduct a short interview to find out what she has to say about her personal experience, ask her about additional services, and what she can do for you. This first consultation can give you very revealing data regarding the accountant’s services and if it is the most suitable for you.
Questions you can ask an accountant to determine if they are right for you to include the following:
- How much do you charge for your professional services?
- What services are covered by your costs?
- Why should I choose you as an accountant over someone else?
- What will communication be like between us, and by what means?
- What experience do you have in my area of work?
- What additional services can you offer me?
- What areas will we handle and discuss frequently?
- What are the main mistakes your customers make?
- What guarantee can you give me that I will not lose the deadlines?
These questions will undoubtedly help you clarify whether this CPA is the right one for your needs or not, do not be afraid to ask. The professional will answer you without problems because his main interest is to be able to capture a new client and establish a relationship of trust between the two.
There must be clear communication between you and your accountant
No matter how much you know about ledgers, taxes, and finance, the accountant you choose should be able to speak clearly to you and make you understand precisely what they need from you. For this, they must have the necessary experience and ability to communicate with you without making you feel inferior or incapable.
If the accountant you plan to hire makes you feel ignorant or pretends that you know as much about the subject as he or she does, or makes you feel uncomfortable, it is not recommended that you hire him. This is because, although this professional has extensive experience, they will not be able to establish a relationship of trust with you. Would you be able to let someone you do not trust personally handle your money? If the answer is no, then it’s time to keep looking.
The right accountant for you
Knowing the full range of services that the accountant provides, their rates, personality, experience, certifications, and reputation, it is possible to hire the best CPA for your financial needs.