Professionals - A Brief Guide to CPAs, Lawyers, and Bankers
Please note that the information
in this guide is not to be used as consulting, accounting, or legal advice. The
following information is provided with the understanding that this article is not
a substitute for professional advice, and is merely for informational purposes.
TheFinanceResource.com is not responsible for the use of any information contained
below or for the factual accuracy of any statements made below.
When dealing with complicated investments,
your accountant quickly becomes an invaluable resource. As your business becomes
exponentially more complex, so do the tax issues involved. Before you begin to take
the next step toward becoming a business owner, you must hire a good accountant
or CPA. The
tax code has undergone a myriad of revisions and changes to a point that it is nearly
impossible for a non-accountant to have a full comprehension of our nation’s tax
laws. At some point your business activities may go beyond the scope of your local
CPA or accountant and you may need to enlist the support of a large accounting firm.
Your account can also assist you
in the capital raising process by advising on the proper entity structures, the
best methods of raising capital, and how to properly manage issues relating to the
use of cash.
Accountants do a lot more than preparing
tax returns. Your CPA is also a business advisor that has a wealth of knowledge
related to the operations of a business and has many local/regional business contacts.
Additionally, banks and investors like to see that you have hired a qualified CPA
that will help you oversee the financial management of your business venture.
Business venture and investment
agreements require complex legal documents that must be drafted and notarized by
an attorney. Your lawyer will also assist you in negotiating the proper terms with
a potential investor, filing the legal documents with the proper federal, state,
and local authorities (when applicable), registering your corporate name, and other
issues that relate to the legal liabilities of the business.
Your lawyer can also help you draft
legal disclosures, business contracts, and assist in developing methods that will
reduce your legal liabilities (if applicable).
In many ways, your lawyer is your
best friend in business. Any communications that you have with your attorney are
completed privileged, and it is important to a have third party advice on matters
that involve complex legal issues.
Your banker will quickly become
an important resource for capital if you decide to pursue your business venture
with loan capital. Bankers are in the business of lending money, and when they see
that you are a worthy credit risk they will hound you for your business. It is essential
to realize that you are not at the mercy of a banker, and that you can often negotiate
the terms of a loan when you are trying to close a commercial loan or large mortgage.
If you plan on doing a lot of borrowing business with a bank, it is in your best
interest to have your checking accounts and possibly your brokerage accounts with
that institution. The more business you give a bank, the more valued a client you
will become. Independent bankers and brokers are often better at arranging
financing since they have the ability to price loans with several different lenders.
You may find that an independent loan originator or broker can offer a much wider
scope of lending products than can your local bank. The independent banker will
also work much harder to serve your needs as more often than not they are paid on
a commission schedule and not a bank salary. It is important to shop around when
you are getting a loan. The Internet is an excellent place to find people to assist
you in financing needs.
If you go to a branch of your local
bank, it is important to know that the nature of bank profitability is changing.
Banks have a proclivity toward people that are willing to offer them more business
than just standard banking. Fees are now a much more important aspect of today’s
banking world since more often than not a bank will typically sell the loans that
they offer to you. Our discussion about banking will be expanded in the real estate
* * *
This is not a complete list of the
people you may come across while building your business. If your business is involved
with investing in real estate, you will encounter several other professionals that
will assist you in the purchase, rental, and sale of income producing properties.
Today, the benefits of the increased availability of financial information via the
Internet have made the access to capital markets much more available to the entrepreneur.