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updated: 11/13/2020 4:32 PM

Redefining how businesses work with their CPA

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  • Mary Lynn Hoffer

    Mary Lynn Hoffer

By Mary Lynn Hoffer

The year 2020 has not been what any of us expected.

We were all thrown for a loop in March when COVID-19 upended our workdays, businesses, and social entertainment. Every professional is questioning how they can utilize their skills to help others get to the other side of the pandemic, and Certified Public Accountants are no different.

Even before the pandemic, CPAs wanted to redefine what a CPA meant to their clients. They see the need to assist in planning for the future in a consultative manner and be there when their clients navigate through uncertainty as they make big decisions impacting their business.

How a CPA can help during this time

1. Cash flow analysis and projections

Clients in the restaurant, bar, hospitality and entertainment spaces are having the hardest time right now, but many others might find themselves in trouble months later. A CPA can help analyze the current financial situation and set up projection models for down the line -- as well as recommend if it makes sense to seek financing or a line of credit.

2. Outsourced accounting functions

Businesses in the middle of a growth cycle may find themselves unable to hire a full-time employee during the pandemic, or simply might need extra help with their financials. CPAs can offer outsourced accounting to help a company keep their books up to date, create reports and perform other financial functions so business leaders can focus on other areas of the business being impacted by the pandemic.

3. Tax strategy

CPAs look to minimize tax liability for businesses by identifying tax savings opportunities and credits. A tax strategy includes a holistic approach for corporate and partnership tax, state and local tax, gift, estate, and trust, sales and use tax, and payroll tax as well as individual tax implications.

4. Paycheck Protection Program forgiveness

Many companies were able to seek financial help with the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The most attractive part of the PPP is that businesses could seek 100% forgiveness of the loan if they meet certain criteria. CPAs help guide clients through the forgiveness process and continuously keep up with current announcements from the Small Business Administration. This process continues to evolve.

Collaborating with your CPA and coming up with a plan and process helps you and your company be proactive in making decisions based on solid data and information as you navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic. DHJJ's team of CPAs has extensive experience in customizing plans for companies and their management teams.

• Mary Lynn Hoffer is principal at DHJJ.