Business Manager or CPA? You be the Judge

As a real estate agent you are busy wearing a multitude of hats, from home and neighborhood expert, to chief marketing officer, market analyst and therapist. You cannot expect to know the ins and outs of tax codes and deductions and other tax related obligations. As an entrepreneur you want to be able to manage your finances efficiently, retaining as much profit as possible. You may not have thought of a CPA as one of your best financial partners but a CPA can offer insight to your business structure, help provide protection from financial and tax obligations. In some cases CPA’s can even help you manage your own real estate investments.

Investing in a CPA is one of the best business decisions you can make. It will relieve you of unnecessary stress and worry. They can partner with you as a business manager helping you manage payroll and your tax obligations.

You should spend some time to interview CPA’s to find the best match for you and your business. Be ready with a handful of questions:

  • What type of accounting do you specialize in? Who are some of your current clients? How long have your clients stayed with you?
  • Do you offer tax preparation?
  • How often are you available to meet or talk with me? How can I best reach you?
  • Can you assist in various phases of real estate investment, acquisition or sale of property?
  • What advice do you have for my business bookkeeping?
  • What is your fee structure?

CPA’s and Realtors: A Match Made in Heaven

As a CPA, I work with all kinds of business clients helping with both tax preparation, tax planning and identifying how to maximize tax benefits. Over the years, we have also had great success in working with real estate agents and their business planning.

A solid business plan will include a strategy around taxes keeping you in compliance and in good financial health. A CPA can demystify the current rules and guidelines for state and federal taxes. When you are working in a commission only industry and not enjoying an employer handling details around tax withholding it’s a great benefit to have someone provide insight about the best way to make sure you don’t get caught by surprise. If you are in business for yourself, you are an independent contractor and have the ability to claim business deductions on your tax return but this will involve planning and the tracking of allowable expenses.

We also work with our clients to analyze their overall financial picture. A financial review will offer insight to monthly expenses and opportunities for business deductions. We have helped figure out reserve accounts and know how to find ways to save on future obligations. There are a myriad of business discounts afforded to you as a realtor from car insurance, to office tools, technology and marketing services. We can offer decades of experience in helping you develop a solid financial business plan. It’s true that taking the time to write a plan and then following it is not always the most exciting part of owning your own business, however it is the critical component to your business that every successful realtor will tell you to include in your business.

Our firm has helped to navigate and align all the components of planning your business structure (sole proprietorship, LLC, etc.) to your internal processes of budgeting and planning (startup costs, operational costs, stabilizing your personal income and more). CPA’s can help you plan for cash flow bringing stability and growth to your business. Invite your CPA to help you develop your real estate business plan. You will soon realize it’s one of the most important and affordable investments you can make.