Your business is growing, and your tax return is getting increasingly complicated. Maybe you’re doing business across several state lines. Whatever the reason, you might be wondering if now is the time to hire an accountant or CPA for your lawn care bookkeeping. But how do you know for sure if you need a professional account? What kind should you hire to best serve your business? Where would you even find a CPA? To help address these questions, we partnered with the CPAs at FuelCred to get some insight.
How do I know if I need a CPA?
Let’s first answer that with a question for you: why do your clients hire you rather than try to maintain their properties themselves? It’s because you have the skills to get the job done right, on time, and on budget.
Finance, tax, and accounting specialists are no different. They’re experts in their field just like you. While filing taxes is relatively straightforward for most taxpayers, it’s not quite as simple for those who are self-employed, who are expected to pay estimated tax on a quarterly basis.
What makes bookkeeping for your lawn care business more complicated? Here are the top 10 reasons (in no particular order) why you might want to consult a CPA:
- You currently hire, or plan to hire employees or contractors
- You pay your workers as independent contractors
- You perform services across state lines or sell products in several different states
- You do business overseas
- You offer multiple products or services in your business (e.g. mowing, sodding, etc.)
- You want to open a retirement account for you or your employees
- You plan on selling all or part of your business
- You want to change your business entity or know which corporate structure is right for you
- You haven’t filed taxes in one or more prior years
- Your revenue (and hence your tax liability) is greater vs. prior years
If any of these describe your business then you may want to consult an accountant sooner rather than later.
What Kind of Accountant Should I Use for My Lawn Care Business?
Now that you’ve determined that you need an accountant for lawn care bookkeeping, you need to decide what type of accountant or CPA you should use. Believe it or not, not all CPAs offer the same services. In fact some CPAs don’t even prepare tax returns. But choosing the right accountant doesn’t have to be rocket science.
We recommend seeking an accountant who handles other lawn care clients. Landscapers should look for a CPA who knows and understands the tax and accounting needs that are typical in the industry such as fuel tax credits, landscaping business tax deductions, etc. This will ensure you’re not only staying compliant but are also cashing in on all possible tax credits and deductions available in your industry.
How Do I Find the Right Lawn Care Accountant?
Now that you know you need a CPA and you have a good idea of the type of bookkeeper that you want to consult with, it’s time to select a service provider. Finding the right accountant today is easier than ever with the internet. You can find and rate CPAs in your area by industry with the click of a button. If you prefer a more personal approach, you can ask other folks who own or operate a landscaping business like yours and see who they use.
In looking for a lawn care accountant, you should consider choosing a CPA who embraces technology, is writing articles for trade journals and online publications that matter to you, and who is well-known and respected in your industry. Your accountant should be more than a tax preparer or bookkeeper; they should be a trusted advisor. They should not only keep you up-to-date on the latest tax issues, but also help you automate your bookkeeping and transform your practice to increase your bottom line.
Find out about if your business qualifies for a fuel tax refund here.