You don’t normally think of an accountant as being tasked with managing someone’s personal finances. Normally their services are needed by businesses that need to manage their cash flow and tax payments. But there are some people whose personal finances, investment accounts, and other assets in their name may be a little more difficult to manage all on their own. For these people, they may need to hire a personal accountant to make sure their money is being managed well. If you think you might need a personal accountant but aren’t sure yet, there’s six signs you should look for to see if you do.
1. You’re Ready To Start Your Own Business Or You’ve Become A Business Owner
While you probably already have a bookkeeper or use some form of bookkeeping software if you’ve started a business, a personal accountant can still be important to consult because usually you have to use your own savings or assets to start a business. There is a lot of advice on how to separate your personal finances from business finances, but a personal accountant may be able to understand your particular situation better. So if you’re going to be involved in business and taking startup costs into consideration, don’t forget to plan for personal accounting fees.
2. You’ve Run Into A Personal Tax Problem You Don’t Know How To Handle
For people filing individual taxes who don’t have too many write-offs and tax credits to look out for, doing their own tax work is usually no problems. But some people have much more difficult issues surrounding tax credits they could qualify for, or possibly giving to a lot of charities, having different personal expenses in the last year that they aren’t sure about qualifying as a deduction, or maybe the IRS has even sent letters about audits or payments that don’t seem correct. Sometimes life situations with large families, people going through divorces, and other issues that could need financial untangling need a personal accountant to handle in order to avoid tax problems.
3. You’ve Received That Dreaded IRS Audit Letter
The only thing worse than being stuck filing taxes is having them filed only to get a notice from the IRS that you’re being audited. In situations like this, you may want to hire a licensed accountant such as a CPA because they can handle these situations and are legally able to represent you. These cases are rare, but if it should happen to you, an accountant may be necessary.
4. The Time In Your Schedule Is So Limited And You Can Afford An Accountant
Maybe you have a job that requires traveling a lot or you just can’t ever seem to get the proper time set aside to get all your finances organized. Accountants organize finances, crunch numbers and find tax breaks for a living, so what you don’t have time for with finances, they do. Now many accounting firms and licensed tax preparers do charge by the hour and can get quite expensive. But if your money is best spent where your time cannot be in getting the books balanced and taxes filed, it can make sense to hire an accountant.
5. You’ve Won The Lottery Or Had A Large Inheritance Passed Down To You
Coming into possession of money or highly valuable assets the unconventional way can also have you asking questions about how to manage the situation. If you’ve won the lottery, you might wonder if you should receive your winnings in a lump sum or annuity. Maybe you’re unsure what you can do to best protect the new wealth your relative passed down to you when they passed away. Situations like these are definitely better handled with the assistance of an accountant.
6. You’re Heading Into Retirement And Need Help With Estate Planning
Retirement can also be a tricky part of life when you’re now cashing in on 401k, IRA, pensions or other investments you’ve made and making income changes. Maybe you’re also exiting a business, transferring your shares, selling off various properties you’ve owned or a variety of other things. This situation is also where an accountant can come in handy and help you get set for the next stage in life as well as planning your estate for after death.some guest rooms or larger areas for entertaining or dining.