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The Leadership Circle: When is the Right Time for a Bookkeeper, a CPA, and a CFO?

The Leadership Circle
December 21, 20224 min read

Business owners often wonder when it's the right time to hire a bookkeeper, CPA or CFO. If this is you, you’re not alone. Many entrepreneurs and small business owners struggle with this decision as they try to navigate their way through the ever-changing landscape of business finance. In this episode of the Leadership Circle, we bring expert, Jennifer Peek, online to answer this common question.

Meet Jennifer Peek:

Jennifer is the Founder of CFO School - helping CPAs become CFOs. She brings nearly 30 years of experience from corporate start-ups to serving as a CFO for mid-size companies.

Connect with Jennifer:

In this episode we'll cover...

Comparing the Roles: CPA, Bookkeeping, Accountant...

In this episode of the Leadership Circle, Jennifer Peek breaks down the difference between the various roles that entrepreneurs and business owners tend to get cloudy on. Their roles, while similar, have key differences - and it's important to know which one you need to hire and when. Refer to the video above for detailed descriptions of these roles. Jennifer gives an excellent breakdown in the first 9 minutes.

Here's a quick breakdown:

  • A CPA undergoes tons of education to obtain a certification - and that certification requires continued education and renewal. They can help you with tax strategy and planning.

  • A CFO is responsible for the big picture. They handle tracking cash flow and financial planning for the future.

  • A bookkeeper is primarily responsible for day-to-day record keeping and providing accurate financial data. They usually don’t provide tax advice or guidance on larger financial decisions such as investments or borrowing money.

When to Hire a Financial Expert

Knowing when you need professional help is essential. Jennifer recommends having financial professionals involved in your business as early as possible. As soon as you are collecting money and spending money, it's time to bring on team members that can actively manage those finances.

Utilizing Your Resources

CPA firms are equipped with the resources you need to help you understand employment taxes, sales taxes, and other business expenses that you may not be thinking about. Jennifer recommends taking advantage of their knowledge and resources to set yourself up for the most financial success long term. There are also sales tax specific firms and payroll firms that may be great starting points for business owners and entrepreneurs that are not quite ready to hire a full CPA firm.

The Questions to Ask your CPA Firm

Hiring a CPA firm is an important decision for any business owner, and it's essential to know the right questions to ask. Having the right information can help you make sure that you are getting the most out of your CPA services, and that they understand your specific needs. Knowing what questions to ask will ensure that you get all the answers you need to make an informed decision.

Here are the questions that Jennifer recommends asking a CPA firm before making your hire:

  • What's services do you offer to help me make business decisions?

  • Do you handle more than just tax planning and strategy?

  • Is this going to be a real partnership?

The CFO School

There are so many businesses that can benefit from having people with a CFO skillset. Jennifer noticed CEOs needing someone they could have a strategic financial conversation with that was backed with data and expertise in the field.

She also ran into several firms specializing in ONE area of financial planning. Their clients already had established a know, like, and trust factor - and began asking for additional services. However, they were not equipped with the knowledge and skillset to offer them additional services.

Jennifer saw this as a missed opportunity for these firms to scale their businesses. As a result, she founded the CFO School.

It's essential to understand the various financial roles when it comes to managing your business. Knowing which one you need and when is key for success in any venture. It is highly beneficial to hire an accountant or financial expert early on as soon as money starts coming in and out of the business. Additionally, as your business grows, having a strategic partner can help establish your company’s financial strategy beyond just payroll and tax planning.

Connect with Jennifer Peek:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jennifer.r.peek

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jenniferjpeek/

CFO School: https://www.thecfoschool.com

Peek Advisory: https://peekadvisory.com

Ryann Dowdy

Ryann Dowdy is a community builder and expert in sales. She's built multiple 7-figure businesses of her own - and helped hundreds of women successfully build the 6 and 7-figure businesses of their dreams. Women have been drawn to her programs not only for her incredible expertise, but also for the community and connection opportunities they find themselves missing in their everyday lives. Today, as founder of Be in the Room, Ryann's mission is to create a space for women to come together and be fearlessly themselves while empowering the next generation of female leaders.

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