'Fockerizing' Your Circle of Trust
Hopefully, you’ve seen the movie Meet the Parents, so you understand the blog title. Nonetheless, establishing a “Circle of Trust” and adding key advisors into it is important for any business owner. A lot of what I do as a broker is reliant on several other successful relationships my client has. One key advisor I recommend is a Certified Public Accountant or CPA. For construction business owners, having a CPA with experience in tax, accounting and consulting services unique to the construction industry is particularly important. Here's why:
- Financial statements need to be prepared in a manner specific to bonding companies and banks to maximize surety and financing terms and conditions.
- Simply, it could make a big difference in your company’s profitability.
- It could make a substantial difference in the amount of money put in your pocket after taxes.
- It can profoundly impact your quality-of-life and ease of doing business; depending upon your CPAs ability to help set up and manage your systems, plan for the future, assist with the IRS, assist with estate planning, help with job/project budgeting and costing, act as a confidant for business counsel, etc.., it can make a huge difference in your success and overall satisfaction with your business.
For recommendations, consult other trusted advisors (lawyers, insurance brokers…etc.), contractors in your field or relevant associations you’re a part of. Then, to ensure a CPA has expertise in the construction industry and fits your exact needs, ask these questions:
- Do you have experience in construction, specifically general contracting or a subcontracting trade? If so, have them explain.
- What’s the typical size of your clientele? See if it’s similar to yours.
- Do you participate in associations, webinars, seminars, publications or charitable organizations dedicated or frequented by the construction industry? If so, ask for references and review any available materials.
- Can you send me existing client references? This will help you determine if the CPA can be trusted, their reputation and responsiveness.
- What’s your commitment to continuing education and assisting with ongoing changes in the industry? Ensure they have the ability to keep you up-to-date on important legislation or information that will impact your business’ finances.
- Do you have the resources to handle all current and future technical accounting, tax and business planning issues? You want a CPA that can handle a vast majority of your needs, if not all.
- What are your fees? Remember, the lowest price is not usually going to provide the best product or service
These are just a few thoughts and ideas when growing your construction business. The most relevant point is the recognition of the significance of this trusted adviser relationship and spending an adequate amount of time doing the proper due diligence to ensure you’re partnered with the right CPA.