The Benefits Of A Dually-Licensed CPA
There are many situations that require the assistance of a skilled financial advisor and even more where professional guidance is beneficial. From improving your credit rating and reducing debt to starting a business or managing real estate, having an experienced accountant you can turn to can save you many headaches in the future.
However, selecting the right advisor for you can be taxing, as the financial field includes countless different specializations and credentials.
A good bet for most is to start your search with a Certified Public Accountant, the most versatile, trusted and recognized financial designation out there due to the rigorous study and comprehensive accounting knowledge that is required.
But even CPAs have certain limitations in their ability to assess and represent all your financial needs — particularly when they cross over into areas of law.
A more diverse skillset
With all the overlap between the legal and financial worlds, a dually-licensed Attorney-CPA is by far the superior choice to offer a more complete range of services due to their broad perspective and extensive education.
Many dually-licensed Attorney-CPAs achieve both certifications, but end up practicing primarily one field over the other due to their personal preference. By retaining a practicing CPA who carries a law degree, you increase the services your financial professional can potentially offer.
For example, lawyers can specialize in a diverse range of legal fields. A common area for attorneys to practice is the preparation and execution of trusts, and while CPAs may have some estate-planning knowledge, they typically will not have the legal familiarity to accurately advise on this subject.
However, a dually-qualified Attorney-CPA will have studied estate planning and trusts in law school and may have even practiced in that field at some point over the course of their career.
Should you have the desire to find out more about the financial implications of a trust or have the desire to set one up, you would not have to seek out a new professional — you could feel confident that your CPA is qualified to offer well-informed and educated advice regarding the specific details of this complex financial device.
A more versatile financial professional
Another benefit to the dually-licensed Attorney-CPA is in the realm of tax preparation and defense, a common reason many seek out a CPA.
Both tax attorneys and CPAs offer services in this area and their expertise can overlap, but each performs distinct tasks. For example, CPAs are often responsible for the preparation of tax returns and submission to the IRS, whereas the tax attorney specializes in specific legal ramifications of the overall tax planning process.
The separation between these services becomes more distinct when a case must be taken before the IRS. While your standard CPA may be useful in helping to build your case since they most likely prepared the returns, a tax attorney is better equipped to represent clients in the courtroom.
A dually-licensed Attorney-CPA has education and training in both fields, so they can potentially save you the trouble (and cost) of hiring a second professional should you ever be investigated by the IRS.
While a CPA is qualified to handle a wide variety of financial issues, the addition of a law degree adds an extra layer of versatility. When considering which financial professional is right for you, there are a number of aspects you need to consider given your specific circumstances.
However, you would always want to find the most qualified individual when it comes to something as important as securing your financial future. In this case, a dually-qualified Attorney-CPA is your best option since they offer a more comprehensive range of services with the education to back it up