Ordinary CPA vs Trusted Advisor: What’s the Difference?

Filed under: The Advisor's Blog

shake-handsIn his original article published in the Rochester Business Journal (January, 2008), Thomas Bonadio recalls his early days in his career as a CPA. Describing his limited duties, Bonadio says, “We conducted audits and other types of financial reviews. We prepared taxes. And we were bookkeepers”.

Times have changed, however, and the career of a CPA who transitions into a Trusted Advisor is now much more personally rewarding. Today it is recognized that businesses and organizations view their Trusted Advisors as not simply bookkeepers or tax experts, but as vital members of the team.

But what is the difference?

In a nutshell, a Trusted Advisor is expected to help their firm reach three goals: asset growth, asset protection, and compliance. These goals cannot be reached without a fully integrated team, in which the CPA steps out from behind his desk to develop strong relationship and resources that serve the best interests of the business.

To assist in asset growth, the Trusted Advisor is well versed in not only the financial aspects of running a business, but the personal aspects as well. This is a person who has grown beyond their knowledge of tax codes and investment strategies, and is able to counsel clients and even arbitrate disputes.

Protecting assets requires strategic thinking, and access to a variety of resources which assist in sound decision making. Such resources include staying in touch with legislative changes, changes within the industry, and new regulations and procedures. The Trusted Advisor also develops the resources to help their organization through transitory periods, such as estate planning or transfers of business assets.

When it comes to compliance, the Trusted Advisor doesn’t simply offer tax advice. He can be counted upon to think creatively and counsel his team on ways to minimize the tax burden, without compromising integrity or compliance.

When a CPA transitions in this way to a Trusted Advisor, it is easy to see why businesses and other organizations count them as an indispensable asset to the entire team. Becoming a vital asset in this way benefits the organization, and ensures job security and success for the Trusted Advisor.

Source: http://www.bonadio.com/difference-between-ordinary-cpa-and-trusted-advisor

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