Questions We Are Frequently Asked

Why Should I Choose A CPA? 
One advantage of working with CPAs is that we speak your language. We live and work in your community and grapple with the same economic issues you do. Each practitioner is trained to complete tasks as complex as evaluating a business’s options for expansion and as simple as routine tax preparation. Because we apply our skills every day in real-life situations, we are adept at untangling financial as well as non-financial puzzles and illustrating the total picture to help you meet your goals.

What Is a CPA?
CPAs are distinguished from other accounting practitioners by strict licensing regulations. To become a CPA, it’s necessary to pass a rigorous two-day national exam and meet stringent experience requirements in addition to completing a five-year course of study in a college or university. To maintain their licenses, CPAs pursue continuing professional education that keeps them current with the latest business and related issues. When you work with a CPA, you can be assured that he or she has mastered a significant body of specialized knowledge. CPAs function as advisers to individuals, businesses, financial institutions, not-for-profit organizations and government agencies on a wide range of financial and related matters.

CPAs also are governed by a strict code of professional ethics that emphasizes the CPA’s commitment to serving the public and protecting the public interest. One of the most demanding found in any field, this code embodies the hallmarks of the accounting profession: competence, independence, objectivity, and integrity.

In addition, CPA firms regularly undergo independent reviews by their peers in the profession to ensure that their services and procedures meet high quality control standards.

Finally, CPAs are consistently on the cutting edge of the financial world, leading the way in the technology revolution and continually seeking valuable, new information-based services that will benefit individual and business clients.

Fromholz, Paauwe & Baker is proud of its heritage and commitment to the CPA profession, and we’re proud of the level of service it allows us to provide to our clients.

What Services Do CPAs Offer? 
CPAs are very good at anticipating and creating opportunities for their clients. They might be able to help you lower your tax burden or take advantage of an overlooked business option. Business owners and managers consult CPAs for help in creating strategic plans, updating information systems and assessing new opportunities, as well as for auditing and accounting services. Individuals turn to CPAs for assistance with tax preparation as well as with personal finance issues such as retirement and estate analysis. Business and individual clients alike can be assured of confidentiality because of the strict code of conduct that CPAs follow.

When Should I Select a CPA? 
The general rule for determining whether you should hire any professional is if (1) they have expertise you need but personally lack or (2) you have the expertise, but they can do what they do more efficiently than you can do it.

For example, suppose you know how to prepare your own financial statements and tax forms. If, however, you lose business because you are too busy doing your own accounting work, you will have to determine whether the lost business is greater than the cost of hiring a CPA. If it is, you should hire the CPA.

How should I select a CPA? 
The process of selecting a CPA requires careful consideration of several criteria. As a trusted financial advisor, your CPA will work closely with you or your company on a variety of issues, so you want to be sure you are confident in your selection. Among the important criteria you should evaluate in selecting a CPA are experience, education, training, resources, areas of concentration, professional and community involvement, size of firm, and price.

Consider, too, whether the person’s business style and attitude match your own, be it formal or informal, conservative or aggressive. A long-term working relationship between you and your CPA can offer you an informed, consistent approach to personal and business financial issues, so compatibility is important.

What is Peer Review? 
CPA firms regularly undergo independent reviews by their peers in the profession to ensure that their services and procedures meet high quality control standards. The AICPA expanded the peer review program in 1988 to encompass all CPA firms regardless of size. The program is a triennial program of unprecedented scope in the CPA profession. Peer review helps assure users of CPA services that their firm measures up to the profession’s high standards of professionalism and is committed to improving the quality of its practice.

The review determines whether a firm has suitable quality control policies and procedures and whether it is complying with them. Specifically, the review focuses on the following: How the firm implements independence requirements; How personnel are assigned; Provisions for consultation when technical assistance is required; How accounting and auditing engagements are performed and supervised; Hiring practices; Continuing education programs; Promotion of personnel; Obtaining and retaining clients; Internal inspection of the firm’s work

Fromholz, Paauwe & Baker is proud of its record of accomplishment of successive unmodified reviewer’s opinions. In other words, our reviewers found no adverse practices or policies to report – the best a firm can achieve!

How can I get the Most Value From a CPA’s Services? 
We have these suggestions on how you can made the best use of our services and get the most value for your money:

  • Be prepared to discuss your plans and objectives. We can most effectively advise you and serve your best interest when we understand your goals.
  • Gather all relevant personal and business financial information so you can give us a clear picture and so we can ask specific questions.
  • Be clear and candid about what you expect from our services.
  • To save yourself unnecessary fees, keep good records to keep our time performing routine work to a minimum.
  • Keep us informed of changes in your professional and personal life. A marriage or divorce, the birth of a child, an inheritance, a career change or a generous bonus can have a significant impact on your tax liability and financial goals.

What Makes Fromholz, Paauwe & Baker Different? 
Our philosophy of total client focus speaks of a commitment to our clients to generate a reward that is greater than the monetary commitment made for our services. As business, accounting and tax advisors, we can evaluate your entire business and will listen as you share your future goals with us. We troubleshoot existing problems and make recommendations to help you correct them. We also look at the long-term picture and help you to plan for your future and the future of your business. That includes everything from setting up your information systems to helping you develop succession plans for when you retire. As you can see, accounting and tax return services are only a small part of what we can do for you and your business.

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Fromholz, Paauwe & Baker, P.C., 5080 West Bristol Road, Flint, Michigan 48507 | Phone: (810)733-3450 | Fax: (810) 733-3736