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Before you took the great leap of faith to own your own business, maybe you worked for a big company.

And maybe it wasn’t your “calling” to work for someone else – you might even have hated it! But no matter how you feel about being an employee, one thing you have to appreciate about a big company is the collective brain power of the executive team.

Without a doubt, executives are often the primary subject of jokes told in the employee break room. And, equally true, there are highly-paid executives out there who seem to be richly deserving of the ridicule they suffer.

But the leader of even a medium-sized firm has thought partners – people right there on the executive team who have the experience and training to enable them to give smart advice to help drive key business decisions.

These advisors don’t always get it right… but they’re in their positions because, over the course of a career in business, they’ve hit more than they’ve missed.

Not sure which IT system the firm should invest in? The CEO (“Chief Executive Officer”) can often get great direction from his or her CIO (“Chief Information Officer”).

Debating a change in the company’s product or service offerings? Give the CMO (“Chief Marketing Officer”) a call.

And, of course, almost any company with more than a couple of handfuls of employees has a CFO (“Chief Financial Officer”) to help advise the CEO on such matters as investment and taxation.

That’s a luxury the small business owner doesn’t have.

Unless they have a strong, trust-based relationship with their business accounting firm.

A great CPA firm that specializes in helping small businesses is an invaluable asset to the owner of a small enterprise (or to the solo entrepreneur).

Maybe the “little guy” doesn’t have a highly-paid CFO to turn to for accounting-related advice… but a good relationship with a great CPA can fill that role quite nicely.

And, often, quite affordably.

Just about any business owner will turn to a professional accounting firm when it’s time to file their periodic business tax returns.

But a good accountant can do so much more for your business.

From the very start, a good CPA can help you establish just the right chart of accounts to keep your company’s books straight and buttoned-up… specifically tailored to the needs of your business and the standards of your particular industry.

And if you don’t have a bookkeeper on staff (or don’t have the expertise or inclination to do it yourself), often your accountant can do your business’s routine bookkeeping for you.

If you started your company with good intentions and great organization – but became too overwhelmed by other business demands to maintain a clean set of books – your accountant can often help you catch up and get things back in shape.

Naturally, you’ll want to continue engaging your accountant for your firm’s routine tax filings… but a good CPA firm will also be ready with wise advice to help you plan for – and minimize – your tax liability. After all, who knows your business better than your accountant?

Your CPA can also provide a wealth of information and advice to help drive your business decisions at key “inflection points” of your company’s growth. From inventory to marketing… from investments to key account development… don’t be afraid to ask your CPA for their thoughts on the best direction for your firm.

You can trust your accountant for more than just tax filings. Your CPA has the expertise and deep experience to be a great advisor for your small business. They’ve seen it all. And they’re very familiar with your specific business… its strengths and vulnerabilities… its threats and opportunities. As CEO – even if you are also your company’s entire workforce – when you have a strong relationship with your accountant, you can be confident that great advice is just a phone call away.