Tag Archives: Accountant

Financial statements tell your business’s story, inside and out

Ask many entrepreneurs and small business owners to show you their financial statements and they’ll likely open a laptop and show you their bookkeeping software. Although tracking financial transactions is critical, spreadsheets aren’t financial statements.

In short, financial statements are detailed and carefully organized reports about the financial activities and overall position of a business. As any company evolves, it will likely encounter an increasing need to properly generate these reports to build credibility with outside parties, such as investors and lenders, and to make well-informed strategic decisions.

These are the typical components of financial statements:

Income statement. Also known as a profit and loss statement, the income statement shows revenues and expenses for a specified period. To help show which parts of the business are profitable (or not), it should carefully match revenues and expenses.

Balance sheet. This provides a snapshot of a company’s assets and liabilities. Assets are items of value, such as cash, accounts receivable, equipment and intellectual property. Liabilities are debts, such as accounts payable, payroll and lines of credit. The balance sheet also states the company’s net worth, which is calculated by subtracting total liabilities from total assets.

Cash flow statement. This shows how much cash a company generates for a particular period, which is a good indicator of how easily it can pay its bills. The statement details the net increase or decrease in cash as a result of operations, investment activities (such as property or equipment sales or purchases) and financing activities (such as taking out or repaying a loan).

Retained earnings/equity statement. Not always included, this statement shows how much a company’s net worth grew during a specified period. If the business is a corporation, the statement details what percentage of profits for that period the company distributed as dividends to its shareholders and what percentage it retained internally.

Notes to financial statements. Many if not most financial statements contain a supplementary report to provide additional details about the other sections. Some of these notes may take the form of disclosures that are required under Generally Accepted Accounting Principles — the most widely used set of accounting rules and standards. Others might include supporting calculations or written clarifications.

Financial statements tell the ongoing narrative of your company’s finances and profitability. Without them, you really can’t tell anyone — including yourself — precisely how well you’re doing. We can help you generate these reports to the highest standards and then use them to your best advantage.

© 2019

Why Hire a CPA?

by Brittany Spragins

When looking to hire an accountant to prepare your taxes or perform an audit, you want to ensure that you select a CPA for several reasons.  When you see the CPA designation, you are assured a level of quality that surpasses the average accountant. CPA seal

Every state maintains its own standards and criteria for becoming a CPA.  According to the NC State Board of Accountancy, the use of the CPA designation is granted only to individuals “who meet the statutory requirements” of NCGS 93-12.  These requirements include passing all four sections of the CPA exam, receiving a minimum level of college education with an emphasis in accounting, an accounting law course that covers ethics, professionalism, and professional responsibility, and appropriate work experience.  When the CPA submits his or her application, it must be accompanied by 3 letters of recommendation to indicate “good moral character.”

When selecting a CPA, you are assured that,

“a CPA should at all times maintain independence of thought and action, hold the affairs of clients in strict confidence, strive continuously to improve professional skills, observe generally accepted principles and standards, promote sound and informative financial reporting, uphold the dignity and honor of the accounting profession, and maintain high standards of personal conduct.” -www.NCCPABoard.gov

In North Carolina, it is against the law to use the CPA title without the state’s approval that you meet its qualifications.  Part of the benefits to the client is that the NC CPA Board establishes consumer confidence since it instills peer reviews of the CPA’s work.  It also provides enforcement of professional ethics and code of conduct to ensure client confidence.

Whether you hire Langdon and Company LLP to assist you on a personal or corporate level, you can have the confidence that you are hiring a CPA firm that upholds the highest levels of professional and ethical standards, maintains excellent working knowledge of the tax and assurance current events, and is a focused on a personal relationship with the client.

For more information on CPA’s, you can visit the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) website www.aicpa.org or the NC State Board of Accountancy website www.nccpaboard.gov

Brittany (bspragins@langdoncpa.com) is a staff member of Langdon & Company LLP’s tax practice.  She focuses primarily on high net-wealth individual returns and their closely-held companies.