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Need Accounting Help? Here Are the People for the Job

“Our small business needs an accountant!”

We certainly agree, though we admit to being a little biased. But it’s also not that simple.

Some businesses need more accounting help than others. And the type of accounting help you need will ultimately determine what kind of accountant (or other tax- or numbers-centric specialist) you need.

So if you’ve determined that your small business does need some accounting help, let us help you with the next step: Figuring out exactly what kind of help you need to enlist.

Accounting, Tax & Other Financial Professionals

No, not all accountants are built the same. Various types of accountants have different specialties and levels of training — factors that should help guide your search for the right partner.

Here are a few examples of the types of financially minded individuals you’ll come across:

Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

A CPA is an accountant that has been licensed by a state board of accountancy — so effectively, the “CPA” is a professional designation. And while a CPA is indeed an accountant, they often have a number of other financial skills as well, ranging from tax prep to financial planning to even consulting on litigation and other matters. In some cases, CPAs are the only types of professionals legally allowed to prepare certain financial statements for your firm.

Chartered Accountant (CA)

This is an international designation similar to a CPA. Like with the CPA, the CA exists to prove that an accountant is qualified to handle certain financial duties, such as tax preparation and auditing financial statements.


All CPAs are accountants, but not all accountants are CPAs. Typically, the benchmark for being considered an accountant is earning a bachelor’s degree in the field. A non-CPA accountant might (but might not necessarily) have less experience and/or a narrower field of knowledge compared to a regular CPA.

Forensic accountant

Forensic accountants are a specialized subset of accountant whose primary job is to sniff out fraud, money laundering, bribery, and other financial crimes. Law agencies will often employ forensic accountants to scour financial records in search of evidence of potential crimes. However, companies will also hire these professionals to conduct internal investigations.

Tax preparer

A tax preparer does exactly what the name indicates: They help individuals and businesses fill out tax forms and often file them on your behalf. They’ll also help you determine estimated tax refunds or, for taxpayers who must pay quarterly, estimate tax payments.

Tax planner

A tax planner takes a longer-term view of your taxes, helping you plan out strategies for the year ahead. For instance, they’ll typically position you to capture various tax credits and deductions. A tax planner often may also help prepare your taxes every year.


Rather than focusing on taxes, a bookkeeper is more of an everyday financial organizer. They’re charged with keeping accurate records of financial transactions, and often managing accounts receivable and accounts payable. Think of this as the legwork that allows accountants to do the more subjective, analytical tasks they’re assigned.

Can We Help You With Your Business Accounting Needs?

In a word, yes: In a number of ways.

McManamon & Co., and its licensed professionals, are capable of helping with numerous small- and midsize business accounting needs. We offer a wide array of accounting services (including training your own accounting team), tax preparation and planning services, and even outsourced CFO services.

Find out more about what we have to offer you today! Reach out to us at 440.892.8900 or contact us online.

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