Our firm offers a wide range of services to our individual, business, nonprofit, and employee benefit clients. Being a relatively small firm, we are able to offer our clients personalized quality service. Because of our size and firm structure we are able to provide our services at a competitive price without sacrificing quality. Below, we have listed the services that we offer to our clients along with a brief description.
Our services are designed to meet the needs of business owners, stakeholders, regulators, and the users of the financial statements, reports, and tax returns. We will help you determine which type of service is appropriate for your needs and keep the associated costs in line with your budget. Each engagement will be specifically tailored to ensure the efficient use of professional personnel and the timely delivery of our reports and tax returns with as little disruption as possible to your staff and employees.
As the list below is by no means all-inclusive, please feel free to inquire about a service if you do not see it listed.
(Click service title for details.)
Accounting & Assurance Services
Auditing services are the highest level of independent CPA services available. Some of the procedures required by an outside CPA in an audit environment include confirmation of bank balances, review and verification of bank reconciliations, confirmation and testing of accounts receivable and investment balances, confirmation and notes payable, lines of credit, security agreements and the testing compliance with debt covenants. Additionally we will review the minutes of Board of Director and Committee minutes, and we may obtain a letter of representation from the client's attorney, and much, much more.
The auditor's goal is to determine whether the financial statements are free of material misstatement. An audit requires extensive inquiry and study of the organization's policies, procedures, systems, and operations and financial management. If during our audit we determine weaknesses in the organization's system of internal control, or areas where operating procedures can be improved, we will report those findings to management and those charged with overall governance of the organization.
While our firm's shareholder has provided auditing services to numerous companies and organizations, in a variety of industries, he has developed two particular niche areas. These niche areas are:
- Nonprofit Organization Audits
- Employee Benefit Plan Audits - In particular the audit of defined contribution retirement plans such as 401(k) and profit sharing plans, both full-scope audits and limited-scope audits as permitted in some instances by the Department of Labor.
A review is conducted when a lower and limited degree of assurance than an audit is acceptable, yet when the user wants to know that a professional has performed some analysis of the financial statements. A review is significantly smaller in scope than an audit and thus much less expensive. Reviews are frequently requested by banks or insurance companies issuing performance bonds who want a higher degree of service or verification than a compilation, which is discussed next, but not the full extent and cost of an audit.
A review consists predominantly of an assessment of the organization's books and records through the performance of inquiry and analytical procedures. The analytical procedures include ratio analysis, the comparison of your organization's operating statistics to prior periods and operating budgets, or perhaps to industry averages, as well as other financial analyses deemed appropriate.
The lowest level of assurance or attestation services a CPA may provide is a compilation. Essesentially, a compilation is when a CPA compiles the books and records of an organization without the performance of any substantive procedures or independent verification or confirmation of any account balances.
Thus a compilation is solely the representation of the organization's management as no verification or procedures of balances sheet or income statement accounts are performed. Also management has the option to also exclude from compiled financial statements all related footnotes. Additionally, management use only financial statements can be issued without an accountant's report in some circumstances. Ommission of the financial statement footnotes and a report are not permissible under the levels of accounting and assurance services.
An agreed-upon procedures engagement is one in which a CPA is engaged by a client to perform specific procedures and to report findings. The CPA does not perform an examination or provide an opinion relating to the subject matter or assertion about the subject matter. Rather the CPA performs only the procedures that have been agreed upon and determined by the client to serve its needs and to report on the findings after the procedures are performed.
Typically, an agreed-upon procedures engagement arises when clients need the practitioner's involvement, but do not want a compilation, review, or an audit. The specified users of the report are determined and the client determines the procedures required to meet the specified users needs. Examples of specified users may be absentee owners, banks, and regulatory agencies.
Our significant investment in computerized tax preparation and research software enables us to accurately and efficiently prepare returns for various types of entities including individuals, corporations, partnerships, trusts, estates, and not-for-profit organizations.
Tax planning is an essential element of the tax preparation process. By making tax planning part of your overall business strategy, you can use our experience and access to the most current new developments in the tax laws to minimize both your current and future tax liabilities.
Sales Tax Services
Many of our clients are responsible for collecting and submitting sales taxes in many different vicinities. We can assist your company in the compilation of information and preparation of sales tax returns in an efficient and timely manner.
Business Entity Selection
Choosing the form of entity of your business (e.g. "S" corporation, sole proprietor, limited liability company…) is a crucial decision that can have longstanding tax implications, positive or negative. We can assist you in evaluating the pros and cons of each entity type to help you determine the most advantageous form of business for your company.
Expert Witness Services
Pending or existing litigation can result in the need for a qualified professional to present his/her opinion to support or oppose evidence submitted to the court. Our level of competence allows us the opportunity to function as expert witnesses in such cases, especially in the areas of accounting and auditing issues.
Our firm's shareholder, Paul J. Fitzgerald, is a qualified peer reviewer under the peer review standards issued by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). As such he is allowed to perform and serve as a team captain of peer reviews of other CPA firms that have accounting and auditing practices.
There are two types of peer reviews that firms having an accounting and auditing practice are requried to have every three years depending on the nature of the firm's engagement as follows:
- A System Review is a review that determines if a firm's system of quality control over its accounting and auditing practice is designed and complied with to provide the firm with reasonable assurance of performing and reporting on its engagements in accordance with all applicable professional standards. This type of review is required by firms that perform audit engagements. In a System Review the reviewer tests the firm's system of quality control over its accounting and auditing practice by interviewing firm personnel and examining administrative files. Additionally, the reviewer will test a reasonable cross-section of the firm's engagements with a focus on high-risk engagements to determine if they are performed and reported on in accordance with professional standards.
- An Engagement Review is available for firms that do not perform audit engagements and which the highest level of service is a review engagement. Such firm's have the option of having a System review as described above, but most often they choose to have an Engagement Review as it is not as stringent as a System Review and thus less costly. In an Engagement Review the firm submits selected engagements to the reviewer and the reviewer determines if the the financial statements, related accountant's report, and documentation for the type of engagements submitted conform to professional standards. This type of review does not cover the firm's system of quality control.