Five Questions With CPA Sponsor CLA (CliftonLarsonAllen)
At what stage should a founder/entrepreneur engage with a CPA firm like CLA?
As early as possible — ideally before the actual business formation. How your entity is structured has tax implications that can make a big difference in the company’s ability to reinvest in itself. The further along a company gets after entity selection, the more difficult it can be to correct any early mistakes.
We deal with private companies of all sizes, from pre-revenue to succession, and we can tell you first-hand that the early planners have much better success in reaching long-term goals, both professionally and personally.
What are the benefits of using a professional CPA firm like CLA?
You get a business advisor who not only knows the industry and the regulatory issues, like tax compliance, but who also gets to know you personally. So you feel comfortable picking up the phone and calling with any question whatsoever.
You get a sounding board and someone who takes your journey as an entrepreneur right alongside you — an ally who can be both supportive and cautionary. We don’t just serve your business; we pay close attention to what you need as its owner. We have abundant, multi-disciplinary resources across a variety of service lines that will cover your needs, no matter what size you are or will become.
What questions should a founder/entrepreneur consider when choosing the best CPA firm for their needs?
A firm that specializes in start-ups is a good choice, but also look closely at the professionals; make sure they take the long view on the relationship. Does the firm have all of the resources you’ll need as you grow? If your company outgrows your financial services provider, it can be disruptive to have to make a change later down the line.
How can an entrepreneur doing their own finances be prepared to work with CLA?
Just be prepared to tell us what you envision for the future. We deal with clients with all levels of financial sophistication. We are used to rolling up our sleeves and helping companies get the proper controls and regulatory reporting in place. Once we help get your financials in shape, we can start looking at bigger and better things together.
How much does it cost/how is pricing determined when using CLA?
We are willing to commit significant time to building the long-term relationship. Fees are all discussed upfront depending on the project, and we are sensitive to the cash-flow issues that are typical of start-ups. CLA is flexible on fee arrangements, and prices charged are customized to each client’s needs.