Questions about CPA firms? We have the answers.

We have compiled a list of questions we get asked most often about Smith Schafer and the CPA industry.

WHAT is the difference between a CPA firm and an accounting firm?

CPAs are trusted professionals offering high-level analysis and long-view recommendations encompassing every financial picture detail. CPAs have passed a rigorous examination and have met high standards of education.  Learn more.


  • Hold an undergraduate degree
  • Complete up to 150 semester hours of education
  • Pass a comprehensive, rigorous four-section, qualifying examination
  • Meet strict state licensing guidelines
  • Fulfill 120 hours of continuing professional education every three years
  • Abide by a code of professional ethics

Are there things I should consider before talking with a CPA?

Yes. Prior to meeting with a CPA, you should ask yourself the following questions:


  • What is the most challenging part of your job right now? What are your pains?
  •  What are you most concerned about in the future? What keeps you awake at night?
  • Where is your business doing well and where are you struggling?
  • Do you need help with financial issues, individual or corporate tax returns, retirement, estate, or wealth management planning?
  • Will you need financial statements prepared for your business? Do those statements be audited?
  • Do you want to do as much as possible in-house, or are you considering outsourcing some of your bookkeeping, accounting and/or CFO functions?
  • What do you expect from your CPA and business advisors?
  • What is your budget for CPA services?

Should I consult a CPA if I am starting a new business?

Yes. Oftentimes, business owners do not think about taxes or accounting until it is too late. It is not a surprise given the time demands and attention needed to start and run a business, manage issues, and maintain strong client relationships. While all of these are important, it is essential to discuss accounting systems, budgets, entity structure, and much more with a CPA before starting a business. Learn more.


We have proactively developed a full-service team to address industry-specific and organizational challenges. We have the experience to communicate clear expectations with our clients, and we work hard behind the scenes to deliver clean, quality results. We are focused on the best advice for every situation, presented in a timely and simple way that solves or avoids problems for our clients.


Our services are designed to help clients achieve their business goals.

Smith Schafer is an ongoing source to help you grow your business with strategies for tax savings, increased profits and new opportunities. We will help you develop a strong plan so you will be in a better position to control costs, build management consensus and respond to opportunities. 


We are here for you 12 months a year, not just during tax season. Whether you have a tax question, need advice on a business decision’s tax implications, or want clarification on a government notice, we are here to help. A well-rounded, high-energy group of professionals are ready to give you the right answers to the issues that concern you most. Our accounting professionals take the time to understand you and your business, so you know you are in good hands.

For your business’s success, it is important to stay informed year-round with current business, industry, accounting, and tax news. Tax laws change constantly, and business owners do not always have the time to keep up with all the new regulations. Smith Schafer can be a valuable resource, helping you stay atop the latest developments.


Where is Smith Schafer certified public ACCOUNTANTS & consultants located?