AWARD-WINNING
MINNESOTA CPA Firm

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.

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

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

 

 

Q: WHAT ARE A CPA’S QUALIFICATIONS?

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Hold an undergraduate degree

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Complete up to 150 semester hours of education

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Pass a comprehensive, rigorous four-section, qualifying examination

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Meet strict state licensing guidelines

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Fulfill 120 hours of continuing professional education every three years

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Abide by a code of professional ethics

Q: ARE THEre THINGS I SHOULD CONSIDER BEFORE talking with a CPA?

A: Yes. Prior to meeting with a CPA, you should ask yourself the following questions:
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What is the most challenging part of your job right now? What are your pains?

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 What are you most concerned about in the future? What keeps you awake at night?

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Where is your business doing well and where are you struggling?

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Do you need help with financial issues, individual or corporate tax returns, retirement, estate, or wealth management planning?

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Will you need financial statements prepared for your business? Do those statements be audited?

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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?

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What do you expect from your CPA and business advisors?

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What is your budget for CPA services?

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

A: 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 prior to starting a business. Learn more.

Q: WHAT SERVICES DO A CPA FIRM OFFER?

A: 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. 

    Q: DO CPA firms PROVIDE YEAR-ROUND SERVICE?

    A: We are here for you 12 months a year, not just during tax season. Whether you have a simple tax question, need advice on the tax implications of a business decision, 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 the success of your business, 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.

     

    Q: Where is Smith Schafer certified public ACCOUNTANTS & consultants located?

     

    Why Clients Choose Us

    “I have worked with Smith Schafer directly and indirectly since 1979. I’ve always felt comfortable and confident in the work they do. Smith Schafer knows the law, the regulations and the rules that support our business.”

     - Bruce Dischinger, former VP & COO | Minnesota Coaches Group

    “Smith Schafer’s thorough internal audit of our processes and systems was a critical factor in helping our organization move forward with a decision to purchase practice management and medical records software. We purchased the software more than two years ago and have successfully managed the issues that Smith Schafer pointed out in the audit.”

     - Brad Lohrbach, Executive Director | Family Service Rochester

    “When Smith Schafer puts their name on something, you know it’s right. They’re honest. Anything that comes out of that firm is done at an A+ level.”

     - Steve Staats, COO/CFO | Hiawatha Homecare

    “I have a sense of trust and comfort with Smith Schafer. Reliability is a strong value for them along with honesty and integrity.”

     - Jo Reinhardt, CEO/President | Industrial Louvers, Inc.

    “When Smith Schafer makes recommendations or lays out our options, I am always confident that their analysis of the situation is thorough and correct. They don’t shoot from the hip.”

     - Brad Lohrbach, Executive Director | Family Service Rochester

    “We had a three-year, random tax audit for our largest company, and in the end we owed a very insignificant amount for a three-year period.  I believe that our clean, professional, and detailed accounting methods, along with advice/oversight from Smith Schafer (including having their people walking the State through the audit), are the main reasons we always come out well.”

     - Bruce Dischinger, former VP & COO | Minnesota Coaches Group

    “Smith Schafer takes care of my needs on a personal and professional level.  They prepare my personal returns, the returns for a couple other partnerships, as well as our corporate returns. When I have personal investing or tax questions, or needs for the business, they answer my questions or concerns with sound advice and don’t send me off on tangents or into risky ventures uninformed. They have always been available to discuss my needs.”

     - Jo Reinhardt, CEO/President | Industrial Louvers, Inc.

    “Since 1995, we have been approached by other CPA firms and have occasionally put our audit out to bid, but Smith Schafer is always the one we choose. They understand the complexities of our business, and their professionalism is outstanding.”

     - Brad Lohrbach, Executive Director | Family Service Rochester

    “We made a small company acquisition. Smith Schafer did a great job with the analysis, helping look at how the financials appeared on paper versus how they likely would have appeared as a part of our operations…it was a smooth process and a comfortable one in spite of a short timeline. We closed with all the i’s dotted and the t’s crossed and were confident in the results.”

     - Bruce Dischinger, former VP & COO | Minnesota Coaches Group

    “The Smith Schafer team has always treated me with respect and consideration. They provide me with high-level services at competitive and fair rates.”

     - Mark Faris, Founder & President | MVP Ethics & MVP Chauffeur Services

    “Smith Schafer offers absolutely consistent service. I have no reason to go anywhere else.”

     - Jo Reinhardt, CEO/President | Industrial Louvers, Inc.

    “With their three office locations, Smith Schafer has diverse expertise. They are able to lay out different scenarios. They have the ability to be advisors versus other accountants who just spit out tax returns.”

     - Paul Siewert, President | Siewert Construction/Star Realty

    “Over the last few years we’ve taken more of the basic accounting work and financials in-house and used Smith Schafer at a higher level of analysis. We are getting professional, sophisticated oversight and advice that helps us move forward and manage growth.”

     - Bruce Dischinger, former VP & COO | Minnesota Coaches Group

    “Locally there is no one that has as many resources as Smith Schafer. Even though we work with the Red Wing office, we have access to the entire Smith Schafer team in their other locations.”

     - Steve Staats, COO/CFO | Hiawatha Homecare

    “I am not interested in cutting corners. When it comes to taxes, I want to pay my fair share and keep the skeletons out of the closet. Smith Schafer has always been honest and upfront about what needs to be done. They are very straightforward.”

     - Paul Siewert, President | Siewert Construction/Star Realty

    “We’ve grown to a 200-employee business. Smith Schafer keeps up on the state and IRS regulations for us so we don’t have to do that internally. This allows us to focus on what we do best for our clients, families and employees.”

     - Steve Staats, COO/CFO | Hiawatha Homecare

    “Smith Schafer really knows our business well. They are professional, prompt and communicate well. I can tell them things in confidence and trust they’ll keep it that way.”

     - Ruth Stoyke | Owner, Harbor View Cafe

    “I have worked with Smith Schafer for 10 years. They consistently provide a high-level of service and attention to detail. I couldn't be more pleased!”

     - Mark Faris, Founder & President | MVP Ethics & MVP Chauffeur Services

    “History with Al Schafer since 1991 and now service with Jason Boynton. The proactive changes with electronic communications and tax return access is much better than the paper format of the past.”

     - Frederick Banfield

    “It is a pleasure to do business with an accounting company that shares the same work ethic, responsibility, care and customer service as the company whom they are preparing the financials for...”

     - John Warian | Press Sure Printing, Inc.

    “Excellent service matched with quality work and great people.”

     - Tom Getzke | Minnesota Builders Exchange

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