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Tax Accountants Vs. Financial Strategists: Why You Need Both

I know, I know … we hate talking about taxes. 

But today I’m going to tell you how tax accountants can actually be your best friend. 


Because understanding the difference between tax accountants and financial strategists—such as CFOs (wink wink)—is key to charting a course towards success. 

Let’s break down the specialties of each – and why you need both on your team. 


The Unsung Heroes: Tax Accountants 

Tax season often brings a collective groan from business owners. 

But a savvy tax accountant can turn that groan into a total sigh of relief. 

Your tax accountants have very specific jobs that they’re doing for you — get your taxes filed, keep you out of jail, keep your penalties down to a minimum, and figure out the best strategies for you to protect your wealth. 

These wizards of the financial world tackle the maze of tax codes and regulations, ensuring your business stays compliant and tax efficient. 

Hell, the reason I don’t offer tax services in my business is because that legislation is moving with the wind (and I don’t have the time to catch it!). 

Political tides move it. Economic tides move it. 

All sorts of things make that literature change constantly, and SOMEONE in your business must be aware of what’s going on to stay compliant. 

And these tax professionals do that in an extraordinary manner. 

Now there are tax accountants who just file taxes, with no added bells and whistles; and if that’s all you’re looking for at the moment, then places like H&R Block will absolutely do that for you. 

But there are also tax accountants who understand that there are strategies that you can incorporate in your business and in your personal life with the goal of ethically and legally minimizing your tax burden. 

So as you start to make money, I highly, HIGHLY recommend that you consult a professional and get a tax accountant. 

HOWEVER –  I am the first one to say that I personally never give tax advice; while I can tell you what I would do as a CFO in that situation, it is never tax advice. 

And tax accountants are a very important ally to have in your court, and there’s huge value in what these professionals offer. 

But – there’s something they’re not. 

Often, when the folks I talk to say they’re dissatisfied with their CPA, what they’re actually saying is that they’re just not receiving the financial support they need from them. 

While I hate to break it to you, here’s the hard truth there: 

There are some things that your tax accountant just doesn’t care about. 

Not for any bad reason, they’re just not there to handle or provide you with answers to certain questions. 

When that stuff is things like: 

“Why am I having a cash flow problem?” 

“Why am I profitable on my P&L but don’t have any money in the bank?” 

“Do I have the capacity to scale?” 

Those aren’t questions your tax accountant focuses on answering for you because that is not their role. 


The Big Picture Thinkers: Financial Strategists (CFOs) 

That, my friends, is the role of a CFO (or a controller if you’re a smaller company, or a bookkeeper if you’re a really small company). 

Financial strategists like CFOs look beyond the immediate tax season. 

They focus on the financial matters that create the income, so you can then go to your tax accountant and have them protected. 

A CFO or controller is going to focus on things like everything that I listed above: 

“When I put money into my business, how much does it return to me?” 

“How do I best keep track of the money we make and the money we spend?” 

“What’s the difference between good debt and bad debt?”  

“What do I need to do to prepare my exit and sell the business?” 

The person who’s going to focus on those things for you is a CFO.  

They take a bird’s-eye view of your business’s financial health and future and map out the grand strategy for your financial journey. 

And they craft long-term financial strategies that align with your business’s aspirations, whether it’s growing your operations, pursuing acquisitions, or planning for expansion. 


Why You Need Both 

Having both tax accountants and financial strategists on your team ensures a well-rounded approach to your financial health. 

It’s important to keep your tax accountant up to date with what your CFO is doing, and vice versa. 

Together, they cover all bases, from compliance and risk management to strategic planning. 

Their combined expertise helps you minimize tax liabilities and seize growth opportunities. 

In my own practice, I’ve seen how this dynamic duo can transform businesses. 

Take the pandemic, for example: 

Many of my artist clients faced sudden income loss. While their tax accountants handled the tax side, I as their CFO stepped in to help them secure government aid and pivot their financial strategies. 

And with these accurate and timely financial insights, they can make better decisions and steer their business toward sustainable growth. 

Overall, understanding the roles of tax accountants and financial strategists is crucial for building a solid financial foundation. 

By harnessing the strengths of both, you can navigate financial challenges, seize growth opportunities, and drive your business toward long-term success! 


For more insights on optimizing your business’s financial strategy, check out S4E7 of The Cashflow Podcast on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, or Spotify.


Looking for your own financial strategist? 

Give us a call today.


Author, Virtual CFO, and Finance Coach
Your First CFO: The Accounting Cure for Small Business Owners” on AMAZON
Founder to Exit: A CFO’s Blueprint for Small Business Owners” on AMAZON