by Laura Kocum
on Thursday, August 10th, 2017 at 10:10am.
Ask Kari Apel, CPA, what her perfect client looks like, and she'll tell you, "It's the one who values what we're doing, and partners with us for their own success." Apel enjoys working with clients that are dedicated to making sound financial decisions, and who are ready and willing to let her and her team help with the process. "We've found that the investment in working with a good accountant is easily recouped in the tax and other financial savings our clients receive," Apel says.
Apel's focus is helping clients in all areas of their life. She knows that many times the business and the personal finances overlap. In these situations, she can help clients determine their tax options, including whether a home or other property can be listed as a business expense.
And when it comes to real estate, she offers some thoughtful advice. "You don't want to overspend on your home, and then be unable to enjoy life. It's better to not purchase something at the maximum of your lending options. Pick something nice that will cost you less, and then enjoy the extra cash to help with other expenses, like daycare, vacations and more fun purchases like ATVs and boats." Apel wants her clients to live life to the fullest, and she helps them do this by offering advice on spending, saving and prioritizing. She enjoys working with small business owners and entrepreneurs, and helping them master the financial/tax part of their business. This frees them to focus on the other areas of their work, and likely, the parts they enjoy the most.
The team at Apel Financial Group routinely review questions like, "Should I pay off my mortgage?" "Should I make a large investment in marketing this year?" and "Should I convert my traditional IRA to a Roth?" The answers are not cut and dried. Each client has unique circumstances. After knowing their history, their financial position, and the available tax incentives and implications, the accountants on Apel's team can make an educated recommendation. She stresses that working with a good accountant is like having an insurance policy on your taxes. The tax advice they give is guaranteed, and they can be held liable if the advice they give doesn't match the tax code. If you do your own taxes, you don't have this safety net.
When is the best time to work with a CPA? Apel says the earlier the better. While a CPA can offer some help during tax season, clients will enjoy maximum benefits if they plan ahead. Start meeting with one when you're young. Use their advice to help you grow your wealth and your business. The longer you put sound financial plans into action, the greater your benefits will be. And if you have an ongoing relationship, your CPA will be better equipped to help you make sound financial decisions in all areas of your life.