Do you know how to nail Jell-O to a wall? It can be done, really. The key is the concentration and consistency of the Jell-O. Double the amount of Jell-O powder and simultaneously cut the water in half. Jell-O.com calls this the "Jiggler Recipe". With care nail the Jell-O to a board without disturbing the tension of the surface any more than necessary. It's necessary because you have to drive nails through the Jell-o, just try not to smack the Jell-O with the hammer. Position the board vertically and the Jell-O should hold just fine….
The moral of the story is that almost anything can be accomplished with the right knowledge, experience and tools. Taking a more traditional approach is, to many, like nailing Jell-O to a wall. But to someone with the right knowledge, experience and tools, it's not a big deal.
The American Institute of Accountants in 1931 published a book entitled "The Ethics of a Profession" on page 122 it makes this statement; "In the last few years there has been an effort to employ the services of accountants for prophecy rather than record, this is dangerous." Many bookkeepers and some accountants don't have the business experience and knowledge to extrapolate historic information, meld it with current knowledge and practices and draw reasonable conclusions concerning potential future events. With our litigious society, many won't even attempt it. Times change and so do attitudes. Many CPA's are qualified and willing to provide business advice based on your accounting and financial reporting information. But they will probably provide a disclaimer like this:
"The information presented is obtained from what are considered reliable sources; however, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed and therefore should not be relied upon as such. XXXXXX accepts no liability for any direct or consequential loss arising from any use of this information."
What a shame. Small business owners have to take on the risk of either hiring someone they intentionally won't take advice from or hiring someone who will make sure their advice is crafted with all of the legal caveats needed to make it useless. Most small business owners aren't willing to pay for useless advice so they hire someone they won't take advice from and think they are saving money.
Here is my suggestion…before you engage an accountant make sure you trust their knowledge, experience and tools. Don't be "penny wise and pound foolish". General accounting is a teachable skill. In many cases it's just a commodity. If the person you are about to hire treats it as a commodity, beware. True business knowledge and experience is where you find value in accounting. It's the application of accounting that builds value. Don't waste your money on a commodity. Buy value. Hire the company that has both the knowledge of accounting and the business experience and tools to translate it into meaningful value. In the long run you will be much better off.