The Blog How to Know When It’s Time to Hire a CPA with Crystalynn Shelton (HHR EP46)

How to Know When It’s Time to Hire a CPA with Crystalynn Shelton (HHR EP46)


"Whether you have accounting background or bookkeeping background or not, you can absolutely learn how to do your bookkeeping." -Crystalynn Shelton



Welcome to an enlightening discussion on the importance of knowing when it's time to hire a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). In this episode, we’re going to dive deep into the intricacies of accounting and how getting professional help can transform your business, featuring insights from Crystalynn Shelton, a licensed CPA and QuickBooks' top 100 Pro Adviser.

As an experienced consultant who has spent over two decades helping startups, small businesses, and million-dollar companies take control of their finances, Crystalynn emphasizes starting off on the right foot by partnering with a CPA from the beginning. Most business owners lack an accounting or bookkeeping background, making it crucial to get professional help early on. A CPA can guide you in selecting the right accounting software, setting it up, and training you and your staff to manage your books effectively.

But what if you can't afford to hire a CPA? Crystalynn suggests a pragmatic solution: do it yourself. QuickBooks is very user-friendly and equipped to help even the most cash-strapped entrepreneurs. Crystalynn’s book, *Mastering QuickBooks 2023*, is specifically designed for business owners who need a hands-on guide to set up their books from scratch. Additionally, experienced bookkeepers can be a cost-effective alternative to set up your books and offer essential training.

Finding a qualified CPA or bookkeeper can be daunting, but Crystalynn has some excellent advice. She recommends using the QuickBooks Pro Adviser directory, which lists certified professionals who can help you, regardless of your location. Technology allows CPAs to work virtually with clients across the United States, making geography less of a barrier.

So, what are the tangible benefits of hiring a CPA? Access to accurate reports can reveal the overall health of your business, provide insights into profitability, and ensure that financial records are properly maintained. Many small business owners dread tax season, but partnering with a CPA throughout the year can alleviate this stress. Regular reviews and accurate bookkeeping make the end-of-year processes smoother and less frantic.

The long-term benefits of hiring a CPA extend beyond accurate bookkeeping and stress-free tax season. For business owners looking to apply for loans, lines of credit, or grants, up-to-date financial statements are often a requirement. Having a CPA ensures you can access these financial documents quickly when needed. Furthermore, a CPA provides an invaluable advisory role, helping you navigate business decisions that impact your bottom line.

Crystalynn also touches on a frequent question among business owners: understanding tax obligations for online course sales in multiple states. While she advises consulting a tax specialist for specific guidance, her focus remains on providing robust accounting support to set businesses up for success.

For those interested in tapping into Crystalynn’s wealth of knowledge, she offers two valuable resources: an "8 Steps to Closing Your Books" checklist and a "Your First 7 Days in QuickBooks" guide. These are available for download on her website and serve as companions to her bestselling book, *Mastering QuickBooks 2023*.

Crystalynn’s parting advice is invaluable: don’t commingle personal and business accounts, automate as much as possible using tools like QuickBooks, and use a business credit card to track expenses easily. Even if you have a bookkeeper, understanding the basics of your accounting processes empowers you to maintain oversight and ensure your business runs smoothly.

For more detailed guidance, Crystalynn’s online course, QuickBooks Boot Camp Basic Training, offers comprehensive tutorials to help business owners master their bookkeeping, accessible at any time to fit a busy schedule.

In closing, arming yourself with the right accounting knowledge and tools can profoundly impact your business’s success. Whether you choose to hire a CPA or get started with QuickBooks on your own, taking these steps will set you up for long-term financial stability and growth.


Crystalynn Shelton is a licensed CPA and QuickBooks Top 100 ProAdvisor helping startups, small businesses, and million-dollar companies alike take control of their finances through accounting software training and consulting. Crystalynn’s number-crunching interest was sparked after taking a high-school bookkeeping course, and on completing the course, she was determined to become a CPA. For the last 20 years she has done just that, leading accounting departments for Fortune 500 companies like Intuit, Texaco and Paramount Pictures. In 2010, Crystalynn went on to found her own consulting business. Since then, she has gone on to publish Mastering QuickBooks, a three-time Amazon Bestseller now in its fourth edition, coached more than 100 clients, all the while serving as an Adjunct Instructor at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) for the last 13 years teaching bookkeeping and QuickBooks courses. Along with her fulfilling consulting business, Crystalynn enjoys trying new restaurants with her husband and watching her beloved Dallas Cowboys play.


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Suzanne Proksa, SHRM-SCP, SPHR, HHP

Hey there! I'm Suzanne, a SHRM-SCP and SPHR certified Human Resources and Business Strategist, IAWP Certified Wellness Coach, AADP certified Holistic Health Practitioner, and autoimmune educator with a passion for helping women navigate all things life and business. 

I've been in HR since 1999 and have run businesses since 2004 (unless you also count my adventures selling "all the things" as a kid - then we need to go WAY back. 

I thrive on supporting, coaching, and creating programs for women and people-focused organizations and online businesses so they can positively impact the lives of others.

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