Do Your CPAs Need Training On Cost Segregation? (Find Out)

Written by Frances Kim. Updated Feb 8, 2016.

Do_Your_CPAs_Need_Training_On_Depreciating_Fixed_Assets_Find_Out.jpgThe landscape of cost segregation and depreciating fixed assets is vast, complex and constantly changing, due to governmental regulations. Cost segregation studies (and the subsequent work involved) require expertise in both tax guidance, construction and facilities engineering – this isn’t something you should expect your CPAs or clients to grasp without some level of guidance.

And yet, the “new normal” for CPA firms today is centered squarely within a client centric environment with the challenge of fulfilling traditional core accounting services, while also providing knowledge, information and services to capture every allowable tax benefit.

In terms of cost segregation, the process of depreciating fixed assets presents a portal to a whole world of tax savings possibilities. Developing and navigating real estate tax strategies requires deep knowledge and a broad approach. While your CPAs don’t need to be equipped with an engineering degree, they do need the capability to open their clients’ eyes to the benefits of cost segregation.

If you find that your CPAs have clients with tangible personal property and real estate assets, some training is necessary. First and foremost, you want your CPAs to feel confident when speaking with clients about cost segregation and fixed asset depreciation.

What Does Cost Segregation Training Look Like?

If you want cost segregation training for your CPAs, look for a tax consulting firm that offers the following two options:

  • High-Level Training Sessions: The partner group gathers with the tax consultant for a training session that focuses on the salient points of depreciating fixed assets. The goal of high-level training is to transfer enough knowledge so your CPAs are able to speak intelligently about the cost segregation services available to their client base.
  • Lunch-And-Learn Training Sessions: This is a more in-depth meeting that links down to the staff and management and addresses the technical aspects of cost segregation, so your CPAs learn to address some aspects of fixed asset depreciation, while identifying broader opportunities to be outsourced for clients.

It’s recommended to find a tax consulting firm that is certified to offer CPE credits for training sessions. This way, your CPAs are able to chip away at the 40 hours of continuing education they’re required to fulfill on a yearly basis.

Support Beyond Cost Segregation Training

While your tax consultant helps CPAs understand the basics of fixed asset classification and capitalization versus expense considerations relative to the tangible property regulations, each client is unique and the regulations provide guidance that is based on specific facts and circumstance, so your CPAs will often need a trusted tax consultant, even if just for a quick confirmation of their approach.

That’s why it is critical to have continued support from your tax consultant, who should encourage your CPAs to reach out and ask if they have a question. Your CPAs should always be questioning things, and they need to leverage a tax consultant’s expertise, even if it’s just to confirm an understanding.

With fixed asset depreciation specifically, once assets are capitalized, the next step is a correct categorization of those assets. CPAs who attempt to categorize assets on their own typically make errors, which creates potential exposure or missed deductions for clients. Through training, you gain a trusted adviser to ensure your clients with real estate assets and tangible property are capturing every deduction possible.

Ready to learn more about cost segregation training services for your CPA firm? Download your complimentary, educational guide below.

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Topics: Cost Segregation, Training Incentives

Frances Kim

Written by Frances Kim

As one of the first CTI employees, Frances has held many key positions and has played an integral role in our diversification process. With more than 10 years in customer service and management, Frances’ proven adaptability has enabled her to manage projects for clients ranging from small start-ups to Fortune 500 companies.