• Joel Ankney - Lawyer

Let Your Attorney and CPA Talk to Each Other

Updated: May 17, 2020

If you were building a custom house, you wouldn't keep your architect from talking to your builder. You want them to work together so you get a great house.

Let your attorney and your CPA collaborate on your deal. They each bring special expertise and experience to the deal. But if you don't let them speak to each other, they might inadvertently do something that hurts you or your deal.

CPAs are good at structuring deals to use the tax laws in your favor and avoid negative tax consequences. They also can help you analyze the financial aspects of a deal (e.g., whether the purchase price is reasonable). In addition, they can help you plan for post-closing operations to help with cash flow.

Attorneys are good at structuring deals to minimize your legal risks and protect your interests. They also are good at helping you negotiate the deal to accomplish your business objectives.

But if the CPA and the attorney don't speak to each other, you might get conflicting approaches to the deal. The attorney might structure the deal to manage risk in your favor, but might not be aware of a tax planning strategy or objective your CPA has in mind. In other words, you might end up with a deal that makes the attorney happy, but aggravates the CPA, or vice versa.

You might worry that you will have to pay more fees to your CPA and your attorney if they collaborate. You probably will, but it will be worth it. Don't try to cut costs by keeping your CPA and attorney in separate corners. It will hurt you in the end.

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