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A friend who lives in another state, we’ll call him Larry, recently had questions raised about his 2007 income taxes. Like most of us, he had used a tax preparation service to prepare his return and was very prompt in filing his return in early April of 2008. One difference, perhaps, is that Larry tends to be thrifty and will often resort to nephews of friends, cousins of friends, and even “friends of friends’ in getting things done. We still kid him about the “free mulch” he had spread on his lawn that was apparently collected from a weed field.
Anyway, Larry pulled together his tax return and paperwork, and drove over to see his tax preparer “friend of a friend”. To his surprise, the office had been closed and any telephones disconnected. So, Larry quickly contacted the friend who had referred him – only to hear “I wondered what happened to her… haven’t heard from her in quite a while.” In a bit of a panic now, Larry tried everything he could think of to find the person. But, as might be expected, the “friend of a friend” had apparently pulled up stakes and moved on to places unknown. Even a search on the web did not provide a useful lead.
Larry (not his real name) is still in the process of trying to get things resolved, so I won’t violate his privacy any further, but his situation interested me enough to look into just how often things like this happens. Sadly, thes search showed a lot.From what I’ve been able to determine, there doesn’t seem to be a valid headcount anywhere of just how many tax preparers are out there. In addition, I was a bit surprised to find out that there doesn’t seem to be a universal requirement for licensing or registration that must be revealed to customers – at least none that Larry might have been knowledgeable enough to ask about.So, as we might expect, in many cities, “friends of friends” set up, prepare people’s returns, and promptly go out of business – and probably out of town – when tax season is over.
Now, just for clarification purposes, let me emphatically state that there are many preparers who are licensed by state and federal authorities – these include many lawyers, accountants or CPAs. So, please don’t panic! There are many reliable and trustworthy preparers out there. The key is to ask if there is any doubt about their credentials, especially if they are a “friend of a friend”.Unfortunately, many consumers never think to ask this type of question – and sadly, often become members of Team Larry. In today’s economy, I suspect that a lot of us are being thrifty, just like Larry was. But as the old saying goes, “You get what you pay for… or you might wind up paying for what you got!
“Interesting, huh? Let me know what your thoughts: Email me at william.vasquez@TaxTalkOnline.com
As a business owner, you know all too well that one of the most important parts of running an efficient and viable business is keeping your books in order. While many business owners do their own books or have an accountant on their staff, there are numerous benefits to outsourcing your accounting needs.
In this article, we will discuss the various ways that outsourcing your bookkeeping services can help you and your company perform better, cut costs, and improve your bottom line.The way that outsourcing your bookkeeping is able to help you improve your business are the expertise, knowledge, and experience that using an outside consultant brings to the client.
Accounting can be complicated at times, and it is important that whoever is doing your books has an extensive background in accounting, as well as more than just a general understanding of the latest accounting systems. When you work with a professional accountant, you are ensuring that you have a knowledgeable specialist on your side that will use all of their expertise to your businesses’ advantage. This guarantees that your bookkeeping is done quickly and most importantly, accurately.
You should always make certain that whatever bookkeeper that you choose, they should always be very experienced. Preferably, they should be members of the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers and or National Bookkeepers Association, and be experts at the minimum in Quickbooks or Quicken accounting systems. The consultant that you choose should be constantly updating their skills and knowledge, and they should also understand the value of personalized service. Ideally, they will also provide highly skilled, efficient bookkeeping services that are designed to meet your specific needs as a company. Taking pride in working closely with their clients and making sure that their every need and concern is taken care of is the true sign of a top-notch bookkeeping and business services company.
There are many ways that using our an outside bookkeeping consultant can benefit you and your company. Just a few of these benefits are:
1) Keeping you updated on all of the financial aspects of your business. No longer will you have to keep track of numerous dates and deadlines or worry about spotting an error in your book. They will keep you up to date with everything and stay conscious about your business’ books so that you don’t have to.
2) No staff to supervise. Outside bookkeeping consultants save you time by eliminating the need to have a bookkeeper on your staff to manage.
3) No employee benefits to pay. By outsourcing your bookkeeping, you improve your bottom line by eliminating the need to pay a consistent salary and benefits to a staff bookkeeper.
4) Flexible scheduling available. They should work with you to create a bookkeeping schedule that is right for your company.
5) A good bookkeeping consultant work closely with your CPA for all year-end reporting.As you can see, there are many good reasons to consider outsourcing your bookkeeping and business services needs with a well-qualified bookkeeping company.
In fact, many clients say that outsourcing is one of the best business decisions that they have made and has helped them immensely. If you want to eliminate the hassles of doing your own bookkeeping, consider outsourcing with a reputable bookkeeping consultant today.