How do I get started?
Telephone me. We can discuss your needs and figure out if we will work well together. After that we can arrange a face-to-face meeting and explore your needs in more detail.
I’ve just started in business and keep my records in QuickBooks. Can I just send you the file?
You can, for now. I maintain QuickBooks software to be able to access the accounting records of clients who use it. However, I do not maintain clients’ books in QuickBooks. Instead, after the year-end accounting has been done and the tax return prepared, I will provide you with journal entries for you to enter.
QuickBooks’ terms and conditions no longer align with my security practices. So, in a couple of years, I will no longer be able to support QuickBooks Desktop. I will, however, continue to support QuickBooks Online.
Why don’t you use QuickBooks? It’s pretty ubiquitous.
See above. I take client security very seriously and believe that QuickBooks’ requirements compromise my ability to keep client information secure.
In any case, I happen to think there is other software out there that is more appropriate for small businesses. I would be happy to discuss your particular circumstances and make recommendations. There are three main issues I have with QuickBooks. Firstly, it tries to do several things with one entry, so if you do not do everything exactly as QuickBooks expects, your books will likely be incorrect. Secondly, the bank reconciliation is far too easy to get wrong. Thirdly, there are increasing problems with bank downloads and many banks are beginning to charge for that (that, of course, is not QuickBooks’ fault).
To sum up, one needs to understand the full Accounting Cycle to be able to use QuickBooks properly.
What do you need from me to prepare my books for the tax return?
- A copy of your books. What this looks like will depend on your accounting software;
- A copy of the last completed tax return, complete with depreciation schedules, if appropriate;
- Bank statements, credit card statements and monthly bank reconciliations.
- If asked, explanations and documentation for certain items that will allow me to prepare an accurate return.
My last accountant never asked for a bank reconciliation. Do you really need it?
Yes. I take pride in the work I produce. A bank reconciliation is a standard part of any accounting file. I believe a thorough, methodical review of your accounting records allows me to consider options that might allow you to keep more of the money you earn.
How much is all of this going to cost?
It depends on what you need me to do. My prices are here. All pricing (except tax representation and substantial tax planning) is fixed fee.
Why is there such a disparity in the price for county property tax returns?
These returns are due by January 31st but may, in North Carolina, be extended until April 15th or May 15th. If I have done the bookkeeping throughout the year, I have the information at my fingertips and the $50 charge reflects the time I must spend in preparing the form.
I take great pride in preparing returns that are correct and complete. I do not compromise. The $250 charge reflects the due diligence I must undertake to ensure the return is correct and complete.