It’s almost tax-time around here. My CPA sent over the draft business return for my S Corp last week, and once again I’m reminded that she’s way better than me at getting the business taxes done. It’s a nice, tangible reminder, too – in the form of extra cash!
In the very early days of my business I used to do everything – books, taxes, payroll, etc., justifying the cost of a CPA/Bookkeeper as being more than I could afford. The truth was, what I really couldn’t afford was hiring myself as an unqualified bookkeeper and an unqualified tax return preparer.
Since hiring a CPA (who also provides a bookkeeping service!) things improved dramatically. First of all, I know my books are done right. It’s easier for me to track receipts and other things, too – into an envelope and out the door to be recorded. And, finally, by letting go of that time-consuming task I have more time and energy for other things. What I spend in bookkeeping fees is far outweighed by what I get for the money … not to mention that I have more time to make more money, etc.
Probably the #1 complaint Diane and I hear on strategy calls is from business owners and investors who don’t like doing their books and are looking for ways to give them up. The nice thing about new technology is that it provides great solutions to far-flung offices. My books are maintained in another state. Software allows us to access the files remotely – I can maintain the checkbook and write checks as I need to, while the expenses and other items are taken care of at that end.
But that’s just the bookkeeping side. As far as taxes go, every year my CPA finds extra deductions and ways to help me save money. Each year she’s saved me enough in taxes (over my own back of the envelope calculations) to cover her fees and then some.
If you’re looking at the Sept 15th (or Oct 15th) tax-filing deadline and wondering why you do this to yourself every year, maybe it’s time to stop, and look at other alternatives. It’s probably too late now to hire a CPA to get this year’s return done (or maybe not – depends on the CPA and what shape your records are in), but it isn’t too late to get things set in motion for 2009. If you need a referral, let us know – email firstname.lastname@example.org.