Reflections on the standard of professional skepticism

Posted 2 CommentsPosted in Accounting, Small Business

One of the very few things I personally dislike about being a CPA is a requirement known as “professional skepticism”. As much as my innate personality leads me to act in the role of an optimist, a cheerleader, supporter and an eternal promoter of general positive thoughts, the professional responsibility requires me to objectively weigh […]

Make small business payroll service pay for itself

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Accounting, payroll, Small Business, Tax Planning

Recently I published a series of short blog posts on the topic of payroll processing for small businesses. In summary, I’ve suggested that today’s automated payroll services are a fantastic value but that coördination and oversight by a small business compensation professional helps avoid problems and penalties that stem from miscommunication. I’ve suggested that the […]

Small Business Payroll Services

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Accounting, Employee Benefits, payroll, Small Business

I see plenty of room for improvement is small business payroll processing. About 2 in 5 of all small businesses eventually wind up with problems and penalties due to payroll tax errors. The issue can usually be avoided by ensuring that service is provided by a reputable payroll service that is supervised by a responsible […]

Fiduciary Rule will shake up the financial services industry

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Accounting, Financial Planning, Investment, Wealth Management

Most of us in the financial services or advisory professions are generally aware of the impact of the “Fiduciary Rule”.  But few, including myself, has any in-depth understanding of the scope of its impact. This well-written explanation of the fiduciary rule comes from a training material for financial service professionals. I added the emphasis. “In […]

AICPA praises small accounting firms

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Accounting, Small Business

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants published an article praising small CPA firms: “small firms serve their clients in ways that often go beyond the books. Small firm practitioners act as the volunteer treasurers of thousands of nonprofits, and lend a hand to a variety of religious organizations, community teams and clubs. Their practices […]

CPA-prepared financial statements

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Accounting, nonprofit, Small Business

A question came up from a small nonprofit business client yesterday for the second time this month. The request was to produce a financial statement for the client’s Treasurer. I found myself thinking about the best words to use to clarify my position. I want to help by making this an easy and seamless process […]

CPA services for nonprofits: a comparison of service and cost

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Accounting, nonprofit

Nonprofit organizations in the United States are sometimes required to engage a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) to prepare financial statements for presentation to state regulators and to the public. The specific requirement varies by state and depends primarily on the size of the nonprofit organization. Three levels of financial statement services offered by CPAs: Audits, […]

Sample Tax Services Agreement

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Accounting, IRS, Taxes

Each year I’ve modified my tax services engagement agreement as circumstances and technologies change. This is the current version of the individual tax service engagement agreement. The primary goal of the engagement agreement remains the same: to document our mutual understanding or the work to be performed in a plainly worded format. Thank you for choosing me […]

Income earned in multiple states creates tax filing difficulties

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Accounting, Taxes

Income earned in multiple states can pose a serious problem at tax filing time. I borrowed this example from a tax professionals online post: “Client walks in a $10,000 W2 and has about 20 states on it, with between $150-$800 wages for each state, but zero withholdings in those states. Total AGI (self employed) is […]

It’s not too late for professional tax filing services!

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Accounting, Small Business, Taxes

It is still possible to get fast and efficient late season tax services with the full professional attention that your important tax and financial details. I reserve some time late in the season to accommodate new clients and, in fact, this has become a primary marketing tool of my tax practice. Timing: I offer a […]