How to Start a Tax Accounting and CPA Firm

Having gained considerable experience developing five of my own accounting practices and spending the next two decades individually assisting over 2000 accountants develop their own practices, there are a few basic principles accountants can observe to provide themselves the greatest opportunity for success.

The best way for accountants to succeed in starting their own Accounting and Tax CPA practice is by providing themselves with the greatest opportunity for that success. This can be done by remembering that the basic principles for a successful practice are good clients together with the basic tools to service them. Many accountants seeking to develop their own practice position themselves with large amounts of unnecessary overhead undermining their opportunity for success. Unnecessary costs can be deferred until they become necessary. Obtain only necessary items to service the initial clients. It is important to keep the initial overhead as low as possible to create a positive cash flow quickly to finance the development of the practice.

When starting an Accounting and Tax CPA Firm, it is recommended that accountants start from their home. In today’s technological world, clients are very accepting to accountants working out of their homes. In some respect, it provides the clients with the perception that they are receiving a greater value. They feel if the accountant is incurring less overhead, perhaps part of the savings is being passed on to the clients. By saving the cost of rent and other office expenses, accountants will accelerate their positive cash flow, which may be used for financing the expansion of the practice without going into debt. Once the cash flow is sufficient to support an office, then the accountant can decide if expansion into an office is warranted. Accountants who do work from home may also find they enjoy it so much that they may choose to forgo moving to an outside office.

Another way accountants can maintain a low overhead is by avoiding unnecessary costly software. Numerous accountants procure very expensive unnecessary software to support clients they have yet to develop. There are extremely good software companies that provide an excellent product at a low to medium price range. Drake Tax Software is a very cost-efficient software program that has an excellent reputation. In the September 2011 edition of The Journal of Accountancy, the results of a software survey were published, and Drake Tax Software received an excellent score. Accountants who are starting their own Accounting & Tax CPA Firm are encouraged to pursue good software at affordable prices giving them the basic tools to service clients.

There are many other simple ways accountants starting their own Tax and Accounting Firm can reduce startup costs. Simply the name that accountants decide on for their firms will reduce their initial costs. If accountants would use their first name, middle initial, and last name followed by CPA and/or Certified public Accountant, they may avoid DBA registration costs, bank charges, and filing fees. In addition, active licensed Certified Public Accountants have legal rights to practice public accounting under their own names saving them costs associated with fictitious names. Many times, Certified Public Accountants can choose fictitious names, which would diminish potential clients’ perceptions of them, which in turn would impede a start-up business. For example, a licensed Certified Public Accountant doing business as “Bay City Tax Service” or “Accounting & Tax Service” loses credibility. Prospective clients may perceive this company as uncertified and unlicensed.

Accountants who are considering developing an Accounting/CPA practice and who are currently employed are encouraged not to terminate their employment in pursuit of starting their own Accounting & Tax CPA Firm. Instead, they should develop their practice concurrently while still employed. This can be a time-demanding decision when compared to terminating their employment and devoting full time to their practice; however, the sacrifice is well worth the reward. As the practice grows, accountants can grow with it and transition themselves full-time into their own practice without placing unnecessary financial pressure on themselves or on their families.

With the relief of financial pressure while operating the new practice concurrently with employment, there will be a substantial boost in income without incurring large expenses. Cash reserves will substantially increase as employment income is maintained, and new income will begin to flow in from the new practice as well. This increase in cash reserves will be of great assistance in financing a full-time transition, and this will make the move go more smoothly when the time comes

In making that move to a full-time practice, accountants will find it easiest to transition full-time into their own practice in the month of January. January is the beginning of tax season, and along with it comes the beginning of revenue from income tax preparation. The increase in revenue will come right at the time the accountants need it the very most. It is important that accountants position themselves to begin marketing at the start of tax season to aggressively develop individual tax clients taking full advantage of their first tax season. In addition, January encompasses year-end work for many businesses, such as payroll and financial reporting. This will also add additional revenue to the accountants’ practices in the month of their transition.

January is also the best month of the year to transition full-time into the practice because it may be the best month of the year for developing new businesses as clients. Most business owners resist changing accountants. It takes a very solid reason for a client to leave a predecessor accountant. Once a client makes the decision to change, usually he or she will not invoke the change until the end of the business year not desiring to have two accountants split a fiscal year. Accordingly, year-end is the most opportune time for approaching business owners, and it will make the transition into the full-time practice easier.

Finally, when starting an Accounting and Tax CPA Firm, it is important to avoid marketing services as a commodity or product. This often leads to very low response and low quality of clientele. It also can be extremely expensive. There are volumes of accountants who pursue very expensive marketing programs offered by various companies and who are lured by difficult-to-enforce guarantees. Many of these programs are commodity driven. The accounting industry is not commodity driven; it is driven by trust and loyalty. An accountant’s marketing campaign must be driven by truth, honesty, and professionalism, which will enable a client to be more comfortable knowing that he or she is hiring an accountant who can be trusted.

Accountant or CPAs who are currently employed and seeking to start their own Accounting and Tax CPA firms will find it beneficial to pursue the practice by following some very simple steps:

1) Avoid unnecessary costs and expenses.

2) Consider starting the accounting CPA Practice from home.

3) Develop the practice alongside current employment.

4) Avoid marketing the firm as a commodity or product.

Remember, opportunity starts with action. No action, no opportunity. Accountants who take action provide themselves with the opportunity to succeed. They should start their own CPA and Accounting Firms from home while employed. Their successful experience without jeopardizing their future will provide them the confidence and cash flow they need to enjoy the freedoms in ownership of an Accounting and Tax CPA Firm.

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Call Accounting and Non-Business Calls

A survey asked a selection of Call Accounting and tele-management companies the question “in a business environment what percentage of total telephone time is spent on private calls” responses varied from 25% up to 65%. In a business environment a private telephone call incurs the cost to the employer in terms of the actual cost of the telephone call and the productivity lost.

In fact, the major cost of a private telephone call may be the productivity factor. Consider an employee with an hourly pay rate of $25 per hour. If the employee spends an average of 15 minutes per day on private calls, or approximately $6 per day of company time, this amounts to $1500 per year. In a company with 300 employees, this accumulates to almost $500 000 per year.

Now take a the monthly telephone bill, take a third of the total cost and add it to the value of your lost productivity. The result does not make a business owner smile.

What can be done to limit losses due to non business calls? The Adage ‘ What gets measured gets managed ‘ applies here. First measure the cost with a call accounting service – you can’t measure without one.

Insert all your official company telephone numbers into the system, this includes suppliers, customers and your company cell phones and company office numbers. Run a Call Accounting report to detail the cost of calls to these telephone numbers and compare the figure with the total cost.

After this exercise you will be a true believer, and shocked at how little it actually costs to run your business. But now, you have to face the problem, private calls cost a lot more than you thought.

The result will be so shocking you will disbelieve it, you will tell yourself “there must be more business numbers, what have I missed?” Start the process of accounting for the cost of calls to unknown destinations, it is not as difficult as it first appears to be.

Create another report, the most expensive telephone numbers not in your list of business numbers. Again you will be shocked to see the cost of calls to some destinations. Now the fun part, start at the top of the list, the most expensive unknown destination, and ask the employee responsible for making these calls if it is business or private?

Go Gently, your employees are a company asset, and more importantly are real people. They probably have no idea of the cost they incur by making private calls. It is managements responsibility to put processes in place to make staff aware of the costs and ask them to change their habits voluntarily. Our experience has been that most people respond to such a request, this avoids criminalizing your entire work force. Only the people that persist with bad habits need be confronted.

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Focus on Core Business and Outsource Accounting

Keeping a record of financial statements is a tedious task, especially with new regulations mandated by the government from time to time. Henceforth, outsourcing your accounting to a professional is a wise decision as it helps you keep your financial details up-to-date.

Accounting is a tedious job requiring attention to detail and must be undertaken in organizations to keep a continued vigil on the company’s financial health. If you are looking to outsource the accounting services in your organization, this article will provide you with all the benefits associated with it.

Maintaining documents of all transactions is an essential part of every business enterprise. It helps in tracking all the deals entered into and keeps a record of the inflow and outflow of cash. Regulations framed by government bodies from time to time require organizations to provide a record of every transaction made by them in a transparent manner. Purchases, sales and their receipts have to be kept carefully in order to accurately account for expenses and revenues. Bookkeepers are people who make entries of financial transactions in an organization. These are entered into a notebook or ledger which is then analyzed by the accountant to prepare income statement and profit and loss statement.

It is important to fully asses the financial health of a company from time to time in order to make the appropriate budget and planning allocation of finances. Accountants organize the inflow and outflow of cash in statements and ensure that they tally in order to be able to provide details of any given transaction. A detailed picture of the current assets as well as current liabilities can be obtained by looking at a statement prepared by an accountant. Different methods of accounting like the single entry and double entry bookkeeping exist and can be adopted based on the needs of the organization.

Maintaining an accounting department in the company requires hiring permanent employees. This adds to the cost and makes fewer funds available for the core business of the company. Expansion and development plans of organizations require capital and this require companies to be cash rich. Outsourced accounting is a good option to get the accounting work done without having to watch out for the overhead costs of the accountants. All transactions are duly recorded and requisite statements are prepared by these accounting firms by merely sending across scanned copies of receipts and invoices to them. They also make all data pertaining to the company available online and most reports and statements can be pulled out with the click of a button once you have access to the internet.

Accounting firms handling outsourced work also take utmost care to maintain the confidentiality of data of their clients. They also provide other allied benefits like tax services as well as financial planning which can be availed of. Most of these accounting firms work on a fixed fee basis and thus no unexpected or additional expenses need to be incurred by organizations.

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Why Financial Accounting is Crucial For Every Business?

Financial accounting is important part for every type of business like small, mid and large business. Financial accounting is the field of accountancy concerned with the preparation of financial statements for pronouncement makers, such as stockholders, suppliers, banks, employees, government agencies, owners, and other stakeholders. accounting may be the single most critical data method your company will require. Financial accounting aims to generate two basic financial reports, the balance sheet along with the earnings and loss statements. A predictable software system uses a ledger of accounts to categorize financial activities of one’s corporation.

Financial accounting is used to arrange accounting information for people outside the organization or not concerned in the day to day running of the company. Management accounting provides accounting information to assist managers make decisions to handle the business. In short, Accounting is the procedure of abbreviation financial data in use from an organization’s accounting records and publishing in the form of annual or monthly quarterly reports for the advantage of people outside the organization.

Accounting Information of employees which play an essential responsibility has to be managed in an appropriate way so that at the year end reports can be generated effortlessly without any hassles. It is very essential to set up appropriate business financial strategies which can be followed so that the business can eventually meet the schedule. The different tips that will assist you to flow the cash in the accurate way and will assist you to understand the need of the accurate arrangement of the different business financial accounting can be listed as follows:

• Check Financial Transactions

• Revising Billing Statements

• Review the Invoices

• Maintaining Transparency

• Updating with Taxation Rules

• Follow GAAP for Accounting Management

• Maintain Simplicity in your Accounting Records

These are certain principles that the accountant or any other accounting services provider outsourcing company should pursue in order to run the business fairly and to meet the financial require of the organization. A methodical accounting procedure helps the business to develop and thereby meeting the estimated profit.

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Best Free Accounting Software

The first question anyone asks when it comes to the free accounting software is:

What is the catch?

And the quick answer is yes, there are a few catches.

The first catch is that free versions of most free accounting software have limited functions. The additional functions like the ability to have additional users or to make off-site backups may be charged a premium.

The second “catch” is the accounting firm behind the production of the software may give you the service for free, but then at the end of the financial year offer you their business planning or taxation services for a fee. Usually you need to pay for these services anyway, so it really is a great business idea. Give before you get so they say.

The first thing you need to consider before signing up to any accounting software service provider is – What do you actually need?

ALL businesses whether small or large need to take good care of a few primary functions – Accounts payable and receivable, expenses and tax reporting.

But spend a bit of time assessing where your business is and where it may go and what it may require in the future. This will help you assess what the free packages have as basic functions and what they may charge for in the future.

Some of the more premium functions you may need now or in the future may include:

Inventory – do you sell items that need to be accounted for? This may include items you sell as a combination of base stock items and need to be “built” in the accounting package and kept track of.

CRM – Stands for Customer Relationship Management. Some accounting software has this built in, but you may be better opting for a stand alone service separate to your system with the accounts in it?

Payroll – If you have staff you of course need to pay them! And keep track of any taxation and any government and/or superannuation contributions payable.

Sales Reporting – In line with CRM functions, do you need to track and forecast sales? And again if you choose a separate CRM program, this will be built in.

Online or Software on your Desktop?

Online is certainly becoming more and more popular. Because it has a number of benefits. But if you do consider an online accounting system, be sure your connection is always available (where you are) and fast. Remember a slow connection means a slow accounting package and lots of frustration.

If you are most often office based and/or you always have a good internet connection, even with your smartphone, there really is no reason why you wouldn’t go for an online solution.

And you don’t need to worry about online security anymore. As time has passed, most online data centres can boast industry best practice online security and data encryption as standard features.

With an online service, you also get the ongoing benefit of always having the most up-to-date versions of the software at your fingertips.

A desktop version is yours to use forever, however you may need to pay for upgrades from time to time.

So in summary, it is not necessarily a bad thing to pay for an online service – keeping a good track of cash flow and taxation in your business is very important! Although with a bit of online research, you may just find the best free accounting software that will do everything you need it to.

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Small Business Accounting: How to Choose an Accountant

A small business is an enterprise that is usually small in scale in terms of number of employees and/or sales revenues. A large majority of the businesses in the United State are small business. These businesses are usually registered as sole proprietor, meaning one individual owns it, or partnership, meaning 2 or more people owns the business.

One of the problems facing a small business is in terms of accounting. With the limitation in funds, some accounting is done by the business owner. The entrepreneur is tasked to run the business and at the same time handles the day-to-day accounting requirements of the company. Because of this, the company is often penalized by the government for late payment of taxes, late submission of tax documents and at times, non-submission of tax forms. Also, the business can also be penalized for erroneous computations of tax dues. The business owner has his/her hands full with running the business that handling the accounting requirements can be turned over to another person.

A business owner can hire an in-house accountant or he/she can outsource the small business accounting work to a CPA firm like Desert Rose Tax & Accounting. An outsourced accountant can sometimes be more beneficial than hiring an employee because it is less expensive to outsource than to hire. Also, the outsourced accountant doesn’t need a designated space while an in-house needs his/her own space in the office.

In choosing an accountant to handle small business accounting for the company, some tips can be useful. Before opening a business, the business owner must have a ready accountant. Since a CPA requires a license before he/she can practice the profession, one has to make sure that he/she has a license. The accountant must have experience in the kind of industry the business is in.

Also in a small business accounting setup, before hiring an outside CPA make sure that one knows how much the accountant charges. Fees charged by CPA firms can vary widely. It is good practice to compare the accountant fees with industry standards. The accountant must be able to fill the needs of the company. Before hiring an accountant, one has to interview at least 3 or more prospective accountants so one can compare which among the three will best serve the company’s purpose.

In handling the accounting needs of the company, the business owner must ask the prospective accountant about other possible services he/she can offer to the company like sales tax and payroll tax reporting services. Some Certified Public Accountants offer business advice to help the enterprise grow.

Also, the accountant best fitted to handle the small business accounting is the CPA whose accounting firm is also small. Accountants who own small firms understand how small businesses are run. They also have the time and resources to share with the business owner. It’s one thing to have a fancy degree in business and another to have practical experience running a small business. In the event that the business owner sells the business, the accountant must be good enough to discuss with the owner how to go about with the sale so that tax liabilities are minimized.

Prior to signing up an accountant for the small business accounting, the business owner must ask the accountant for client references so that the owner can investigate. One must also make sure that the accountant establishes a business relationship with the owner, meaning the accountant has time to visit the company every now and then rather than just seeing him/her only when it’s tax filing season.

Learn more about small business accounting services at

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Top 5 Services Your Company's Accounting Department Should Outsource

Accounting is one area which every company has to maintain but mostly not part of their core business. It is also one of the areas that keep changing every year and the company has to aggressively keep up with the changes in the tax code. This includes managing your books till you finish up with paying taxes. For a company to survive in an environment where mistakes are costly and dependent on how well they can play the accounting game correctly, they should have an outstanding accounting department. This could either be in-house or completely outsourced to some good service providers.

Accounting is a critical component of your business and care should be taken to employ the best and the bright. These accountants should be ahead of every tax and book keeping game. They should stay abreast with every tax code changes. More so over they should be capable of finding ways to save more for the company. But having an in-house team for this is often very costly given the price of publications to subscribe and the time it takes to go through complicated laws. The best would be to outsource this task and have a limited in-house staff to oversee the operation. This is one area where a separate expert entity makes a lot more sense and you can rest assured that the team is keeping up with the changes and saving you money and help you run the core business without distractions.

Here is the top 5 list of accounting areas that you should outsource to the experts:

1. Book Keeping: this involves maintaining your sales ledgers, purchase ledgers and cash books.

2. Payroll: This is a lot complex than you think, choosing the right software and constantly keeping up with the tax codes is by itself a very complex task. In this age the base salary is just one component, the majority is based on performance and achievements. These factors are highly volatile, and add a different equation to payroll processing. Outsource this first if you have more than 20 employees.

3. VAT: Value added tax is one of the very complex tax regimes which every company should seek advice with professionals. The customs and excise is a very task intensive area and having in-house experts for small companies who do a lot of imports and exports is a costly misuse of scarce resources. You should find out the folks who can keep up with the complex tax changes and who can ensure the returns you file are accurate without any overpayments or underpayments. The overpayments are one time loss, but underpayments will come back to haunt you.

4. Financial Accounts: The financial accounts should be maintained and shown at very strict time limits. This is usually a race against time. If you have an in-house team, they may perform this well in normal situations. But sometimes there may be some audits where the time to resolve issues will be a big pressure point and your in-house staff can not just take it. It is better that a good service provider manages this area for you.

5. Company formation and corporation law: This is one service which is wildly popular for its outsourcing ability. You can easily get the services of a good company to take care of the company formation and registration aspects. You need someone to talk to the tax authorities on your behalf. They should also be very well versed in the particular industry segment your company is in. This ensures the tax opportunities and relief available for your company can be fully utilized and proper structure could be employed.

There are a few more that could be outsourced but these are the major areas you may want to evaluate in your next board or company meeting.

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Benefits of Using a Tax Service

An accounting department is a necessity, whether your business is small or large. These days, a lot of business owners have already acquired services from accounting firms and companies in order to ease the burden off their shoulders. Accounting can be quite frustrating so hiring accounting services to calculate loss and profits is essential to define the course of action needed in the future. These days, a lot of organizations are now aware about the advantages of accounting and income tax service offerings.

There are custom consultants and agents that provide notice replies and representations which are shown to custom officers and the higher courts. These accounting companies are a group of professionals working together offering top-notch data processing, accounting and bookkeeping services. These firms help their clients analyze their organization or business current status in order to evaluate their performance. Basing from the results of these financial studies, the organization leaders and business heads arrive at a decision which is critical for the betterment of the institution they are handling.

Tax service providers also help the companies in rewarding departments and their staffs who have been productive and responsible for profit influx in the company. A part of the accounting team are tax lawyers which aids their clients in claiming refunds over excess tax they paid in the past. These lawyers also recommend the best methods of planning taxes so as to avoid getting charged with evasion offenses.

As business entrepreneur, you need to learn about the importance of accounting as basic knowledge. Mixing your financial strategies with their advices will definitely boost your business. Lacking the knowledge of your cash flow can break your business. A lot of business owners and organization heads just rely on their tax service providers about their financial concerns. This is wrong. While they can take off a lot of burden from your shoulders, it is still important for you to check them out once in a while and you must be knowledgeable about every single procedure they involve themselves in.

These tax service providers also help in optimizing the customs and duties with the aid of proper categorization. They also take advantage of different exemption and incentive schemes to recommend for lower returns. The excise consultants, as part of accounting companies, should have experience in the field and in assisting people with their concerns and issues about live consignments. Most of the time, people don’t have an idea about the lax with regards to their finances; these consultants can help them save money. Since they understand the law better and deeper, they can use their skills and mastery to plan schemes in handling the complexities of filing your returns.

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Outsource Bookkeeping Services Is Cost Effective

Outsource bookkeeping services is to benefit its clients with quality bookkeeping accounting needs at cost effective rates. It being a bookkeeping company remains a preference for all sizes of bookkeeping accounting firms. Recession, experienced during last few years has made businesses more cautious on spending their operating budgets and made virtual assistants a popular service.

Outsource bookkeeping services which helps to beat the competition though paying just $5 per hour for online bookkeeping accounting services as against $30,000 for an in-house bookkeeper, saves heavily on cost especially for a small business. If you are a small business owner you would be interested to know that the money saved here could be used to crush the competition with lower prices for your business products as well as services; serves for investment in added advertising to develop the competition, plus prepare superior strategic plans.

It becomes burdensome for small bookkeeping company to hire, train or retain an in-house bookkeeper or an assistant. Considering lunch time, sick time, bench time, account vacations, and health care, the hourly pay rate of the bookkeeper gets too high which becomes an unaffordable luxury for small businesses.

Even if any bookkeeping company hires a bookkeeper or an assistant, he has several responsibilities to handle. The in-house assistant can, off-load work to a virtual assistant acting as a buffer for all overload. A virtual assistant can do anything that an in-house assistant can do and could be used as an assistant for an in-house staff member at a fraction of the cost.

There are even a few small bookkeeping accounting firms who themselves perform all the tasks. This time could be better spent concentrating on the key business issues plus developing the business. Delegating your bookkeeping accounting needs to efficient outsource bookkeeping services at lower cost to be performed by bookkeepers, paralegals as well as administrative assistants. Performing the same tasks that can easily be handled by an online business at cheap rates doesn’t seem to make business sense either!

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Accounting Outsourcing

Advancement of technologies offers abundant help to all people most especially to people who venture more on businesses. Because of new innovative technologies, entrepreneurs and all businessmen and women have the alternative to ditch non-core but essential district of its organization on companies practicing in those precise categories. Accounting Outsourcing is a much advantageous effort and a wise choice which provides services at a very low rate but with an exceptionally prolific mass work force.

More and more triumphant businesses of today have acquired this type of humble help wherein they are given more equally efficient assistance and providing them ample convenient time and cash load to spend on characterizing themselves in the commercial world.

Most firms of CPA and businesses have discovered that accounting outsourcing truly saves valuable time while freeing them from much unnecessary expenditures because apparently, much attention is needed in bookkeeping and payroll transactions. Business owners are more effective when they tend to have spent more effort and attention to their customers and to fully understand and sort every bit of a problem with them.

Now, experts and economists have specified that accounting outsourcing is growing faster than ever these days. Many believed that accounting outsourcing improved the performance of their financial capabilities and generally, making their strategic approach much forward and highly competent. By outsourcing the accounting of a company, it can focus on crucial and core operations of the business, get skillful staffs at affordable fees, experience state of the art technology at a very low rate, enlarge the business and excel with it and most importantly, the company can definitely improve customer satisfaction.

Accounting outsourcing is known to be a big help to many accounting firms and to different businesses and organizations whether big or small. This is serviced to save them from unworthy cash-outs and to aid them in managing their work well so they can thoroughly concentrate more to increasing their profits and also lessen the burden of accounting intricacies.

Primarily, the most prevalent reasons organizations, businesses, firms and enterprises choose to outsource accounting services are to decrease operational costs, increase company capabilities, raise quality and company focus, and decrease cycle time.

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