Names and identities of clients have been changed.
I specialize in helping business owners who are behind with filing their taxes....way, way behind. These owners are scared and so stressed that it begins to affect their mental and physical health. Although Alison is VERY good at her business she feels like a fraud. Jason had an in-house bookkeeper and thought he had it all undercontrol. It wasn't until he found notices hidden in desk drawers that he realized just how wrong he was.
The solution seems so simple - file the taxes - but for these individuals and so many like them they have NO IDEA how to get started. Everything they have tried has failed and left them feeling confused, embarrassed and very alone. They are desperate for someone to keep them from drowning but afraid to ask for help.
Alison is truly a rock star in her industry. It was the suddenness of her success that led her to the near debilitating stress of today. It was easy to spend time on the things she enjoyed, helping her clients, and nearly impossible to do the things she didn't like, PAPERWORK! Realizing she had a problem, she reached out to a successful and expensive CPA. Despite her pleas for help, she was given a thick tax organizer document and told to fill it out and return it. The amount of needed information was simply overwhelming.
Despite what Alison thought, she was not too lazy or stupid to handle the bookkeeping. It just wasn't HER THING. No matter how hard she tried, it was never going to be HER THING. I don't know about you but I am terrible with anything that requires power tools. It would be more accurate to say that I am down-right dangerous and should never be trusted with a power saw. I do however; know some really talented handymen and carpenters. I pay a little more but I know the job is done right. Knowing your limits can set you free to look for other options to getting the job done. In four months, we were able to get her completely caught up and current with her bookkeeping which provided her everything she needed to give the CPA to complete the tax returns. No more telling herself she is a fraud and now she can focus on the rewards of her success.
Unlike Alison, Jason accepted his limits and hired an in-house bookkeeper as soon as his business could afford it. He advertised, interviewed and carefully selected her to handle all the bookkeeping needs. As time passed, Jason's business grew dramatically and so did the demands on his time. The new bookkeeper was handling it all, collecting payments from customers, making deposits, paying bills and employees. She even found the time to pay herself - a LOT. To make sure that her additional income didn't get confused with the legitimate expenses she created a second set of accounting files. It wasn't until Jason found a demand letter for unfiled quarterly reports that he realized he had a problem.
If you take your hands off the steering wheel, you can't be surprised if you end up in the ditch, especially when you and your business are going 100 mph. No matter whom you use, in-house or professional service, it is your job to completely understand what your money is doing. Always request to see reports of your bookkeeping activity. Ask questions about those reports. Verify the information is correct. Trust your gut. And lastly, have your CPA or other outside trusted accountant check over your records at least twice a year. If Jason had a policy of an unofficial audit twice a year it is unlikely the creative bookkeeper would have even tried to walk away with his money.
I will be happy to sit with you to discuss what you need to get your bookkeeping caught up and stress free. I provide all my clients with a Non-Disclosure Agreement, to protect their privacy before any work has begun. We work together to build your accounting making sure that they accurately reflect what has occurred. Once it is all complete, we will go over it again to make sure you fully understand the reports that will be sent to your CPA / tax preparer. No hidden surprise. That is my commitment to you.