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Regulating Paid Tax Preparers – Boom or Bust?

From time to time, I’m asked what I think of the IRS’s recent attempt to regulate tax preparers by creating the Registered Tax Return Preparer Program, also known as RTRP and the eventual actions by the court overturning the program. So, let me play Monday morning quarterback for a moment.

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I’ve worked in various environments, with both large and small corporations.  The skills and mindset needed to successfully operate a small business are much different than those needed for a large company.  I enjoyed reading an article in INC online, by Brian Hamilton dated August 9th.  He provides the 7 Biggest Financial Mistakes Businesses Make – he’s writing to small businesses.  To link to that article click here.

Numbers Effect Attitude

Using the numbers from accounting is more than just a financial consideration.  Of course used the wrong way, they can hurt morale.  But when used effectively, they can be a strong motivating power to move the business forward.

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With nearly 20 years in helping people have their own accounting and bookkeeping service, I’ve seen, investigated, and assisted in a lot of different start-up techniques. I’ve certainly experienced both the do’s and the don’ts. Because of that I’m always happy to provide some small nuggets of wisdom when asked. The other day a radio interviewer asked me several questions for a podcast. If you’re interested, go to http://www.startingabiz.com/. Hope it helps save people time in their startup.

Small Business Meets Mother Nature

In nature, when the environment is friendly things grow and multiply.   However, when the weather turns bad for any period of time, or when other elements interrupt the environment the weak die, and the strong survive.  In the long run, most environmentalists are saying that’s a good process – it makes plants and animals stronger.  The current economic environment is forcing the same.  The weak businesses are going to fail, and the strong well-run businesses will survive.  The outcome should be a stronger, better fiscal environment overall.

The IRS requires documentation

It’s fourth quarter, and so that means it’s time to assess your record keeping position.

Some small business owners think that electronic filing eliminated the need for adequate record keeping.  That is far from the case.  It’s just as critical today that you have good records as it was before.  Electronic filing just made it easier for the IRS to gather your tax forms, but are just as likely,  if not more likely, to request copies of documents that will support and prove your deductions.

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Do Accountants Like Jokes?

worrying_manI know I do! Life and work can be stressful.  Laughter is great medicine.  Here’s a joke I came across on Mark Lee’s blog Accountant jokes and fun, ranked one of the Top 50 Accounting Blogs by BIZ.edu.

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Customer is King

Customer service feedbackWhich stores and restaurants and stores do you patronize most often?  Are you treated poorly there?  I would guess you are not!  Not long ago, my oldest son managed a store for an AT&T cell phone dealer.  His customers often came to his store straight from another dealer’s store a mile up the street, where they had been ignored or treated disrespectfully.  While the location of his store was poor and his prices were often higher, my son won many customers for his employer because he provided the world class customer service that his competitor did not.  Kudos to my son’s employer for building and sustaining a culture with such emphasis on customer service.

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For Accountants: What to do if a client is in the red?

I am seeking thoughts, ideas and important questions to address regarding the topic of helping accounting clients who are in the red. I have been invited to speak on the profit recovery process described in my book, Red to Black in 30 Days, at the CBA conference (http://www.c-b-a.ca/conference.htm) in Toronto Canada in three weeks.  What would you want to hear if you were in the audience?  I will use this information to improve my presentation and address questions & issues most important to accountants and bookkeepers.  Please include only those examples or questions that you don’t mind me sharing.

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Accountants are Assets

The accounting system and the people who run it are tremendous assets within a business. The accounting function is powerful in helping any business operator and department manager understand what is happening within the business.

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