Why Should You Use Professional Tax, Bookkeeping, Payroll, Legal Document, and Investment Services?
“Doing it Yourself” isn’t always the best plan for your small business.
Lately I’ve been noticing some instances of questionable ideas that cause the same feeling in the pit of my stomach. That gut-wrenching sense of foreboding that some people would call a sixth sense, intuition, or even anxiety.
The ones that come quickly to mind are:
Wearing roller skates on stairs,
Running with knives or scissors, and
Certain cases of “I can do it myself”
I think we can all agree that the first two are just, simply, bad ideas. It’s common sense. But number three, while great for our growing kids who are exploring their independence, could be very bad for our growing businesses and complicated lives. Let me explain.
If you are in the business of providing bookkeeping services, then by all means ignore this section and move onto the next. You’re covered.
You’re probably also covered if you have a hobby or other business with very few transactions. Set yourself up with a good Excel template. For everyone else, I can’t stress enough how important it is to farm this one out.
Is it really appealing to take time out of your day to struggle with a bookkeeping system while crossing your fingers that you’ve done everything correctly? You should be using that time to grow your business, perform your services, make your clients/customers happy and attract more.
So often, we find ourselves cleaning up or completing a year’s worth of bookkeeping and the time involved is so much longer than if it had been done (correctly) in the first place. Don’t fall into this trap!
Ask us about our bookkeeping services! We would be happy to find the right solution for you and your business or household. It could even make your tax preparation more efficient, more affordable, and less stressful!
Can I get a show of hands? Does anyone out there like dealing with the IRS? Receiving notices is stressful enough but try calling them, being on hold, being disconnected, repeating the process, over and over until you finally reach someone who probably doesn’t even understand the issue you’re trying to resolve. It’s a nightmare!
I’ve seen quite a few payroll-related notices. An incorrect form was filed… A form wasn’t filed at all… tax deposits weren’t made on time… They are not easy to resolve and, if you’ve been doing your own payroll, can add up to a hefty bill.
Worse, if the notices are correct, you could owe a small fortune in penalties and interest.
In the past 12 months, we have implemented a new and improved payroll system via our “money movers” and software providers at myPay Solutions.
Complete with portals and a smartphone app for easy payroll entry and document viewing, this service has become very popular amongst our clients. Because it’s so easy! But the best part is: it’s affordable.
If computers and portals make you nervous, we’ve got you covered. Our staff will enter the info for you. If you have payroll needs, call us!
Tax Return Preparation
Again… anyone out there like dealing with the IRS? (See above.) While outsourcing your tax preparation to a professional may not alleviate the receipt of notices, it can make things easier.
Most professional tax return preparers have a policy to resolve notices on returns they’ve prepared, free of charge. Most times, the IRS or State Tax Department is simply looking for clarification on an item or wants to make sure there’s no identity theft going on.
Since we have the information at our fingertips, we can easily get things resolved. (However, it may take several months on their end but don’t get me started on that…)
Every year there are tax changes. How much time do you have to study those changes? Do you really want to?
Wouldn’t you rather be skiing or watching hockey or going on vacation or a million other things that are more enjoyable?
In our office, we dedicate several weeks every year to learning the new tax laws, updating our software, and educating our clients (through blogs such as this).
And we are a year-round resource for any question or situation that might crop up.
Here’s a pop quiz: Which scenario is better?
You make a financial decision during the year. Months later you sit down to prepare your own tax return (gives me chills just thinking about it!) and discover that you owe thousands of dollars in taxes due to that decision but you have no way of paying the tax bill. OR
You have a decision to make. You consult with a tax professional who helps you strategize different scenarios. At tax time, things are looking a lot better! Or maybe you still owe thousands of dollars, but at least you’re prepared and have set some funds aside.
I gave away the answer but you see my point. To quote my friend, G.I. Joe, when it comes to taxes, “Knowing is half the battle.” We may not like it, but at least we’re prepared.
I’m not an attorney. I don’t even play one on TV. And I could never imagine using any service other than from a flesh-and-blood, “I want to sit across from you and look you in the eye,” attorney.
Especially when it comes to wills, trusts, probate, and business documents. But in the past few years, we’ve seen an increase in the popularity of DIY websites such as LegalZoom.
There are some clients who have used these do-it-yourself legal services and received a very nice set of documents. Some are accurate; but most are not.
I don’t know a lot about these services but, from what I understand, you need to know how to answer the questions that are being asked. There is no advice, no follow-up questioning, and no interpersonal relationship. (I do know there is follow-up solicitation for other services but, again, don’t get me started on that…)
So what do you do if you’ve received a set of documents that are not accurate or not what you intended?
If you’ve set up a business or trust, those documents have been filed with the IRS. Now we have to play the “call, hold, disconnect, repeat” game AND visit a flesh-and-blood attorney to have everything fixed.
Why not just pay the attorney to begin with? Chances are, you’re going to need legal services throughout your life. Wouldn’t you rather establish a relationship with someone who will know your entire life situation and be able to advise you properly? If you do so, that attorney will also be able to speak with your accountant (given permission), and now you’ve established a Team!
We work with several attorneys in the area. Let us know if you need a referral!
I know I’m supposed to be a numbers person. But start talking about “rates of return” and “yield to maturity” and chances are you’ll see my eyes glaze over. Are you like me? On the flip side, maybe these terms fascinate you and you fancy yourself a “day trader.” Or maybe you fall somewhere in-between.
No matter, give these questions some thought:
Do you know if you’ll have enough money to retire at the age you want to?
Do you know if you’ll run out of money during retirement?
Are you confused about life insurance, whether you should have it, what kind, and how much?
Are you diversified? (This is a particularly serious issue if you work for a company that invests its retirement plans entirely in its own stock.)
Are your kids set up for college in the best way?
Will you be able to meet other financial goals given your current situation?
A good investment advisor is also a financial advisor. They meet with you annually to discuss goals, the previous years’ plan, and consider what the financial plan should be going forward. They look at all of your assets and liabilities. They listen to your concerns.
They are not out to reap commissions for themselves or sell you products you don’t need or want.
For most people, whether or not to use a financial advisor for investments comes down to 1) time and 2) trust. Do you have the time to spend researching all of the different types of investments and making sure you’re diversified?
Do you have time to repeat this process when a world event happens? Do you have time to listen to your spouse blame you when you’ve lost money in the market? (It happens. We’ve seen it.)
Some people don’t trust the stock market or advisors. We get it. Guess what? You don’t have to invest in the market, and we know advisors who are trustworthy. Ask us about your Second Opinion program or let us refer you and make sure you’re taken care of! Look at your Team grow!
Building Your Professional Financial Services Team
This was a lengthy article but you made it to the end!
Hopefully you realize the value in using professional financial services and building your Team.
After all, I could probably watch a YouTube video on how to install a light fixture, and I’d save money by not having to pay an electrician, but I run the risk of having something go very, very wrong and paying for it in other ways (think hospital bills or fire damage).
I don’t think I want to take that chance. How much risk are you willing to take?