Natasha Goldstein is Founder & Managing Director of The Accountkeepers.
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Helpful, and brief, insights for financial leaders
by Natasha Goldstein
Hello wonderful colleagues, clients, and friends. As has been typical of my first few Tips articles, this one also comes from a question I get time and time again from clients and prospects. Whether you’re a growing start-up, established midsize business, or non-profit, the question of “who should do my taxes?” is very common, but the answer is not always straightforward.
A lot of people I talk to think taxes are simple. I often hear “I mean, I can do it myself, it’s not that hard…”. I almost always disagree with that statement. The myriad number of ways you can mess up your taxes is astonishing! And the rules change all the time.
Is your small company filing taxes on an accrual basis with a few clients paying months in advance? Then whether you know it or not, you’re likely dealing with new and complex rules around advance sales (aka, deferred revenue). Or are you running a software-as-a-service (SaaS) start-up with sales in multiple states? Then you're dealing with Sales Tax Nexus. Maybe you run a non-profit with a grant from a local government entity? If so, you might not even fully understand the reporting requirements you've signed onto.
All of these are reasons you want someone skilled doing your taxes or your 990, and why *who* you choose is really important. The recommendation I give my clients is always based on what they’re doing now, and what their future plans are.
I will agree fully that a simple company reporting on a cash basis can hire a basic-level CPA or Enrolled Agent to file their taxes for a few hundred dollars a year. But if you’re in an industry with complex reporting requirements, you’re operating in multiple countries, or you have future M&A plans, it’s likely you should be thoughtful about your CPA choice. Choose a firm with experience in your industry and geography, and the know-how to deal with your issues as effectively as possible. Paying extra for that is well worth it.
While The Accountkeepers will do your company’s month-to-month bookkeeping, ensuring your books are clean and tax-ready come April, we do not prepare or file tax returns (other than 1099s). To help our clients in this department, we have a long list of fantastic companies to suit any possible tax need – from the small local CPA who can do your basic taxes for $300, to the firm with an international reach in every industry. Feel free to reach out for a recommendation!
The Accountkeepers is an outsourced bookkeeping firm that pairs experienced accountants with technology to increase accuracy and reduce cost.
Know a business that could benefit from a good bookkeeper? Send them our way!