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For Bargain Hunters

New Small Business Clients Tell Us About Their Distressing Experiences With Their Prior Bargain Bookkeeping and Income Tax Services

Most of our clients have had prior unsatisfactory experiences with bargain-priced bookkeepers and income tax preparers. They come to us after realizing that cutting costs for small business bookkeeping and income tax services is false economy. Bargain bookkeeping and tax services lead to wasted time, wasted money and, often, lost opportunities for not being able to make sound business decisions because their bookkeeping was either not accurate, not detailed enough, not reliable or not up to date.

Savvy business owners have learned that bargain hunting is not wise for fulfilling a mission-critical business function such as bookkeeping and tax services. (And, that’s why inexperienced small business owners usually insist on price-shopping and selecting only bargain-priced bookkeepers and tax preparers.) Because we appeal to seasoned clients, we have the privilege of serving fabulous clients who recognize and appreciate what we do for them and how we do it for over 30 years.

Moreover, bargain priced bookkeepers and tax preparers don’t know enough about basic bookkeeping and business operations to realize that they don’t have a sustainable fee structure. That means they do not have the experience to guide you in your business because they do not know their own business structure. And, they usually do not stay in business long enough to serve you in the long term.

We have frequently seen where bargain tax services have done the following:

  • Cut corners
  • Poor or no documentation showing their sources of data
  • Entering information which the tax payer has not furnished
  • Business losses entered for non-existent businesses
  • Making up deductions about which the client had no knowledge
  • Tax returns not signed, or signed by someone who was not the preparer
  • Omit supporting information to explain tax treatments or deductions fully
  • Make frequent mistakes
  • Omit, disregard or under-report legitimate deductions
  • Give bad or misleading advice
  • Don’t check their work
  • Use bargain or home-based software which prepared or allowed inconsistent numbers from form to form
  • Do not confirm tax treatment with legitimate tax research sources
  • Prepare tax returns when they have not been registered with the State of California as required
  • Misapply tax law
  • Use the wrong tax forms (S corporation tax entity using a C corporation forms, etc.)
  • Do not coordinate the personal and business tax returns
  • Unknowingly or knowingly expose the client to preventable audit exposure
  • Reckless tax strategies (S corporation showing little or no salaries to shareholder-employees, etc.)
  • Create or prevent penalties and interest assessments (little or no attention to estimated tax payments for the following year, etc.)
  • Learn more…

Clients tell us that their prior unsatisfactory bookkeeping experiences include:

  • Wrong or inaccurate numbers on reports or books
  • Untimely or missing reports
  • Fines or penalties for omitted, late or inaccurate tax returns or agency reports
  • Uncertainty about accuracy of sales tax, payroll tax or workers compensation reports
  • Inability to produce certified payroll
  • Can’t get straight answers to simple questions about your books
  • Sudden disappearances or departures of bookkeeper
  • Not sure QuickBooks is set up correctly or working properly to full capacity
  • Backlogged or incomplete work
  • Forced bank reconciliations (plugging in fictitious numbers to falsify the reconciliation)
  • Books out of balance forcing QuickBooks to generate temporary balancing accounts
  • Refusal or inability to use modern methods to save time and money
  • Not keeping up to date with advances and new time-saving technology
  • Continuing confusion or errors on payroll and payroll tax returns
  • Business transactions from owner’s personal expenditures, credit cards, advances, loans or lines of credit not property incorporated into business books
  • Petty cash not properly established, replenished or classified on books
  • Depreciation not considered or incorporated in formal reports to owners for planning
  • Duplicate work or meaningless repetitive work
  • Over-utilization of time-consuming Excel or Word templates to do bookkeeping or financial functions available in QuickBooks
  • Unaware or under-utilization of integrated business features in QuickBooks
  • Unexplained balances, transactions or accounts
  • Mysterious transactions or accounts set up
  • Unavailability of costs by job, department, location or division
  • Expenses and costs not segregated enough to determine costs to set prices properly
  • Equity balances do not agree to prior year tax returns
  • Unfamiliar with accounting on the cash basis or accrual basis for tax returns
  • Not sure when an accounting event has occurred, so critical transactions could be omitted or entered in the wrong year
  • Unfamiliar with basic bookkeeping principles, debits and credits, balancing, error detection, checking procedures and correct reconciliation procedures
  • Payroll not entered or downloaded by individual employee for proper bank reconciliations
  • Unfamiliar with downloading transactions from bank or credit card accounts
  • Chart of accounts too lengthy, too short or incompatible with company operating basis
  • Misclassification of expenses, income, loan proceeds, loans to or from owners, purchases or leases
  • Omitted transactions, including business expenses paid personally by owners
  • Frequent or recurring mistakes
  • Accounts receivable or accounts payable do not agree to customer or vendor records
  • Backwards balances in accounts or books (negative receivables, etc.)
  • Increasing reliance on outside tax preparer for answering bookkeeping questions
  • Unexplained heavy workload
  • Inaccurate or nonsensical reports
  • Unavailable information
  • Continuous excuses for unexplained or unanswered questions
  • Costs or expenses improperly classified
  • Late or unexplained absent work or reports
  • Unusually long time required to do basic or routine tasks
  • Broken promises
  • Unexplained increasing billing
  • Continuous problems or errors
  • Diminishing responsibility for incomplete tasks or missed deadlines
  • Personal problems or family issues conflicting with work assignments
  • Untidy or disorganized work area, files or documents
  • Missing or unavailable company files or valuable documents
  • Company source documents taken off work premises
  • And more…

We know bookkeeping, accounting and income tax services are a mission-critical function to developing accurate financial information for running your business by the numbers. Moreover, accurate bookkeeping and accounting is critical for reducing taxes and providing reliable information to support you if your tax returns are audited.

We’re experts in QuickBooks bookkeeping, accounting and taxes for small businesses and individuals with expertise in over 92 industries with over 30 years of experience based in Orange County (OC), California. That means we know how to accurately assess your situation and quickly formulate a cost-effective service plan to accomplish your objectives.

We believe Mr. Ruskin had the right idea when he advised the following:

“It is unwise to pay too much, but it is worse to pay too little.

When you pay too much, you lose a little money – that is all.

When you pay too little you sometimes lose everything because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do.

The common law of business balance prohibits paying too little and getting a lot – it cannot be done.

If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run, and if you do that, you will have enough to pay for something better.”

John Ruskin
British Author, Artist, Essayist and Critic