Author Topic: Pros and Cons of an Accountant?  (Read 2246 times)

Larabeth

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Pros and Cons of an Accountant?
« on: February 07, 2016, 01:19:00 AM »
Do you find yourself doing your own accounting or do you let an accountant handle it?

Especially you Mustachians with your own businesses... where do you stand?

Parizade

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Re: Pros and Cons of an Accountant?
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2016, 05:09:32 AM »
I don't own a business but I adore my accountant. His services have paid for themselves many times over IMHO.

Larabeth

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Re: Pros and Cons of an Accountant?
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2016, 05:13:38 AM »
I don't own a business but I adore my accountant. His services have paid for themselves many times over IMHO.

Now that I'm investing in accounts other than my 401K, I kind of feel like I need to start using an accountant for taxes.  This year I filed my own and my eyes were crossed and I'm terrified I totally messed it up!!!!

Parizade

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Re: Pros and Cons of an Accountant?
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2016, 05:35:15 AM »
I am perfectly capable of doing my own taxes and researching all the laws and other aspects, but I don't enjoy it. In fact I hate it. The money I spend on my accountant buys me many hours of free time that I would otherwise have to spend doing something I don't enjoy.

Besides, he studies this stuff all year long, so he knows about tax strategies that would never even occur to me. If I pay him a couple hundred dollars and he finds me an additional $1250 in returns (as he did yesterday) I consider the money well spent.

And he can answer any financial question I have, so I take full advantage of the time I have paid for and ask him about everything that touches my money. I completely trust his knowledge and judgement so again, money well spent IMHO.

protostache

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Re: Pros and Cons of an Accountant?
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2016, 05:58:37 AM »
I do my own book keeping. My business and investments are simple enough still for that to not be a huge time suck. I pay an accountant to do out taxes, though. I paid them about the equivalent of one day's revenue and I figure it would have taken me three or four to do everything myself. For that money I got two hour-long phone calls, planning for 2016, and a whole admin team that pushed my return through with no fuss. Also, in the unlikely event of an audit I know they'll have my back, which is probably worth the price alone.

Oh, and just to head off the criticism, I did in fact sell the day(s) I would have otherwise spent on taxes :)

tj

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Re: Pros and Cons of an Accountant?
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2016, 05:13:57 PM »
I don't own a business but I adore my accountant. His services have paid for themselves many times over IMHO.

Now that I'm investing in accounts other than my 401K, I kind of feel like I need to start using an accountant for taxes.  This year I filed my own and my eyes were crossed and I'm terrified I totally messed it up!!!!

Have you tried TurboTax? If all we're talking about is invesmtent accounts, you can import that stuff into any of the software. I wouldn't pay a professional just to fill out Schedule B and D.

zephyr911

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Re: Pros and Cons of an Accountant?
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2016, 06:19:56 PM »
Small rental partnership, three partners, 21k gross last year and 50k projected on 7 props by year end. I did everything the first (partial) year. 2015 was a challenge and two of us had to collaborate extensively, but we learned a lot and have set up a more proactive approach for 2016.
If I hadn't spent a few years as a tax preparer, including some small business returns, and several years with 1-2 rentals of my own, this would be outsourced already. As is, I do enjoy it and I don't feel the paid help would add value beyond time savings. As with property management, which we're already starting to outsource, it's a matter of time till we decide to bring someone in, but I don't plan to give up accounting till I retire, and probably not until I leave the state to enjoy the fruits of our labor. However, it's something we continually reevaluate, as our main priorities are maintaining quality of life while doing market research, strategic planning, and financing our growth.
So, to summarize: 1) can you do it well? If not, pay for help now. 2) Does it detract from your playing more critical roles, or will it as your business grows? If/when that happens, pay for help.

Larabeth

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Re: Pros and Cons of an Accountant?
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2016, 11:42:47 PM »
I don't own a business but I adore my accountant. His services have paid for themselves many times over IMHO.

Now that I'm investing in accounts other than my 401K, I kind of feel like I need to start using an accountant for taxes.  This year I filed my own and my eyes were crossed and I'm terrified I totally messed it up!!!!

Have you tried TurboTax? If all we're talking about is invesmtent accounts, you can import that stuff into any of the software. I wouldn't pay a professional just to fill out Schedule B and D.

I used TurboTax this year. But I had other weird deductions and things from my non-profit work that made it hard, plus I had rollovers from my last job that just complicated things. It didn't like the numbers I put in and tried to make me change stuff. Then I ended up paying $75 for the whole thing when I could have taken the same stuff to my fiance's accountant for about half that (had I known).

Next year in just going to let someone else handle it since this year's taxes are going to get even more convoluted!