The recent economic shock felt by many small businesses and their CPAs has pushed small private professional accounting practices like mine to the point of extinction. Yet I am committed to this ‘old fashioned’ high quality business model and estimate that I have about 15 years remaining in my work career to keep this service moving smoothly. So, to cope with these new economic demands, the following changes are adopted effective immediately to serve you better:
- A no additional cost strategic planning discussion is offered to open discussion on vision, mission, goals, strategies and contingency planning. That’s the area we can add most to your financial end results.
- Representation before IRS requires acceptance of crisis provisions: Minimum advance fee payment at time of submission of the power of attorney, work is best efforts basis, no guarantee of results, work timeline will be deliberately slowed to achieve higher value results.
- I intend to support all clients who conclude that they can no longer afford the minimum cost of a CPA. Options include coaching on self-service technology, outplacement or bundling of accounting with other services for cost savings.
- Our work plans will include a timeline with follow-up scheduled no later than 10 days for revision. This ensures that our plans do not ‘slip through the cracks’ or get stale.
- I will consolidate services around QuickBooks Online bookkeeping systems and outsource accounting work not using that system. This does not apply to .
- Preauthorized monthly payment authorization is required for ongoing service agreements. This ensures that there is no break in service and saves time for both of us.
- S-corporations and partnership accounting agreements that did not require me to report on basis must be modified.
- Our work plans for businesses with any foreign exposure must be re-evaluated. Large cost increases are anticipated in response to new federal tax requirements.
- Waiver of minimum fees will be limited. Sadly, the days of CPA tax returns or problem solving for a few hundred dollars are gone.
- Monthly payment plans for combined tax, advisory and representation services will be eliminated at the expiration of the current term. This turns out to be unpopular and problematic for clients who are often unable to estimate future needs for advice. Instead, an agreement will be built into other work plans.
- When financial statements are used other than for internal management purposes, the bookkeeping system setup must meet Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. That typically means that cash basis accounting is allowed but bookkeeping must segregate transactions into fundraising, operational and program categories.