planing for tax season


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Many CPAs struggle to find new methods for managing their time -- especially during the height of tax season. When they refer to "distractions" and "interruptions", they usually mean contact with staff and clients. Of approximately 40,000 CPAs in the US alone, around 30,000 have solo practices or one assistant. That certainly limits time with staff...and limits income. A growing client list means more income, but also requires the CPA to manage client contact. This means relinquishing most of the actual accounting work. The problem then becomes finding talented people to perform the work. Fortunately, the pool of talent from which to choose may be located anywhere in the world. Work can be performed remotely -- even tax preparation -- thanks to technology such as that available from myrealdata.com. Why are CPAs reluctant to implement this type of solution? It seems to permit growth for a firm, provide accesses to the best workers, reduce costs, and allow time for founding CPAs to better serve their clients.
 
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There are a few concerns that come to my mind.

First, there is the consideration of client privacy and security. Outsourcing (and even more so with off-shoring) client's workpapers and tax documents exposes not only my client's to the risk of identity theft, but also exposes my professional reputation should anything go wrong with a client's return.

Second, commercial tax preparers may not have the same issues with outsourcing / off-shoring, but most of the CPA's that I know take a great deal of pride in their work because they actually sign the return. When the quality control function is also outsourced / off-shored, it is an uncomfortable situation.

Finally, and I can only speak for myself on this point, but I have never thought that off-shoring jobs is good for our economy. I personally would choose (and have chosen) to do fewer returns, and keep thinner profit margins, but employ qualified US-based tax preparers.

Just my humble opinion,
Russell Tuncap, CMA, CPA

P.S. ~ Also, with the new IRS regulations on paid tax preparers, this is going to shake up the entire tax preparation industry!
 

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