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Expensive Accountant or Not!

Discussion in 'Business & Tax Advice' started by Jimmy L, Apr 2, 2018.

  1. Jimmy L

    Jimmy L Newbie

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    My accountant wants to charge 3-4K for all the stuff she has to do with my business. I have many many receipts from 16 and 17. She has to amend my taxes from 16 (business and W2's). I have to structure my business. I'm from the US... does that sound right for an accountant price?
     
  2. GringoMonkey

    GringoMonkey Senior Member

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    Personally i dont pay accounts to do my accounts i pay them to lower my tax by doing my accounts.

    If with or without an accountant my tax bill is x, they would have cost me money. But if by hiring an accountant my tax bill becomes x-y, so long as they charge less than y they made me money.
     
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  3. Asif WILSON Khan

    Asif WILSON Khan Executive VIP

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    How many accountants have you spoken to?
    Have you shopped around?
    How complicated is your business structure?
    How much money have you made?
    $3-4K doesn't mean anything, if there is a lot of work involved then it will be more expensive, if you have kept your books up to date and they don't have much to do then it should be cheaper.
    Not from the US.
    Maybe @BassTrackerBoats could give you a better idea of what rate you should be paying.
     
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  4. Jimmy L

    Jimmy L Newbie

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    What program do you use to do your accounting? Hoping an accountant in this forum can answer this question to see if the price is too expensive or the going rate for my situation.
     
  5. Jimmy L

    Jimmy L Newbie

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    I got referred to her by a family friend and she has great reviews.
    My business isn't even setup
    I made in the 6 figures (gross) but have many expenses and receipts.
     
  6. GringoMonkey

    GringoMonkey Senior Member

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    I dont use any account program, the accountant does the accounts.

    You missunderstand my point. It is not about how much they cost it is about how much they can save you. Dont ask the accountant how much she charges ask her how much she can lower your tax by and then tell her she has to charge you less than that to get your business.
     
  7. Asif WILSON Khan

    Asif WILSON Khan Executive VIP

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    If she is taking care of the legal aspects of setting up the business then that might explain it.
    Again, not from the US so not sure of what price you should be paying.
    There are always ways to do everything cheaper but a decent accountant will be worth the money spent. (The same applies to Doctors and Lawyers, don't skimp when paying for experts)
     
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  8. Sephrata

    Sephrata Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    I don't follow this.

    If you just hand your accountant a load of receipts, then this is a very inefficient use of an accountant's charges in my opinion. Simple bookkeeping can be done yourself or with a VA.

    And this strategy works for you? It would never work in the UK or US.
     
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  9. Jimmy L

    Jimmy L Newbie

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    I was a bit confused by this as well?
     
  10. Sephrata

    Sephrata Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    At first glance, it would seem like your charges are high, but then it depends on what your CPA is doing. If she is reconciling all your income/expenses against your bank statements, then I can see why the charges would be high.

    I think I paid $250 for my 1040 with Schedule A for last year. Everything was documented and reconciled, so there wasn't much work other than a few additional queries on things.

    The US tax attorney I used for setting up various businesses charges $400 an hour. This seems high, but he is very good and he specialises in online businesses (especially eBay and FBA). He works with a lot of US expats who are digital nomads (he's one himself).
     
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  11. Jimmy L

    Jimmy L Newbie

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    Thanks! Yeah she is pretty much going back to 2016 amending my taxes from my business, my wife and I W2's. Then she is collecting all my receipts from 2016 and 2017 and setting up a business. 3-4K seems like a lot for that but I want to have it done right.
     
  12. GringoMonkey

    GringoMonkey Senior Member

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    When i started yes i just did give them a pile of receipts. But now i use a single bank card to buy everything for the business, linked to a single business bank account for all the incoming. I just download and send the accountant the bank data.

    My accounts are based in the uk, so yes my approach does work there, but it depends on how much you make as to if they agree.

    I have used the same approach with lawyers as well.
     
  13. Sephrata

    Sephrata Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    If you can do some of it yourself, then it would obviously save money. There's a free accounting/bookkeeping tool (WaveApps) that might help you reconcile your receipts.

    If she's setting up an LLC and doing all the things like setting up the operating agreement, filing the articles of organisation and applying for the EIN, then I can see this being $400-500 (plus the filing fees).
     
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  14. Jimmy L

    Jimmy L Newbie

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    So basically your saying she is charging too much in your opinion? Should I email her and ask a breakdown of what she is doing?
     
  15. Bread

    Bread Regular Member

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    Yes
     
  16. Sephrata

    Sephrata Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    It depends on her hourly rate and the amount of work she's spending doing the receipts.

    If you wanted to reduce the cost, then I would find a bookkeeper to do the receipts. A CPA could cost $125-175 an hour, but you could probably find a bookkeeper for around $30-50 an hour.
     
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  17. Jimmy L

    Jimmy L Newbie

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    Yeah, she is giving the receipts to her book keeper and said it would take them about a week to get everything organized. She never gave me her hourly rate. After talking to her for an hour and going over my business... it would cost 3-5K to complete the work she said. You think I should email her and tell her to give me a breakdown and make sure registering my business is including in the cost.
     
  18. Sephrata

    Sephrata Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    I think it's reasonable to do this.

    I personally have never experienced a professional service where someone has given a wide ballpark figure like $3-5k. Normally I get a figure and if they are going to go over, then they let me know.
     
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  19. FormerBoxer

    FormerBoxer Regular Member

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    You have two w2's, business receipts, need to amend taxes, and need to setup a business. That seems pretty high IMO. Like Khan said @BassTrackerBoats is good at things like this.
     
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  20. Jimmy L

    Jimmy L Newbie

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    Problem is the deadline to due taxes is in 2 weeks. I could file a extension but It's going to bury me even more. I wish I could do my own taxes but I did them wrong before and she has to amend them.