In the past, I’ve been a big proponent of doing my taxes myself, but found this year that I wanted to outsource them Having worked with a number of bookkeepers in the area, I knew what I was looking for – someone who could increase my ability to do what I need to do, without costing more than what makes sense.
I found that while I could go to a “Big Box” tax outfit, I probably know more about that tax code than many of the $10 per hour employees they have, sitting in front of a tax filing program not much different than the ones I would use. They would request the same information, give me the same output and try to sell me the same add-on services that my online software would give me. To me, this was a 1+0=1 relationship. If I give them the wrong info, they may or may not be able to use a critical eye to guide me to the right place.
It goes back to the old adage: You only know what you know. There may be things that you don’t even know you don’t know, because you only know what you know.
My tax professional, on the other hand, brings to the table (courtesy of Laura Morton at 10 Key Solutions):
- Knowledge and understanding of the tax code
- Trust – while a computer will get the information correct, it might not get the correct information
- The ability to go through an audit with you
- Critical thinking when looking at potential deductions
- Scrutiny to make sure that the information is correct (Garbage in, garbage out!)
- Responsibility – tax professionals take responsibility for the taxes they file
- Recommendations based on your personal situation on how you might reduce further tax obligations
- The ability to create a tax strategy that may span over several years
- The ability to recommend personally endorsed professionals for your specific needs
- The ability to work with you in your particular circumstance to help you accomplish your financial goals
- Competitive pricing – this means that the value I received from her in relation to what she charged was equal or greater than the value I would have received from doing it myself or through a “Big Box” provider
So when I worked with her, the results were far greater than the input, which would be my money for her time. What I received was:
- Time to continue building my own company – taxes would have taken me far longer to do than it took her
- Freedom from responsibility to make sure the taxes were in on time with the right information
- Knowledge that the taxes are right and that I got the maximum return
- Recommendations on how I might plan for 2010
- A trusted advisor
While a tax advisor/bookkeeper/virtual CFO/CFO is one example of how you might outsource services, there are many non-core activities that you can outsource that will give you the same result. My virtual assistant, my researchers, my IT people, etc,. all help the company go further, faster, than it ever could by itself. I can focus a great amount of time working on the company and growing it on a continual basis.
Don’t get stuck in the ordinary. 1+0 will always equal 1. Be extraordinary. Think 1+1=5
Aepiphanni Business Consulting: The Business Strategy People is a Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of small to medium sized business leaders and executives. We specialize in helping leaders create extraordinary businesses. We welcome clients in the personal and professional services industries, including Creative and Design Services, Software & IT Services, Professional Services and Healthcare Services. As always, we welcome your comments, thoughts, questions and suggestions. If you are seeking a business assessment, or have further questions about creating your strategy or developing your vision, please give me, Rick Meekins, a call at 678-265-3908, or email us at [email protected].