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News and Information

There is an interesting title for a blog post; catchy and entirely accurate. The idea came from an article I recently read called Vendors & Consultants Can’t Do The Push-Ups For You by Matt Sonnen of PFI Advisors. The concept is straightforward; regardless of what you hire an outsider to do for your business, the heavy lifting must still reside with you.

When I meet new clients, they often assume that once they share their needs and paperwork, I, as their accountant, will magically bring all their business financial goals to fruition. Nice thought, but it is not so simple.

An accountant’s role is to prepare and maintain financial reports, prepare tax returns, evaluate a business’s financial operations, identify issues, and help find solutions to those issues. Our job as the hired expert is not to run your business. Instead, it is our job to walk beside you, guide you and keep you out of the weeds. We are here to communicate best practices, to know the rules, answer your questions, and be that reassuring hand on your back as you bravely run and grow your business.

The basic fact is this: No matter who you hire, you will always have the most intimate knowledge of your business. You have the dream and the plan, you know every detail, and only you can truly carve a path to success. We can happily teach you the best, safest, and most beneficial way to do your push-ups, but in the end, it will be you doing them.

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I recently spoke with a client, and she expressed to me how difficult it was when we first met to bring her financial information and paperwork to me. At the time, she had not filed her taxes for years, did not understand how to manage her bank account, and was terrified to ask for help.

I asked her to discuss the basis of her fears on that day. She held out her hand and ticked these items off her fingers as she spoke. “One, she said...”

1. Money is stressful, and I felt humiliated for not having it all together.

2. I did not want to look incompetent or stupid in front of “money people.”

3. I was afraid I would be treated as if I were stupid and talked down to.

4. I did not know what questions to ask.

5. I felt like my situation was so bad and too far gone to do anything.

These are common issues I have repeatedly seen in my accounting firm. It must have some roots in the assumption that as an adult, you should automatically understand how to manage money, bills, accounts, and taxes. Some people do and may have had some practical teaching on the subject somewhere along the way. However, many people, my client included, did not learn what they needed to know.

To compound this issue, there is often some innate fear around business and personal accounting. Most people do not all the rules around taxes or how money works. They have lived their lives hearing what the IRS can do to them, and they do not know where to begin, how to proceed, or, like my client, what questions to ask. It is common to fear what we do not understand, which can lead to non-action or avoidance. By the time they call my office, they have dug themselves into a hole that can seem impossible to get out of.

The good news is this: You and your situation are NOT too far gone, you are not stupid or incompetent, and although money matters feel stressful and impossible to you now, it will not always be that way. If you are shaking your head, so did the client in this story in the beginning, and today, she is up to date with the IRS, her bank accounts are in order, and she has learned to feel much more comfortable in financial situations.

Although there is no magic in the solutions, and it does require work, time, learning, and dedication to solve financial issues, you do not have to do it alone. We know the rules; we understand money, taxes, retirement, accounts, banks, and more. We will greet you with non-judgment, a handshake, and a smile. Let there be no shame in your game, and when you are ready to make the first call, write the first email or stop by the office, we are willing to help.

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Although we now are hearing less about COVID-19 on the news, it doesn’t mean that the consequences of the pandemic are anywhere near over. Many businesses are still seeing the effects on their bottom line and likely will for some time.

If you are a business that kept employees on the payroll from March of 2020 through 2021, there’s some good news for your books. The feds have rolled out the Employee Retention Credit (ERC), which will pay you back for keeping those employees; you may qualify!

A simplified overview of qualifications looks like this (from the Department of the Treasury):

If your business has 500 or fewer employees, was at least partly closed due to a government order, OR the business’s revenue declined by 20% or more for any quarter this year, AND you kept employees on the payroll, you may be eligible for 2021 employee retention tax credits of up to $28,000 per employee.”

This program is time sensitive, and you should act now to take advantage of this credit. Call us at (806) 676-2849, and we can help you determine your eligibility!

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