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By Stacie Clifford Kitts
My mom had a philosophy about housekeeping. I think this stemmed from her preference to spend her free time on other activities like mastering a still life in watercolor, or watching a classic old movie. In any case, her philosophy usually resulted in our house being in one of two stages. She lightheartedly referred to these as “lived-in clean”, or “company clean”. I can still recall the first time I noticed mom running around the house painting over dirty little finger prints, or using Old English scratch remover (love that stuff by the way) on the furniture. This was when she explained that “company clean” meant paying attention to the details while “lived-in clean”, maybe not so much.
We sometimes see Taxpayers that have this same philosophy. They never quite seem to pay attention to the detail, that is, until they have company knocking at the door. Sometimes that company is a taxing agency. But, more often than not, everyday life events have resulted in the need for “company clean” records. Those include:
1) Accurate tax planning
2) Retirement planning
3) Applying for a home or business loan
4) Divorce or marriage considerations
5) Estate and succession planning
Taxpayers are often shocked at how costly it is to have someone “clean-up” after the fact. But consider the cost of hiring someone to clean or repair your house after a long period of neglect. Imagine the damage that can occur to your property when not taken care of properly. If you cannot, might I suggest an episode of Horders as an arguably extreme example of the damage caused by a lack of proper housekeeping.
“Company clean” records do not need to steal from your free time thought. Here are a few tips.
1) Do not wait until the end of the year to accumulate your records or do your accounting. You should be accumulating this information and doing an accounting (if necessary) at lease monthly.
2) Know what records you should be keeping. Ask your accountant or check out the IRS Website
3) Hire a qualified bookkeeper. This is someone who has a basic knowledge of accounting rules, not just someone who knows how to use Quickbooks.
4) Have your CPA look at your accounting records before the end of the year to make accounting suggestions and to help with tax forecasting.
5) Budget for the costs of hiring qualified tax and accounting professionals. Usually, the quality of your tax and accounting information is a reflection of what you pay for them.
Yes, that’s me, the lady eating by herself. No, I’m not waiting for friends or being stood up on a date. I chose to be here, all by myself… And it’s glorious.
Normally, and just like other service professionals, I spend long days, nights and weekends taking care of, or preventing, other peoples problems. “We worry for you” isn’t just a slogan, it’s a fact of life.
Really, and I’m being totally serious here, the questions, What can I get you? How was that? Can I get you something else?, well..they are just plain magical. So magical in fact, sometimes they amaze me.
And it’s not only that. The whole darn process is satisfying.
First, there are so many wonderful venue choices-and the choice is all mine! Better yet, if I want to go to the same place over and over- who cares? I never have that irritating conversation with myself that starts, where do you want to go? I don’t know, where do you want to go. I don’t care, what do you want to do? Argh- shoot me.
Next, I arrive and someone greets me. “Can I help you?” Why yes, yes you can.
The smiling, friendly and eager hostess leads me to my own temporary little bubble of personal space, where she leaves me alone with a list of tasty and fun treats. Of course, this magical piece of fine literature, from which I can choose anything I want, is the menu. No really, menu writing is a skill and a work of art if done correctly.
And, if all of this isn’t enough, someone is willing, nay, begging, to cook, clean and serve ME while I indulge in something I enjoy – completely stress free – like reading, catching up on the news, or even writing a blog post. I do imagine that heaven must be something like this.
I admit, sometimes people are a bit puzzled by my enjoyment of solitary “public” dinning. And yes, in my younger days, there was often that “one guy” who just didnt think it was right for me to be alone and so wouldn’t go away.
But, as I’ve gotten older, that problem has faded sweetly and comfortably (for the most part) into the past, allowing for much cherished ME time.
When you think about it, here is a process that focuses totally on your wants and needs, no pressure to perform or entertain, and allows you the ability to do something you enjoy? I mean really, need I say more?
Oh, and what does this have to do with a tax blog? Absolutely nothing.
Stacie Kitts is a Tax Partner at Katherman Kitts
I know, tax blog not job search site. But I thought, what the heck, who says I can’t?
We are activity searching for the right candidates who want to experience our love of tax first hand and in person.
Katherman Kitts serves a variety of high net worth individuals and businesses with complex and interesting tax issues.
We are a forward thinking firm in every respect. We are a green firm. We believe the less paper- the better. We believe that as a CPA firm, we are a leader in exploring new and interesting ideas in technology and management styles.
Our firm values include our commitment to provide proactive planning and ideas so that our clients are not surprised at tax time. They know and feel that we care about them, their businesses and their financial lives. Our clients hire us to do the worrying for them and we do just that!
We also understand that our employees have personal lives. I’m not going to throw out that tired old adage about work life balance blah blah blah. Look, we understand – you need a life outside of work. We get you have a family. We want you to be happy at Katherman Kitts, and we understand that you want to maintain your personal life. As a former/recovered single mother of three, I grew up in this industry personally experiencing the challenges of public accounting and life issues. I get it. We will try and work with you to find a resolution should those two universes collide.
So who are we looking for:
Tax Manager – This person is a CPA, has 5-8 years of experience working as a tax manager in a public accounting environment. This person already knows the joys of tax and can manage people, clients, and projects. This person understands the tax rules and or knows when and how to find them. This person can prepare tax returns, can review tax returns, and can make sure the product is delivered timely. This person understands that meeting client expectations is how we all get paid!
Tax Senior – This person is a CPA, has 2-5 years of experience working in a public accounting environment (tax department). This person is developing a joy for tax and has experience preparing tax returns – c-corp, s-corp, individual, trust, partnerships. This person has a firm grasp of debits, credits and accounting principles.
If you don’t quite fit the requirements of the above job descriptions, but think you would be an asset to Katherman Kitts, contact me, maybe you can talk me into it.
Please contact me by email with a resume at firstname.lastname@example.org