Frequently Asked Questions
- Why should I use a CPA?
- Can I prepare my own tax return?
- Do I need a tax plan? What is that, anyway?
- I heard CPAs are too expensive and I can't afford it?
- What forms of payment do you accept?
- Is my data secure with AB CPA?
- How available are you? Can I contact you when needed?
- What should I bring to my first appointment?
- Once I decide to use AB CPA, how do I get you my information?
- Do I need an in-person meeting?
- Why should I leave my current CPA and come to AB CPA?
- Can you (AB CPA) do my books?
- What accounting software should I use for my business?
- What if I get audited? Do you offer audit protection?
Why Should I use a CPA?
In the tax world experience and education are the key indicators of quality tax work. Anyone can SELL tax returns theses days, not everyone can offers a thoughtful, sound tax saving product. The CPA designations requires experience, training, testing, and education, not to mention annual additional education requirements and strict ethical standards.
Don’t trust someone with limited education and training to advise you on your tax returns. The money you might save by using someone with less licensing or no licensing, typically will be offset by paying a higher tax bill or Filing a risky tax return that gets you audited.
I have been preparing tax returns for nearly 20 years. I see hundreds of tax returns prepared by other preparers in town. Of all the business tax returns I see prepared by non-CPAs, franchise type tax Firms with people standing on the corner spinning signs, or someone whose main line of work is bookkeeping – a large percentage contain heinous errors. I wish I could say I was exaggerating, but this is unfortunately and sadly true.
Business tax returns prepared by non-CPAs typically miss large write offs or incorrectly present items that will increase your audit risk. The number one common error I see repeatedly on tax returns coming from these non-CPA type tax Firms – missing depreciation on a rental property.
I have amended countless returns to make this correction, saving my clients thousands of dollars, literally. It makes me sad that someone paid to have the tax return prepared by a so called “professional”, and it was prepared incorrectly. Don’t let that be you.
I heard CPAs are too expensive and I can't afford it?
You would be surprised to find out that CPAs do not charge much more then the NON-CPA tax prepares out there.
Yes, there are some CPA firms that will absolutely gouge their customers. AB CPA does not do that. We offer a reasonable fee for our services.
We pride ourselves in providing value so that you feel like you receive a quality product for the fees you pay. Our fees are often offset by the savings we can provide with a strategic tax return.
Can I prepare my own tax return?
This is a great question. Tax software is making it easier and easier to prepare your own tax return. Some individuals can literally prepare the tax return on their phone; I would never ever ever recommend this to a business. There is too much to lose.
I do love technology though and if I feel you could prepare your own tax return, I let you know. I do not want to sell you a product that you could do yourself for half the price. There are some simple tax returns that are very easy and I would make no difference for you. If I can’t save you money by preparing your tax return, then I typically will try and convince you to self prepare. I’m only here to help make taxes easy, not worse.
You might still choose a CPA to do your tax return just for the peace of mind that it offers you to ensure the return is done correctly, but if you’re comfortable using software then you might be able to prepare your tax return, but you probably shouldn’t.
What forms of payment do you accept?
We except all major credit cards., checks, and cash. We offer an easy online payment system. We do not require retainers nor do we do monthly billing. We simply bill you when we perform work that you request to be done. We ask for payment when services are delivered.
Is my data secure with AB CPA?
Absolutely. The security and privacy of your personal data is of utmost importance to AB CPA. We take great strides to keep your information under wraps.
We provide all of your personal documents via secured portals with password protection. We shred all paper documents after set time periods and retain only PDF files which we keep within our in-house internal space. We don’t use any outsourcing, all work is done in-house. Your data is not shared with anyone outside of our office.
How available are you? Can I contact you when needed?
We are here year round, five days a week. You can contact any staff member via email during normal business hours and expect a response within 24 hours, if not much sooner.
If you have detailed questions you prefer not to discuss the email, you can always schedule a phone call request within a 24 hour timeframe.
If you want to speak to us on the phone, we are more than happy to do so, we just ask that you schedule a telephone call through our online appointment system. We do not charge you for these phone calls but to avoid games of phone tag in today’s technology driven world, we ask that all phone existing calls be scheduled.
What should I bring to my first appointment?
If this is the first time you’re coming to see AB CPA, please bring the last tax return you filed. You could bring the last two years if you have them easily accessible. Bring any important tax documents you have for the current year as well as documents that you feel might help us understand your full tax and financial picture. You can’t bring us too many documents.
We are happy to review prior year tax returns at any meeting, so just bring your data on over. Feel free to email any documentation to your account rep prior to your meeting. It helps if we can review the documents before meeting with you to add value and increase
Do I need an in-person meeting?
No. I have many clients who have never come to my office. We have the technology in place where we can handle your account virtually. Some clients never even need to speak to us. Between email, web portals, telephone, text, fax (yes, people still fax), we can manage your account and provide you with the same top quality service as if you came into the office for a meeting.
We can do video conferencing if you would like a face-to-face interaction. We are very custom fit to your needs.
We want to be your tax department. You tell us how you want to work with us, and we will work around you. Of course we are always happy to meet with you in person. We have offices in Scripps Ranch, just off the 15 N. With ample parking and fresh coffee, we are happy to meet with you.
Why should I leave my current CPA and come to AB CPA?
The reason is enhanced thoughtfulness and reliable, trustworthy customer service. AB CPA cares about you. No matter how many clients we have, we take the time to treat every client special. We listen to you and we are responsive to you. We care about your tax return, and we enjoy what we do. When compared to other firms in town, my clients tell me we have faster service, more responsive communications, and a more thoughtful tax product. Check out the reviews on Yelp, Angie’s List, and Facebook and you will see many happy customers.
AB CPA prides ourselves on being at the cutting edge of tax technology. We offer a paperless filing process – you don’t even need to come into the office and we can get your tax return reviewed, signed off, and paid for in three clicks of a button. #Easybutton
What accounting software should I use for my business?
For small businesses, QuickBooks is still the industry leader. I wish I had a long list of other options, but right now QuickBooks has a stronghold on the market and they provide a solid product.
I don’t necessarily recommend the online version of QuickBooks, which is sort of a bummer, but I have many clients who use it. I am very excited about the new apps that are coming out to tackle the accounting industry and take away the monopolies power. Zero.com has caught my attention.
Once I decide to use AB CPA, how do I get you my information?
You can get us your information in a variety of ways:
- You can come in for a meeting and drop it off
- You can just drop it off at the front desk without a meeting - we have reception services available 9 to 5 Monday through Friday
- You can scan and email all of your documents
- You can place your documents on a secure dropbox and give us access
- You can fax the documents
- You can FedEx the documents
We accept your documents in any way, all shapes and sizes.
Do I need a tax plan? What is that, anyway?
You need to tax plan if you’re stressed out about paying your tax bill. If every April comes around and you owe thousands and thousands of dollars and you have no idea where you’re going to get the money (or why you owe so much), you need a tax plan.
A tax plan helps to be proactive with your tax bill. It helps you plan the cash flows needed to meet certain target dates so that you don’t get behind in your tax payments. The IRS offers very flexible payment plans which AB CPA will help you take advantage of. If you’re stressed out about your taxes, you need a tax plan.
Can you (AB CPA) do my books?
No, AB CPA is not a bookkeeping or accounting firm. We focus exclusively on tax return consulting, preparation and advising services.
Although, we can locate a good bookkeeping firm for you and give you a great resource to get your books done in a reasonable manner. We can help you get your books done, but we do not sell that service directly.
What if I get audited? Do you offer audit protection?
No, we don’t offer audit protection. “Audit protection” is a revenue generator scam sold some tax preparers to get you to give them more fees.
If you are audited, AB CPA will gladly discuss your audit with the IRS. We are authorized to represent you before the IRS. We do this for a fee, a very reasonable fee when compared to our competitors.
So, no, we don’t offer a specific audit protection plan, but if you are audited we will be on your side. We can help. But we don’t make you pay for it in advance.