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My second question is how much should I expect to pay for an acountant? My business is very small (so far just $10-20 k a year) and I don't think my tax issues are that complicated. I just have normal questions like whether i can deduct my apartment's rent if I use it as a home office, how much of the cost of attending a business conference can be deducted, can I stilld deduct things if I can't find a receipt, that kind of stuff...
I run everything I do through MYOB (Quickbooks is just as good) and I hand him a disk backup every quarter.. He does my quarterly payroll reports (I am my only employee) and does my year end paperwork for about $750 a year.. Worth every penny..
But you could do it just as easily yourself at that size of a business.. If you use Quickbooks Pro and Turbo Tax it's pretty straight forward..
And, I'd rather have mine experienced in internet related businesses. It took me too long to get the current one to concede that websites I buy aren't "intangible" assets. You won't believe what a small change like that can make to your D&B credit rating.
I never experienced that with my CPA.. Maybe I got lucky and found one that naturally understands tech and the internet.. But his firm came highly recommended by several people and I'm happy with him.. He has done wonders for keeping my money in my pocket.. :)
Oh, and I don't do D&B.. Not large enough of a company to care about that :)
My mistake was forgetting that an accountant's #1 job is Covering His Ass - he can be sued for all kinds of things by you, your creditors, the government and the neighbourhood tramp. Accountants' natural conservatism is well known. His tendency will be to represent your figures in the way that's least likely to get him sued.
His #2 job is PR: convincing you of what a good job he's doing.
Saving you money is pretty low down on his list. I know, I was an accountant before I became a businessman.
How would you know if there's a tax break that applies to your business but which he hasn't spotted? For smaller accounts there's less incentive but for larger accounts it usually pays for the business to invest in the accounting skills in-house just so they can keep the accountants/auditors mean and keen.
Oh, and I don't do D&B.. Not large enough of a company to care about that
Aside from marriage, how much should I expect to pay an accountant? As I stated before, I don't need any kind of extravagant tax shelters. I basically need the accountant to do the tax for our partnership (I work with one other person) and then do the tax that passes on to us. We don't have a lot of deductions, since we didn't really keep good receipt records (didn't think business would last).