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Taxes by mail

Good to hear from you; right now I am watching the sunrise in Watson Lake YT as we take a trip to Alaska, my first real 'get away from it all' vacation in almost 40 be honest, my 'method' began by accident. I had a practice in Philadelphia where I saw people every hour on the hour from 10-8pm....the excess were mailing their information or dropping it off, and then some who moved away would continue with me by mail.....

that summer, while driving in upstate NY, I fell in love with Columbia County, just east of the Berkshires and suggested to my late wife we move there, so we bought a small house on top of a hill on 3 acres. I wrote my client that I would come to Philly for 12 days, and appointments were first come, first served, but others could mail their stuff.....over 90% continued with me.

I sent with that letter a list of information needed, put in an 800 phone line, and was lucky to have an assistant who is very accurate entering data....though she lives near Cape May NJ. As email has grown, it works even better for now people send complete packets by pdf, though most still use Fedex and US Mail.

I moved closer to Philly (65 miles) after my wife passed away but still maintain the same schedule, though now some drive to me.

Not sure where I will have internet connectivity next on this trip; the last two nights in Valleyview AB and Fort Nelson, BC, there was none but feel free to ask.


Death&Taxes 09:04, 18 July 2010 (CDT)

BTax2010 -Could you break down the 3,500 in start-up costs for me? I'm curious as I am going/hope to start a similar business this tax season. Specifics on equipment purchases to office supplies would be excellent.

I came to a similar number when I guestimated my costs in businessplanpro, but haven't purchased anything yet. I've been considering googlevoice for the phone/voicemail, and drake for my software, but am not set in stone for anything.

RadoTax 11:06, 5 August 2010 (CDT)

Hi, Brian, Thank you for replying to my post. I found your feedback very helpful. Congratulations on passing part 1. This is quite an accomplishment.

Could you tell me about how much time you did put into the study effort for your second try? Also, I do not like Gleim's approach about shooting for a 75 because this doesn't leave much of a cushion. I am not moving on until I have 85% or better on a test session. How did you measure "your grasp" of the material based on their study/test sessions?

I really appreciate the advice to look at the test specs and fill in the gaps. I am hunkering down until the day I take the test and am hoping for success.


Taxoasis 11:24, 1 September 2010 (CDT)Tax Oasis

EA Exam - Part 1 - Order of Testing

Hi, Brian, You were so nice to give me some tips for studying for the EA Exam. I am diligently keeping at it until I test later this month. I had another question I was hoping you would be so kind as to answer.

Are the questions given in order at all? For example the test seems to be divided into 5 sections for part 1. Does the exam test each section and then move on or are the questions presented in total random order?

There is so much to try to remember and with no reference material allowed, this will be a challenge.

Thank you, Susan C. Tax Oasis

Taxoasis 09:53, 8 September 2010 (CDT)Taxoasis

Hi Brian - - - ME. MBA. Sold Burgers. Great career path. Congrats on your first step to EA.

My background is EE, MBA, retired from GE after 35 years from the Barrington operation 6/08 and decided to do taxes for a new post-career career. Did you ever hear of the “One Minute Manager”, Ken Blanchard. I remember from his book years ago that goals are to be SMART - - - • Specific • Measurable • Achievable • Relevant, and • Track able.

This will really be my second season for my own business. In spring 09 and 10, I worked as a VITA AARP volunteer. Fall 09 I took the Liberty Class to get better ($60 for books and no cost for the course – you may want to do this), then the Franchise owner bought another franchise, and he asked me to manage his existing franchise. He paid $10 / hr, but I was getting paid to learn, and I was still doing the AARP thing two days a week. So I was doing taxes 7 days a week. I did not get my personal business off the ground until I got my Bank Account, EIN, PTIN, and ERO status complete by mid March. Get those. If you need help, I’ll be glad to help you. I also had to select software. I chose Intuit ProSeries. If you make that selection also, please let me know.

First thing I did was to get some Business Cards ( and coordinated stationary supplies. Then I got some magnets for my wife’s and my car doors. I started going after friends, then backed down. Friends will contact you if they are interested. And many may not want to share their personal information, or already have somebody they trust, or want a real cooking price deal which is ok, but that does not really increase your business. It disrupts it. I know referrals are the way to go, but from zero, it’s all uphill. So the customers that did not fit the AARP profile, I asked if I could personally serve them. I wasn’t going after $$$, I was going after the experience, and connections for referrals. My total was 16 returns. Here’s how I got the opportunities: • 4 - My returns and my daughters, and one of their sisters. • 2 – From AARP,free bes. • 1 – Daughter of the Head Basketball referee, another free be. • 1 – From a not for profit where I’m on the Board, another free be. • 1 – Of my wife’s friends, an RN, and free. • 7 – These are the good ones. I sold them and got paid. Of these 6, 3 were sold by a local Pizza shop, 1 from church, 2 from Craigslist, and one, the brother of the Head Basketball Ref.

Of the 7, 4 are A & B customers, 3 are not. Ok, so I have a marketing problem. How do I make it grow? Here are some questions I am asking myself. And I would love your thoughts,

Education - - - In 09, I took the Liberty course and started. In 10, I set up the business, did a lot of taxes, joined NATP, and went to the NATP Austin meeting to learn as much as possible. My plans for the rest of the year are to: 1. Complete 2 accounting classes at LSU to head toward a CPA (I need 6 classes). I have the internship with a CPA in process, then I only need to take the test. I am uncertain if I should pursue an EA. 2. My A customer, wants me to set up his books for his one man Schedule C Law firm up on QuickBooks. I have QuickBooks, and am setting my tax business up on it now (Are you a QuickBooks expert?).

Facilities - - - 1. Phone – I was planning to use my cell phone, and cell only. Business phones are $56 / month. But that means no yellow pages. Hmmm 2. Fax – I have the box. It’s attached to my home phone line. But I could also go to eFax for about $10 / month. The advantage is eFax turns incoming stuff into PDFs and we’re already paperless. Of course I could save the $10 / month. 3. Office – I have a super office in my house. All the kids have grown and gone so I can use that. But do I really want clients coming to the house? My business model was set up last year with going to their houses. How do I make the decision to go to an external office? A store front? 4. Web site – I’m considering getting one. Do you have one?

Tax Help, and a go to guy - - - One of the worst things I think I could have is to let a customer down. I have a friend, a 58 year old CPA, works with one of the firms in New Orleans. He has volunteered to help me when I’m over my head. He is also participating in some of my marketing activities. I had one client, who needed his parents S Corp, K1’s, Federal and State taxes done. I had not seen S Corps or K-1s. Jim’s firm did them for me, gave then to me, and did not charge me. He’s blown away by the success I’ve had with Craigslist, and the Pizza Sales. He and his other straight laced CPA buddies must be laughing their heads off behind my back.

He also has access to other tax business, that’s low end. Lower than they could take the jobs. So I told him we could work out a deal and I would buy the customers from him. And if I got a high end customer, I would give it to him.

NATP - - - Consider joining NATP, the National Association of Tax Professionals. Look at I joined in May and went to their week long annual conference in Austin Texas in July. Next year their annual learning conference is in St. Louis.

In NATP there is a tax research group. I met Jim VandenBranden. I watched him work a research question at the Austin meeting. I had a dependency question he researched for me. He’s good and his methods seem very sound.

Marketing - - - If my biggest issue is getting new customers in the door. How do I do it? My 2010 success was getting a local pizza shop to sell my taxes with every one of the pizza’s they deliver. Mama D’s would tape a flyer that talked about the tax business, and tape it to the top of the pizza box for the delivery. If the pizza customer bought taxes, I would buy 2 additional pizzas for the tax customer. I paid full price and tipped the staff 20%. My pizza buddy loved it, it cost him nothing, and it cost me nothing except a ream of paper, a cartridge of ink, and some scotch tape.

A flop in 2010 was to try the same tax / pizza plan with two local car washs. This time instead of Pizza, I would give out $50 in car wash coupons. I got zero leads after 700 flyers. It did get my name out. I had the flyers made up by a print shop for $105

Another flop in 2010 was advertising on a DVD rental Kiosk. I had my name, phone, picture on 6 kiosk’s around a 30 mile area. I got no calls. One friend mentioned she saw the advertising.

Retirement homes – We tried three nearby, and we tried the Mandeville Senior Center, but we just could not get an educational presentation together. I think we started too late. One group insisted that our speaker needed to be a CPA, and that anybody that prepared taxes for any of them ought to also be a CPA.

We also have a couple of nice golf shirts, we advertised on Craigslist. We went to the Mandeville Trailhead to advertise our services. They got the word out, but only Craigslist lead to business.


Ok, that’s the history, here’s where I think I need to head the business.

1. Continue the relations with the CPA.

2. Grow a book keeping business with QuickBooks.

3. Keep learning and reading.

4. Grow a “Send a Friend” referral business. Use $20 or a Pizza for the reward.

The Biggie - - - Get a presentation together for local business folks. The presentation ought to be “what’s new and what is expected to change for taxes 2011.” “What can people do now to plan ahead for the changes.” Work on the presentation with others in NATP, and my CPA friend, and get it out to local businesses for “Lunch and Learn” sessions. The format of the Lunch and Learn would be for me to bring a huge Subway, and lots of cans of soft drinks. And I would give the presentation. Any questions they would ask, no issue. Bring business cards. Have a sign in sheet to collect names, addresses, and e mail addresses. If they wanted to have past years returns audited, no issue, and no charge. The value for me will be there folks will all then get to know me, get to know my tax knowledge, and if they want to come in the spring, great. If not, they may be excellent referrals.

Targets for the presentation, the characteristics of the people or groups I’ll target are work for a small, locally owned, business, or where I have a relationship with the business owner. Places I plan to ignore are nationally or regionally owned businesses, where the owners and management would tend to be offsite.

Targets are :

1. Tire World 2. Mama D’s 3. Coffee’s Boiling Pot 4. Keith Young’s Steakhouse 5. Tri Parish Officials 6. Windsor House 7. Roquette Lodge 8. New Section 8 apartments (free change of address) 9. Christwood 10. FBC 11. Safelite 12. McDonalds 13. Chick Fill A 14. New Mall Stores 15. Bill Robbins’ Business 16. Bill Napier’s Business 17. Tony Campo’s Business 18. MCS Nursing Floor 19. Nu Lite Electrical Supply.

Timetable - - - Sept 10 – Prepare the presentation, proof, QC, get others opinions Oct & Nov 10 – Deliver the presentations to local businesses Dec 10 – Review the New Federal Regulations, study Louisiana’s law about day care centers and the new rating system, get Software installed and up and running


Dave Saari, 985-801-9122,

The RAL/RT discussion

I didn't understand this last night and I don't understand it now. In Discussion:Prep fees taken out of the Refund, from your "excuse me folks" post on down, you've been mad about something, and you seem to be reading the other posts as if they're personally attacking you; I'm seeing them as pointing out alternatives to those who are interested (just as your first post did).

is it possible that you misunderstood Kevin's post? He was jokingly pointing out that YOU were the first (in that other discussion I had linked to) to provide the GOOD NEWS that there might one day be a way to split fees out of the refund, a method to be provided by the IRS, as they announced when they said they'd be discontinuing the debt indicator. Nothing about RALS, just potential good news about the future. News that you pointed out, way back when, and that would have been right on topic to this discussion. A funny coincidence, since you'd just posted to the discussion with an alternative suggestion on how to get paid.

Unless an early post got edited by its writer, I don't know who it is that you think is hassling you for your RAL/RT practices and decisions? Please help me understand this; if someone did post something that was a personal attack on you, we can let them know about the Code of Conduct and maybe get them to edit their post. Or, if it turns out to be something you might have misinterpreted, you'll get the benefit of simply sharing info like the others in the discussion, without feeling you need to defend anything.


Trillium 11:58, 24 September 2010 (CDT) [minor corrections, Trillium 15:23, 24 September 2010 (CDT)]

editing to add: Also just realized that it could have been my post that you took exception to. But I was responding to Kevin's joking post with the reason none of us who had posted above him had mentioned the pending changes - they're for 2012 and won't solve the original poster's problems. If my post was the problem, please still let me know and I'll change it so it's more apparent what I was intending to say. Thx, Trillium 12:25, 24 September 2010 (CDT)


I, too, like it better here when people are all getting along. It's so easy for posts to be unclear, or to be misread, especially when comments are being dashed off quickly. Glad we could get this one kind of ironed out.

Trillium 15:23, 24 September 2010 (CDT)

Nice to see your response. Yes, us engineers are a detail lot. Here are some comments on your e mail.

• Regarding your idea of the referral discount / bonus, what I saw at Liberty and from others is the $20 fee. And discounts I’ve seen are $20 - $50 – 50%. I have not seen them as low as $10. • Yes, maintain this as a side job. Don’t quit your day job. I could never eat off of this. The engineering / full time gig pays much better. • I am interested to learn how you plan to use Facebook to sell. I figure the tech savvy crowd is not afraid of turbo tax. And it’s pretty good. And it’s seniors that are afraid of computers / internet. I find it's tougher for younger folks to justify the fee for tax prep. And older folks are a little more afraid of the IRS. But there are all sorts of different ways to skin the cat. • Schedule C is chargable at $40 - $60. I recommend doing as many as you can. You will want to set up your business that way. I set up categories in my personal Quicken to go right to Schedule C lines for the tax business. I avoid car expenses, and love using the mileage rates. 10 – 50% of clients had some type of Schecule C income / expenses. • NATP really emphasizes education. The national meeting I went to in July, 900 NATP people were there, 90% were EA’s. EA’s need lots of CEUs, so I’m sure NAEA is about the same. • Statistics – I think the IRS calculates there are some 800,000 – 1,200,000 paid tax preparers. There are some 19,000 folks in NATP. There are some 46,000 EAs. IRS will have a better count after they go through their PTIN count this fall, and folks start taking the registration test next year. • I agree with you on the EA / CPA credential business. EA’s seem to know the same stuff, but the CPA / EA argument is “who got the most education therefore who provides better quality”. It’s just noise. But to some consumers, its a real difference. Heck, and I got some business from an EA last year. I think it was a personalith thing with the client. • I couldn’t quite follow you on your ProSeries comment. But if you decide to use ProSeries, and you tell your Intuit sales rep somebody referred you to them, the person that referred you gets a $250 referral fee. A fellow in Detroit told me that, so he got the $250 when I bought ProSeries. So I am hoping if yoiu buy it, you'll use me as the guy who referred you. Thank you. • And it’s only one year of data you need to import from Turbo Tax to ProSeries. • Regarding pricing, here’s what I know. Feel free to call if you like. I paid $1222.73 for unlimited Federal and State in Feb of this year. They “nornal” price is $1500, but they had some promo. This year, for tax year 2010, if I bought by the end of June 10, I got 10% off the price for a returning customer. They did not seem to have a good deal for 10 customers, or 20 customers, so I bought unlimited. I figure it will force me to go sell sell sell.

And good luck on the EA exam Saturday. I would love to talk to you about the test, what it takes, etc. I might want to do that too.

Dave Saari, 985-801-9122 and

Hi, Brian, You have given me some really good advise about the EA exam. I take part 1 on Wed. Did you take Part 2 and how did it go for you? Best Wishes, Susan Crusey

Taxoasis 12:48, 27 September 2010 (CDT)Taxoasis

Ex pats

Hi Brian, I don't know of any specific courses for ex-pats-- tax treaty and foreign tax work is very complex and I don't do it myself. But I have a few colleagues that do-- they took a long time to self-study and learn the laws, and they charge a high premium for their services. I think you should just start with the pubs and go from there to see if it's something you want to do. Tax Writer 10:59, 14 October 2010 (CDT)

Thanks for the compliment!

Congratulations on taking the plunge with your own practice. My experience with ex patriots is limited. My practice is mostly audit for now and I'm in the process of expanding the tax side.

I do have the occasional call from English immigrants new to the US and advise them accordingly but it's minimal.

My initial transition to the US was because I worked audits for start ups with UK directors. Word spread over the years and I had enough of a base to set up an office.

I wish I could be of more assistance. I would think that a highly focused web presence would be a very cost effective way to 'get in front of' your market.

--ukbones 14:40, 26 October 2010 (CDT)

Expat tax tips

Hi Brian!

>I have recently become interested in Expat tax prep, and I would like to ask >if you have any advice for someone who wants to get started in this area of >the tax business. I am currently sitting for the EA exams. I passed part 2 >this past weekend, and I am taking part 3 on Nov 13. I will be starting my >own tax prep practice this tax season (see my profile for more details), and >I am really interested in getting into Expat tax prep. > >I certainly don't expect to just jump right into it, but long term I think >it is a great niche, and I am very much interested in the international nature >of the business. I was wondering if you might have any advice on a few things: > >1. Are there any CPE courses or Seminars that you would recommend for Expat/ >International taxation? has some good courses on international tax, as does I don't know of any others of high calibre.

>2. If not how would you recommend a person educate themselves in order to be >able to competently do this type of work?

On the job learning with an expat tax prep company is the only way to go. There are too many things that aren't codified and aren't written down. For example, I know a nifty loophole on the US/UK treaty regarding pensions. You won't find it anywhere in print. Because, if it were in print, the IRS and the HMRC would know about it. And if they did, they'd release a technical memo to the treaty that closes the loophole. I use it only a couple times a year, but it's a real godsend - saves oodles of bucks. We don't want the loopholes to close, so we don't publicize the good stuff we know, but we do share it informally through the workplace. So the workplace is the best place to learn this stuff.

>3. How would you recommend a U.S. based tax preparer go about obtaining clients abroad.

A well designed web site and visiting embassies and consulates near you.

>I would be focusing on individuals to start. My business model is centered around >clients submitting their paperwork to be by mail, fax, or online, and I think that >this model is tailor made for Expats.

It's also great for housebound, for agoraphobics, and for remote (US) locations. It's also great for people who are too busy or too important to meet their accountant each year.

Keep in mind that I meet at least once up front about 70% of my clients. People like to see you, to meet you, to know you are a real person and a real live being. To that end, most expat specialist accountants either (a) live on the coast so it's cheap and easy to travel or (b) live in other countries. By "coast", I mean NYC or LA.

>Thank you in advance for any information you can provide.

You're welcome.

Hi BTax2010, Congratulations on passing Part 2 of the EA exam. I have passed parts 1 & 3 and currently studying to take Part 2 exam. I noticed you mentioned a list of items to pay special attention to, thank you for that. Please advise if there is a lot of questions on Depreciation. I'm getting hammered on this section while studying. Thanks for your help!!

can you send me the link for the IRS Announcement... discussion, I am interested in seeing what kind of time table it is taking for people to recieve their treasury cards. Thanks a bunch

Don't let this rattle you too much.

You are learning the hard way some of the traps and responsibilities that go along with a fiduciary practice.

Don't let this rattle you too much. From now on you will know from the beginning that the first thing you ask the executor is: who is the competent attorney working on this matter who I can discuss things with. You are probably not experienced enough to read and interpret a will/trust at this point. Therefore, since you are rather new to the area, that's all the more reason you should have a competent lawyer to discuss things with.

If there is no competent attorney to give guidance in the future, you don't take the return.

Anyway, not everyone has the the luxury of working with a big tax firm to get this experience. You are trooping along. After this is over, there are numerous books and references I'm sure Dennis, NMex and others can point you to.

Hopefully Dennis and others will continue to pitch in to help. As a lawyer, I would advise you to be nice but firm with the executor that this involves this child's entire near future and the executor/trustee also faces legal liability (said of course in a very nice way). CrowJD 20:32, 12 April 2011 (UTC)

How to start perhaps?

I don't know how exactly to break into this market. You'd need considerable education first in my opinion. It starts where Dennis started and that is by realizing that state law plays a part in the underlying process (Trust Code, Probate Code inside the State Code). So I guess that means CPE, books and possibily even Continuing Legal Education (CLE) even if you didn't get credit.

State law school libraries are open to the public. Check their website but you'll probably have to go a few times before you even get your footing.

How to market? I have pointed out before when I first started law practice I got not a single letter from a CPA or tax preparer (lawyers still like paper and snail mail). I did however get a letter from a newly formed courier service called APS. It was a legal courier service. It must have sent many lawyers a letter (and back then a rolodex card) because it became the biggest legal courier service in my area: and all they did was send a letter. That's all.

I put this here because I thought they would move the post to Business anyway. CrowJD 20:01, 13 April 2011 (UTC)

Scope of the market

Of course, your main focus is in how to complete gift, trust and estate tax returns. Even though I think the unified credit covers like $5 mil in gross estate.

So there is the main focus: the returns. Surgent McCoy has some good home study CPE in this area.

At the beginning of my legal career I did a ton of probate work. Estate, trust, wills and probate are areas I know something about, I am not a tax expert.

I worked mostly on middle class estates, a few high dollar ones. I've never completed a 706 in my life, though I have dealt with some estates that required a 706. I took 2 Semesters on Fiduciary Tax in law school years ago.

However, to put the icing on the cake and even approach the level where Dennis is you have to have the ability to talk the talk to the lawyers and understand how to read a Will and a Trust pretty well, and understand Trust Accounting (state law) and things like that.

Probate, will interpretation and so on is also found in the state code.

However, merely going to a law school library or even a courthouse library in a larger county (also open to public) will give you the ability to just get a modern will form book and just read some Wills. Read some trust documents (again in form books). Of course the testamentary type trusts are included in the Will.

Doesn't matter if you understand them, you are just getting them in the brain at first through osmosis. Of course, it should always be kept in mind that law is never static. Even well established areas of law are subject to change. My two cents on it. Honestly, there is not a ton of work, however, I must say that there is a ton of work for people who know what they're doing (rare). Continued good luck! CrowJD 00:07, 14 April 2011 (UTC)

An example

Here is an example of something from Surgent McCoy:

You don't have to become a "Certified Estate Specialist" (of course you could if you wanted to), and I think you can buy the titles separately I think, but if you wanted to go whole hog it's probably cheaper than single titles.

You can go to "CPE Packages" at Surgent and find out what this costs. I think it's around $500 if you buy the package. Or you could call them.

I have gotten Surgent material before. It is cheaper than attenting one live class after another. On the other hand, the live type CPE classes do tend to focus your attention better.

I'm sure there are other companies that have self study material like this, I just don't know them off the top of my head. CrowJD 00:30, 14 April 2011 (UTC)

Re-branding Topic

Hi,I didn't want to post my response.

I went for a small office condo, single office and this is the main reason why I will be in the black the first year of being in business.

I didn't want to use my home due to privacy issues, but I am not saying that a home office is bad, it just wasn't my choice. Some like the home office deduction and then they meet the client at a coffee shop, etc.

The Christian Blue Pages are like the yellow pages but it is a directory of Christian Businesses. You can check it out online. They have a print version and an online version. I don't know what part of the country you are located, so they may not have it where you are. I try to push integrity to my clients. I think they feel comfortable when I tell them that a particular position I am taking is legitimate.

I am seriously considering the Blue pages, but it is expensive. I am going to revamp our website. It is a one pager and it needs sprucing up.

I was really surprised at the complexity of some of the returns I did. Much different than the national chain that I worked for a while back.

If all goes well, I would like to provide internships for business/accounting college students. We had also considered using our name for the business. One should be proud to use his/her name. We did think, though, that if we did grow the business that we could sell it easier if we did not use our name.

Just some thoughts. Good luck with everything.


What's your email address? NewYorkEA


I am a member of the IL CPA Society IRS Practice & Procedures tax committee. Our group is presenting a conference on June 30th dealing with IRS Exams and Appeals at the Crown Plaza in downtown Chicago. The panel experts definitely have plenty of experience. I would recommend it.

Leslie Kotrba (LJK CPA)

Brian - We talked briefly last year on this message system. I would love to find out how you're doing, what you're doing, what you plan to do next etc. I would love your phone number. Where are you? My cell is 985-801-9122.

My business quadrupled this tax season. Now I'm looking at becoming an EA. And I read that NATP and Intuit are getting ready to team on training. Interesting stuff going on.


EA - Wiki Link

Nice website! I noticed the 'What's This?' by 'EA' link is broken.

--Jonesy 16:17, 15 June 2011 (UTC)

Just emailed you some info

good luck. I stayed in Vegas until this afternoon - just got home. Kevinh5

Some truth

Brian, I actually do think there is some scientific truth in this theory, though it has been many years since I've taken child/developmental psychology.

But it was slow around here today, and I figured....why not? Have some fun.

Maybe it will liven things up and get people thinking outside the box (where I like to keep them). Take care! CrowJD 00:33, 19 August 2011 (UTC)

Sorry for the delay

Hey BTax sorry it took me so long to get back with you on your job situation. I am sorry to hear that you are facing this mess like I was, what a shame and sad indictment of Corporations everywhere. My situation was made even worse because my company was making billions and we were let go to satisfy the ego of one of the richest men in America. I could have swallowed it better had they been losing money, at least then it would have made sense.

In any event, I haven't been on because I am working furiously. We're trying to finalize some system reconciliations before year end and I am working like a dog. On top of that I am coordinating month and quarter end close.

When approaching it, my company and my manager prides himself in initials after employee's names so it was definitely a plus to have my EA on my resume. No one knows what the EA is so it is still a mystical thing! :D I made it clear that while I do operate my small business, my primary focus was my full-time job. I didn't go into whether I planned to ultimately go solo on my own (I don't even know that). So it wasn't a hinderance, if anything it was a help especially so since I was in full time IT and out of Accounting so it helped bridge my experience to Accounting and Finance. Without it, I might have not been able to pull this job off.

If you can handle the business work on top of a full time job, I would say to include it but emphasize that it is a side business that will not affect your full time job. I figure it this way....every job I take from here on out will end in a layoff. That's not a pessimist attitude, that's the nature of Corporate America. My Dad is 68 years old and has worked--through thick and thin--for the same company for 38 years and just got laid off. So I have no qualms of keeping my business private if it doesn't affect my full time job. That's my take....there is no loyalty so you have to look out for yourself.

Let me know where you are in the process now.


Hey Brian

Shoot me an email at I don't have your personal email addy or I would email you.


Tax marketing

Hey Brian...

I haven't logged into TaxAlamanac in over a year, so my apologies for not following up with you since we "chatted" last year.

I hope that you have found the answers you've needed and have successfully launched your tax practice. I realize that you were also an engineer (as am I), so I hope that it turned out to be a smooth transition for you.

If you have any interest in discussing anything regarding sales/marketing, particularly for representation work, I'd be more than happy to chat with you. I'd be interested in picking your brain regarding some of what I see written to you on this page, also (regarding the expat stuff), so I think we could be good resources for each other.

Feel free to write to me here (I promise to login more often), or email me at, or call me at 970-930-1040.

Make it a great day!

JassenB 22:11, 27 June 2012 (UTC) Jassen

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