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Three easy things you can do to reduce your CPA’s bill to you

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Three easy things you can do to reduce your CPA’s bill to you

These 3 simple steps can make a big difference in how much you are charged.

  1. If he sends you an organizer, use it. Especially answer the questions and fill in the fields for which you do not have a document. The questions related to next year are especially valuable to you as it allows your CPA to give you good advice regarding withholding and possibly estimates so there are no surprises the next April 15th.
  2. Give your accounting firm all the information at once.  Asking for documents, picking up and putting down a file are big time wasters which can add significantly to your bill.  Take a few minutes before you send it in, to make sure you have provided a document or a number for every item on your return last year.  One caveat, if there is typically a late K-1 or investment statement then it may make sense to send everything else in ahead of time so you don’t put yourself in a last minute situation in filing and paying your taxes.
  3. Don’t ask your accountant to go through your receipts to pick out the proper medical and charitable deductions.  Instead provide totals or a listing which he can use to prepare your returns. If you have a question as to whether or not some payment is deductible, then providing the documentation may be the most efficient thing to do, but in the vast majority of cases the receipts are not necessary and only slow the process down.

I’ve heard CPAs say, it’s not the work that is difficult; it’s just trying to get the information to do the work!  Help yourself and your CPA out by following the above common sense guidelines.