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The Indispensable Man

My last post on questions wealthy people ask their accountant struck an unexpected cord. It also uncovered a serious problem that has plagued this blog since the beginning.

The majority of bloggers come from one of two camps: they write a blog while in retirement or write while working for retirement.

Blogging is a lot of work. Writing is the easy part. Promoting the blog so somebody actually sees your work takes time. This blog does more than simply generate affiliate income. Aside from the passive income, readers discover there is more available from the right accountant. Not knowing a local accountant offering what I suggest they turn to the only place they can go: the contact page.

And as I said before a million times, I am one man. In the last two days if I would have said yes to every offer, I would have filled my calendar until tax season. It’s just not possible to serve all the readers who seek my help. Or is it?

It’s time to stop whining and start implementing opportunities already in place. Many of the comments over the last two days went something like this: Do you know of a tax professional you can recommend in [fill in the blank]?

It hurt as I deleted each request without a response. Even responding to each inquiry would consume more time than exists in a day. So far I am able to read most of what hits my email. It’s the best I can do.

Then I received an email that was firm, yet polite. It was an obvious answer and it would solve a significant problem for you, kind readers, and for your favorite accountant. The email said, “Why don’t you promote your forum more? You told me earlier in the year to use the forum to offer my services as a tax professional since I read your blog and use the strategies you suggest. You know, if you promoted the forum more, guys like me could help your readers while offering you minor respite.”

All I could think to say was, “Duh!”

Help is on the Way

The forum has a category: Wealthy Accountants in Your Area. I started the category because tax professionals wanted to know where they could find clients and I mentioned I have a load of un-served people.

I want more tax professionals to advertise their wares in this category of the forum. If you think it would be helpful for me to add a category for taxpayers looking for an accountant, I can add the category easily.

This is the time of year where you really need to consider consulting. The tax savings can far exceed any consulting fee you pay. There are tax pros out there who are as good (some even better) than me.

Now through tax season I will provide periodic reminders to check the forum. But let’s start today. If you send me a request and I don’t respond you know what my answer is. It is an awful part of this process; ghosting people. The laws of physics (maybe it’s relativity; you know, the time and space thing) forbid me to accomplish what I want. I can do anything, just not everything.

If I can’t take your account, consider one of the fine tax professionals just as good as I am, except they don’t write a blog generating massive amounts of workflow. I love you guys, you know that. If I could do it all, I would. Reality demands I delegate. What better place to find a qualified tax pro than in the forum here.

Before we move on the next piece of business before I let you settle in for the weekend, don’t get hung up on locality. Modern technology eliminates the need for a local accountant to serve your needs. Half of my clients are outside my home state of Wisconsin. Faxing, scanning, secure web portals and email can handle all your communications with your tax pro.

Accountants offering services in the forum should understand a few things. Unlike most traditional tax offices, you will do a lot more out-of-state and multi-state tax returns. You will also receive more unique situations. Readers here want more than a basic prep. They want consulting inside and outside of tax season. What I am saying is, don’t overextend as I too often do. The clients you get from here will demand more of your time and services because they want to utilize your knowledge for their benefit. You get paid to do this, so do it. You will get tough cases. Spread it out so you get work done faster than your favorite accountant. Take it from someone with experience.

Readers, if you need a tax pro who understands a bunch of the stuff I write about you now know where to find them. Don’t expect every tax pro on the list to be the same. Most tax offices specialize when they start handling difficult cases. The only reasons I do so much more is because I have a blog to write and keep researching for your benefit and because there is ample evidence I am mentally unstable. (Stop laughing.)

Readers, vet the tax pros in the forum. A short conversation can determine if it will work for you. There is no need to waste time for either party. There are plenty more tax professionals out there and plenty more clients. Spend a few minutes to determine if it is a good fit.

Back to the accountants. Answer questions in the forum. I don’t spend much time in the forum for obvious reasons. Discuss what I write about. It’s even okay to say I’m full of BS on my own blog. (More on this in Monday’s post.) Help readers seeking solutions. Some of these fine people will want to engage your services. This has to be a team effort. I provide the portal and a slight nudge with each post. You guys—tax pros—have to do most of the heavy lifting. It’s the only way the readers will be served.

Only one warning: Never share personal information that could lead to identity theft in the forum. If discovered by a moderator, your post is toast (for your protection). And no personal attacks. The tax code is huge and there is plenty of disagreement. It’s okay to disagree; it’s not okay to do a character assassination. Be firm without being rude. Respect the opinions of others. It’s also okay to be wrong from time to time. It happens to the best of us, especially me. That is why I am always learning.

Need a Job?

My tax office is actively searching for a full-time, year round CSR/Administrative Assistant and another full-time tax preparer for tax season. The Admin job is full-time all year. The tax prep job is for tax season only with some part-time outside of tax season work, if desired.

I am unwilling to outsource tax work at this time so you have to want to live in NE Wisconsin. You will work in my office on my secure equipment. If you want to work in a unique tax practice with real opportunity to see tax issues most tax professionals don’t see in a career, consider applying. I will also consider two part-time tax preparers as well.

If you work in my office you get famous whether you like it or not. I’ll know when Dawn reads this post. Count on it.

The tax professional I hire MUST be comfortable with S corporation issues. Pay is $20-$35 per hour, depending on experience. If I find a qualified candidate I will open my doors to new clients, so please apply using the contact form on this blog.

The admin position is a support job. Other accountants and the boss (me) need somebody to keep us in line, ah, I mean to keep work flowing smoothly. It’s a hard job during tax season and reasonably normal the remainder of the year. This position is a bit different than what you normally expect in a traditional tax office. This is why it is hard for me to fill the position. It doesn’t fit a traditional model. The work is interesting, satisfying and challenging. Pay is $12-$18 per hour depending on experience with opportunity for advancement.

The pay scale is wide, I know. I am willing to pay more for an exceptional candidate. I hate paying less to take a flyer; it seems to never work. You know a bit about me and my office from my writing. If NE Wisconsin sounds like a fun place, consider submitting your resume.

And last, if the forum really explodes due to my promoting it, I will need a moderator or three. If you want to be on the moderator list, let me know. We’ll let my site manager, Kevin, handle the moderating for now, but if it grows at all I will need some help. Unfortunately it’s an unpaid job. Moderators do it for love.

If the moderator/s job gets too much I’ll consider some forms of monetization for the forum to provide funds for paying moderators. But that is in the distant future.

Now, before you leave to enjoy your weekend, go check out the forum and have some fun. Introduce yourself and share ideas. Readers of this blog are very intelligent and educated. Ask questions. I’m one guy again. I don’t know everything and my opinion doesn’t trump all. You’d be surprised at the awesome people haunting this place. Get to know each other.


Friday 6th of October 2017

This is timely -- I was going to email you about finding someone to help us figure out our capital gains situation! Will join the forum instead. You are providing a valuable service here, Keith. Many thanks!

Tom @ Dividends Diversify

Friday 6th of October 2017

Good luck filling your open positions. I wonder if you find there is a "skills gap" in NE Wisconsin for the skills you look to hire? I here about the skills gap issue often in the media and how it is holding back our economy. Have a great weekend, Tom

Keith Schroeder

Friday 6th of October 2017

Oh, God, Tom. You know I'm desperate when I'm advertising a job opening nationally on my blog. I have sooooo much work to do, but qualified candidates are not walking through my door to get the work done. There is definitely a skills gap in the accounting industry. And what I do is at a higher level than the average firm.

Example: A local CPA firm I admired picked up a local account we no longer wanted to handle (no more union tax returns because we have to do them by hand and they are unprofitable). They called my office wanting the client's bookwork. We didn't do bookkeeping for this client. Their response, "How can you do a tax return if you didn't do the bookkeeping?" I'll let you think about that for a moment. And this was a local firm I had high hopes would be excellent for handling some accounts I turn away.

My job is to create more qualified tax professionals. They are desperately needed. And even I need to learn more!


Friday 6th of October 2017

The "Accountants Near Me" category is a good start, but I think it would be a much better idea to put up a new forum category: "I need a Tax Accountant to Help Me With ____". This way people like me can post our situation and see who is willing and able to tackle it. Since location is irrelevant, this seems like a much easier way for me to evaluate whether or not the potential Accountant is experienced and capable with my particular situation and if they are hungry and willing to go after the business. Thanks! Lance

Keith Schroeder

Friday 6th of October 2017

I'm already adding extra categories due to several requests.

Stacy Hart

Friday 6th of October 2017

Great Post! Finding a multi faceted, knowledgeable CPA that understands multi-state, multi business tax optimization is critical to growing wealth. I appreciate your "Duh" moment!

Keith Schroeder

Friday 6th of October 2017

I only pretend to know everything in public. In private I weep a lot.