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Stalking the Accountant 6 Jan-2018

The IRS was nice enough to tell us yesterday when they’ll open tax season this year: Business returns January 8th and January 29th for individuals.

Talking about tax season, things have been exciting around the office this week as a year of planning is nearly complete.

Finding qualified tax professionals locally is impossible in my small community. If only I could utilize some of the best minds in the industry from around the country.

Enter technology. I might know a thing or three about taxes, but technology eludes your favorite accountant. I do get there; I’m just incredibly slow to reach the destination.

Hiring a very experienced tax professional three states ways is a problem. I don’t want to expose client data to even a hint of risk. This summer I discovered I can have a tax professional work from anywhere with a setup as secure as if they were sitting in the office next to me.

That means I hired new people for the upcoming tax season. The final steps are falling into place. The best news of all is that when I asked my software provider about this they already had the process built into their software. Was I the last person to know about this?

Once I am comfortable the setup is secure (remote employees only see the returns they’re working on and no more) I’ll start responding to requests from people who want to be clients. Monday is the final test and we might be ready to rock ‘n roll then.

The best part (for me) is information never leaves my office or system. I am anal about security so bear with me as I finalize this expansion of Tax Prep & Accounting Services, Inc.


A common question floating in over the last week is: Should I do my own return on the program you offer on your blog? Usually a few details of the return are included.

My advice is: If you’re comfortable preparing your own return, then do it. If you run into an issue you can always call in the cavalry. You probably know if you are doing it right. And you can kick the tires for free.

The banner ad around the blog and provided here is the same company and software I use in my office. It’s a good program. They have plenty of Q&A like other online DIY software, but they keep it more reasonable. You can also go straight to screens to enter data to cut your preparation time.

They’re about the lowest in cost, too.

Finally, if we get enough people filing their own return from this blog I’ll swing for the $25,000 to turn it into a proprietary program with special features created by me personally. Realistically I need at least 1,000 people using the software to consider investing the time and money. About 280 used it last year from this blog.

What I’m Reading

Hoover: An Extraordinary Life in Extraordinary Times  President Hoover always fascinated me because he presided over the start of The Great Depression and the 1929 stock market crash. I finished this book a bit ago and highly recommend it. Hoover’s work ethic is incredible and inspirational! You will never see our 31st President in the same light again.







What I’m Watching

One YouTube video I watched this week stood out from the others. It discusses health care in America as compared to the rest of the world. I found it very interesting.

Music I’m Listening To

Once again my taste in music might surprise you. This week I read a news article that mentioned the Voyager spacecrafts. This led to the Golden Record attached to Voyager 1 and 2. The YouTube video below is the first message. After each video you should see a list of the remainder of the recordings. There is quite a selection of sounds and music we send into the ether.


Hope you enjoyed the small slice of my life this past week. Have an awesome weekend, kind readers.

Life Of FI MD

Tuesday 9th of January 2018

Keith, I have to say I love your content. Keep up the excellent writing about life and tax tips. As I found myself getting more and more into taxes over the last year, I kept saying to myself "man, I wish I had a buddy who knew taxes really well!" You are that guy for me and many other readers I am positive of this. You are helping a ton of us in more ways than just taxes friend, and I just wanted to encourage you to keep up the great work!


Sunday 7th of January 2018

I love the Hoover recommendation. Have you read the biography on Calvin Coolidge by Amity Shlaes? It is pretty good. Or the new biography of Grant by Ron Chernow. As a presidential scholar I love reading these biographies. One of my goals before my career is over is to write a biography on one of the presidents. Currently, my books/articles only focus on one specific aspect of a president.

Keith Schroeder

Sunday 7th of January 2018

I haven't read either, Jason. I've heard of Chernow's Grant biography.

Both have been added to my reading list. Considering my backlog it will be summer. Something to look forward to.

Thanks for sharing.


Saturday 6th of January 2018

Thanks Keith. I have used the Tax Act site for years, but may give Drake a try this year for comparison.


Saturday 6th of January 2018

Was going to ask you to post what you are currently or have read but you beat me to it.

Keep up the good work.

Keith Schroeder

Saturday 6th of January 2018

Matt, the Stalking the Accountant is a Saturday series where I'll share things I'm doing personally. I will always have at least one book I've read recently or currently chewing through. Sometimes the books will be hard to find as I have eclectic tastes and dig deep to find what I'm looking for. In most cases there will be a link to Amazon or independent book store where you can purchase. The library is another choice.


Saturday 6th of January 2018

There's a great documentary on Netflix about the Voyager missions:


Keith Schroeder

Saturday 6th of January 2018

I'll check it out. Thanks for sharing, JD!