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Thursday, July 31, 2014

"What do you do when tax season is over?”

I’ve heard it more than once, so thought I’d share some of the “other stuff” we do. Although most of our workload is related to tax work or payroll, the CPAs also review and advise on accounting issues and assist in resolving and unraveling problems. The support staff spends massive amounts of time handling (safely and confidentially) the reams of paper that flow into the office. 

We scan and electronically store all of the work papers used in preparing each income tax return, as well as the returns themselves and related correspondence. We keep paper copies of all that material for three years then verify that each piece was scanned legibly before each sheet is shredded. So each year during the non-tax season, we review and shred all of the paper used four years previously.

We use spreadsheets to track the recipients and dollar amounts of 1099s for the clients that need to submit them. Spreadsheets are also used for many of our clients to total expenses and income by category before the totals can be entered into the tax returns. Both sets of spreadsheets are copied for the next tax season, then the individual entries in each are erased to start out with a clean slate for the coming tax season.   

Some of our clients have duplicate sets of bank statements sent to the office. We review and code them for entry into the spreadsheets previously mentioned, or enter the information into QuickBooks to categorize income and expenses. We also provide training and support for clients using QuickBooks. 

We have permanent records for payroll clients as well, and they are reviewed and updated as needed. Each payroll is processed as the client’s setup dictates so it’s a rare day that we aren’t processing one or more payrolls. Each client’s withholdings for federal and state taxes, Medicare, unemployment and workers’ compensation insurance, benefits and draws are tracked and reported, both to the client and to federal and state agencies as required. Several of the agencies perform audits at random or as needed, and we represent our clients through those.

Trucking clients have reporting requirements that vary from state to state. Trucker logs or trip reports are used in preparing the monthly, quarterly and annual reports. Outfitters are another group we can help through the licensing and reporting process.

Those are the BIG things we do, and it’s a rare day that we aren’t involved in most of those tasks, so life at Gardner & Billing CPAs is never boring. We take all of those tasks seriously because they are critical to our clients’ businesses, but we have fun with our work, with each other and with our clients. Stop in and join us for a light hearted moment within our solemn business environment.