Author Topic: Apparently not?  (Read 1696 times)

markporter

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 4
    • View Profile
Apparently not?
« on: November 30, 2017, 09:45:24 AM »
Given the barren nature of this forum, is it not possible to become a wealthy accountant?  :)

Actually, I am curious, while far from a tax expert, it is clear to me that the vast majority of Americans have exceptionally simple tax returns and the Major Tax Preparers out there seem to charge an inordinate amount of money to prepare a simple return.  Has anyone else con sidered starting their own tax prep service?  Presumably there are some insurance requirements for Errors and Omissions, etc. but this appears to be an area with low barriers to entry, other than understanding the byzantine US tax code. 

Any others considering/doing this and emulating Keith?

Nords

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 10
  • Early retiree since 2002.
    • View Profile
    • The Military Guide
Re: Apparently not?
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2017, 11:32:10 AM »
Given the barren nature of this forum, is it not possible to become a wealthy accountant?  :)

Actually, I am curious, while far from a tax expert, it is clear to me that the vast majority of Americans have exceptionally simple tax returns and the Major Tax Preparers out there seem to charge an inordinate amount of money to prepare a simple return.  Has anyone else con sidered starting their own tax prep service?  Presumably there are some insurance requirements for Errors and Omissions, etc. but this appears to be an area with low barriers to entry, other than understanding the byzantine US tax code. 

Any others considering/doing this and emulating Keith?
My brother-in-law has over 30 years' experience as a tax CPA.  He reached FI several years ago and he's cut back to a day a week.  His biggest complaint over the decades has been the craziness during tax season (late Jan - late April) and the end of the fiscal year (September for most).  On the other side of that, we have a local CPA on Oahu who's in his late 60s and says he'll never retire.  When his friends retire (or die) he folds their businesses (and employees) into his. 

Accounting has value if you love it for the challenge & fulfillment.  But if you simply see it as a path to riches then I think burnout happens sooner rather than later.

Tax prep (the niche of accounting) is a commodity service with prices racing to zero.  Instead of trying to run one of those businesses, maybe it's better to be a contract worker or temp labor.

By the way, Philip Taylor (of FinCon and PTMoney) is also a CPA... but he seems a lot happier with his current entrepreneurial endeavors instead of accounting.
WHAT I DO:  I help you reach financial independence.  For free. 
Author of "The Military Guide To Financial Independence And Retirement."  Try your local library.
I don't read every post, so please send me a PM or tag me.

kapatterson83

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 1
    • View Profile
Re: Apparently not?
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2017, 07:56:15 AM »
markporter,

I'm actually seriously thinking about pursuing this as a way to reach Financial Independence sooner.  My thought process being like this:  if I can ramp up a tax preparation business while still working my engineering job, then I can retire from engineering with a "lower" FI number and do seasonal work to help supplement/replace income from my index fund investments.  I've been reading through The Wealthy Accountants' articles about doing tax work as a side gig - and I love the idea of working hard for a few months out of the year and having a "9 month vacation."  This is so much better than my engineering job where I practically work 60+ hours year-round.   

I've been reading Christy Pinheiro's book "The Enrolled Agent Tax Consulting Practice Guide" - it was like 8 bucks for the Amazon Kindle book.  I've only read a few chapters, but it does an excellent job of breaking down the entire process of starting a tax business. 

I know I'm just some random guy on the internet - but if you're interested in bouncing ideas off of each other, send me a PM.  I'd love to discuss the idea with somebody else who is interested; and maybe we can share some of our research with each other on the topic. 

Jim

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 9
    • View Profile
    • Jimalism
Re: Apparently not?
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2018, 06:35:47 AM »
I agree with Nords on the fact tax preparation will be a commodity business with filing prices racing towards zero.  That being said, I think the niche of tax planning and advice for individuals and businesses could be a place where you could make a side hustle or a full-time business from.

Of course, your customers would probably want you to also file their returns so you would still have the seasonality of it. 
I've started a blog (not nearly as good as Keith's):
http://jimalism.com/

CurativeFinance

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 1
  • Accountant/Tax Preparer/Author
    • View Profile
    • Curative Finance: Healthcare Savings
Re: Apparently not?
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2018, 04:21:17 PM »
I've worked in the tax prep business for a few years, mostly with a large tax prep chain (let's call it Patriot Tax). The owner was great - she knew the tax code inside out, and I learned so much from her. Unfortunately, the majority of her clients treated her like she was a fast food worker and demanded the lowest fees possible. I hated working for these people - quite a few were undocumented, and gave me false SSN's. Several were nice and had complicated returns that she let me work on if it wasn't busy.
As much as I'd like to work with her again, I'm not going back to Patriot Tax. Their business model stinks and it caters to the bottom feeders of the tax world. I'm interested in partnering up with an experienced CPA or tax firm next season with remote work. I'm going to do my best to pass the EA exam before 2019.
This is a great website and forum. I'd love to hear from others about possible future collaboration.
Yolanda Baker
Medical Debt Reduction Expert
Accountant for the Disabled and their Providers
Author, "The Smart Family's Guide to Healthcare Savings"

KeithTax

  • Administrator
  • Newbie
  • *****
  • Posts: 19
    • View Profile
Re: Apparently not?
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2018, 03:48:41 PM »
Contact me using the Contact button of the blog, CF.