Up for air - finally

The publisher of this fine publication recently reminded me I had fallen back into my lack-of-posting habit. A recent email simply said: “It’s been a long time.”  Seven weeks is a while, but I had a legitimate excuse: I have been working! And ... I am getting paid for it!

Here is a summary:

The audit
·         Planning started on the consolidated audit in earnest in late August. I made my visit to the predecessor auditor and moved forward. My efficiency in the field was utilized to the fullest thanks to two decisions:
1.    Purchasing a portable scanner
2.    Testing controls
·         Once the latter was complete, wrap up was quick. My report went to a technical reviewer, revisions were made and I was ready to present with days to spare. The presentation went smoothly and the report was approved. The hardest part of the process was getting back up to game speed. I started to feel comfortable again about halfway through the process.
 
Tax compliance
·         The agreed-upon-procedure has had its share of twists and turns. Responses to requests for information from organizational chapters arrived slowly, and allowed me to focus on the audit while I waited. The project picked up speed as soon as the audit was drafted. My first pass on the 990s was finished in about a week, totaling more than 200 returns. The second pass verified the first and included more returns, bringing the total to nearly 300. This figure will be exceeded when I move to GuideStar to fill in the gaps. My report should be ready by month-end. After the report is released, there is a chance I will be conducting work for the organization on a regular basis.
 
990-N
I assisted about 25 groups in filing the e-postcard. Once the process was explained, the majority of them found it to take less time than they expected.  A small number of organizations were walked through the process and were very appreciative that I took the time to do it, while not charging them for my time.
 
Penalties
One of my first jobs was to file or amend an organization’s 990s for a three-year period. Prior to starting the job, I told the organization it would likely incur penalties. A notice arrived about a month after filing. The organization said it would rather pay the penalty, and do it as soon as possible. But a call to the IRS told me otherwise. A call to the organization was needed to explain the due date on the notice was when payment had to be received, not postmarked.  My plea apparently had an impact. I received an email saying payment was sent via overnight delivery. I just hope the organization asked for a receipt.
 
Networking
During this period, my time to get out of my office and meet people was limited to one meeting per week and a rare event. But that one event was more than I could ask. At the event, I spoke to a few organizations, and one of them asked whether I could prepare a 990 with a due date of less than three weeks. I said we could talk about it. Days later, I met with an organization representative at a coffee shop. After a few questions and review of documents, I offered to help. The representative, the development director, was relieved. The organization is now a client.
 
Shortly after his departure, another person approached my table. She introduced herself, and said she had asked the person who just left the table whether he was there for an interview. He explained that I was his accountant. I am now her accountant as well.
 

 

This blog

Alan is a sole practitioner based in Central Ohio. He made a career change at 40 after working as a journalist for more than 15 years. Alan started his practice in May 2010 and currently focuses on not-for-profit organizations, individuals and small businesses. He has helped a number of nonprofits obtain their tax-exempt status and assisted others with their audit, compliance and tax needs. Alan has overcome many obstacles, and has spent the past 11 years primarily as an auditor. He also has worked on audits of financial institutions, closely-held businesses and began his second career as an ABL field examiner.

More from this blog

Bloggers crew

Steve Knowles has spent 25 years in business and practice in the UK, but he also worked in the states and the years haven't dulled his way of seeing an alternative view to everyone else, and every day is a new adventure.

47128

Joel M. Ungar, CPA is a lifelong resident of the Detroit area and a graduate of The University of Michigan. He is a principal with Silberstein Ungar, PLLC, a Top 15 auditor of SEC public reporting companies.

80024

Allan Boress, CPA, with over 25 years as a practitioner and consultant to the accounting profession. Mr. Boress is the author of 12 published books in 6 different languages, including a best-seller, The "I-Hate-Selling" Book.

52248

Larry Perry, CPA, CPA Firm Support Services, LLC, is the author of accounting and auditing manuals, author and presenter of live staff training seminars, and author of webcast and self-study CPE programs. He blogs about small audits, reviews, and compilations.

94495
Sandra Wiley, COO and Shareholder, is ranked by Accounting Today as one of the 100 Most Influential People in Accounting as a result of her prominent role as an industry expert on HR and training as well as influence as a management and planning consultant. She is also a founding member of The CPA Consultant's Alliance. Sandra is a certified Kolbe™ trainer who advises firms on building balanced teams, managing employee conflict and hiring staff.
23629

Maria Calabrese, CIR, Human Resources manager for Fazio, Mannuzza, Roche, Tankel, LaPilusa, LLC in Cranford, New Jersey, Maria's topics revolve around the world of: Mentoring, Performance management, and The "Y Generation," a.k.a. "The whY generation".

59513

William Brighenti is a CPA, Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor, and Certified [Business] Valuation Analyst, operating an accounting, tax, and QuickBooks consulting firm in Hartford, Connecticut, Accountants CPA Hartford.

85000

Ken Garen, CPA, is the co-founder and President of Universal Business Computing Company (www.ubcc.com), a software development firm of high-volume, high-productivity accounting and payroll technology.

27592

Eva Rosenberg, MBA, EA, is the publisher of TaxMama.com, and author of the weekly syndicated Ask TaxMama column. She provides answers to tax questions from taxpayers and tax professionals worldwide.

68195

Amy Vetter, CPA, CITP is the CPA Programs Leader for Intacct Corporation responsible for leading the CPA/BPO Partners nationally.

37167
Brian Strahle is the owner of LEVERAGE SALT, LLC where he provides state and local tax technical services to accounting firms, law firms and tax research organizations across the United States. He also writes a weekly column in Tax Analysts State tax Notes entitled, "The SALT Effect." For more info, visit his website: www.leveragestateandlocaltax.com
107476
Scott H. Cytron, ABC, is president of Cytron and Company, known for helping companies and organizations improve their bottom line through a hybrid of strategic public relations, communications, marketing programs and top-notch client service. An accredited consultant, Scott works with companies, organizations and individuals in professional services (accounting, finance, medical, legal, engineering), high-tech and B2B/B2C product/service sales.
28986

Rita Keller is a nationally known CPA firm management consultant, speaker, author, mentor and blogger. She has over 30 years hands-on experience in CPA firm management, marketing, technology and administrative operations.

56459
Stacy Kildal is the mom of two fantastic kids, an Advanced Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor, Certified Enterprise Solutions ProAdvisor, Sleeter Group Certified Consultant, a nationally recognized member of the Intuit Trainer and Writer Network, and co-host of RadioFree QuickBooks.
30967
Michael Alter's blog specializes in providing practical advice to those who seek greater profitability and practice management tactics that enhance deeper client relationships.
35425

Sally Glick, CMO, Principal, Marketer of the Year in 2003 and AAM Hall of Famer in 2007, leads a lively discussion of the constantly expanding roles of marketing and the professional marketers that drive this initiative in accounting firms of all sizes.

105773

The IMA Young Professionals Blog features the insights of IMA’s Young Professionals Committee. Committee members share advice and experiences on careers, continuing education, work/life balance, and other issues affecting young accounting and finance professionals.

36740

FEI Financial Reporting Blog provides highlights from SEC, PCAOB, FASB, IASB, and other regulatory news, including reporting under Sarbanes-Oxley Sect 404. It is written by Edith Orenstein, Director of Technical Policy Analysis at FEI.

116996

Sue Anderson has 30 years of experience in continuing education for accountants. Currently she is the program director for online CPE provider CPE Link.

65251

Jim Fahey is COO of Apple Growth Partners, a regional CPA firm in Ohio. His focus is on the effective and efficient use of technology within the firm by all team members.

42591
Caleb Newquist is the Editor-in-Chief of Sift Media US, overseeing content for both AccountingWEB and Going Concern.
70014

Leita Hart-Fanta, CPA, CGFM, and CGAP is the author of "The Yellow Book Interpreted" and owner of Yellowbook-CPE.com a website devoted to training for governmental auditors.

96385

AccountingWEB is more than just a U.S. team of journalists and financial and technology experts - we have an international side, too! Members of our British team who publish AccountingWEB.co.uk share their ideas, insights, and perspectives from across the pond.

57287