Member Since: Jul 22nd 2016
Michael Abrams is the Owner of Abrams Business Management Services ("ABMS") and has spent over 25 years working with small- to medium-sized businesses and entrepreneurial startups. His honesty and integrity are beyond reproach. He has experience in many different areas of small business management including financial reporting, budgeting, HR & Payroll (including administering retirement plans, workers’ compensation and safety programs). His experience and wide industry exposure allow him to quickly assess a situation and take appropriate corrective action. He is also experienced in project managing the acquisition and implementation of accounting and bookkeeping software. Additionally, Michael is a proponent of World Class Customer Service and offers customer service training, both internal and external. Customer service, after all, is really the only thing that differentiates one business from another.
He started ABMS in 2018 with the goal of helping SMBs and startups avoid the common financial and operational pitfalls of starting/running a SMB.
Owner Abrams Business Management Services
Aug 10th 2019
Great points made! Especially #2 & #3.
Excel is a great tool but unfortunately, it does so much a lot of people would prefer to show off their Excel programming skills instead of utilize a more efficient solution. Excel has it's place but it's not the most stable/secure solution for many of the applications for which people deploy it - in my opinion/experience.
Also, whenever I source software I look for something that handles upwards of 75% or so of the way the business is currently operated and I'm willing to modify practices/processes to accommodate the software rather than modifying the software. I try to avoid software modifications like the plague as modifications impact future updates/upgrades financially, sometimes significantly.
Thanks again for the article!
Jul 23rd 2019
Actually, a better strategy for small businesses (in my humble opinion, of course) would be to teach the owners to be debt-free and use cash from investments to fund growth, if necessary.
Jul 4th 2019
So essentially, because of your experience you created an environment whereby the gathering of items required by the IRS would take longer, thereby giving the attorney more time to prepare the case? Smart move, I'd say except that I do have one question:
Do you think the additional time afforded would have an sort of favorable impact to the client in this case? And, if not, would you still have proceeded the same way?
Jul 4th 2019
I'm glad you put the payroll and related taxes first. In my experience, many small start-ups are wwwaaayyy under-capitalized and use payroll taxes as a "loan" source to get by in the beginning.
Which makes cash flow forecasting/management that much more critical for startups so that they don't get in trouble with the tax folks which, in certain circumstances, can become a criminal matter.
Jan 19th 2019
While I agree that helping the client get organized is mutually beneficial, I don't have a problem charging a client $75/hour for bookkeeping to straighten out their records. The fee is high enough to get them to think about being more organized and high enough for it to be worthwhile to me.
Jan 19th 2019
Interesting article. And while I don't know you personally, I think this article implies a particular point, which is why I'm going into the tax business myself.
I believe that the majority of tax preparers do what's best for the their pocket and not necessarily what's best for the client. I'm guessing they think (at least sub-consciously) that their clients aren't smart enough to know, or care, about the details.
I appreciate that you seem to care about the client and that you appear to take the time to actually study the details of the tax law changes. You've also given me a glimpse of what it will take to make a difference in this line of work.
Nov 17th 2018
It's one thing to "pay" the children for federal purposes, but if the child is too young for state labor laws, does this change your thinking? Also, are you advocating "paying" the child even if they don't do any actual work?
I believe in some states, there are no age restrictions for one's own children, except for certain safety issues.
Nov 17th 2018
I think a well crafted engagement letter goes a long way in this situation. It would be easy to insert in the engagement letter a clause that stipulates the expected number of hours the project would take, BASED ON THE CLIENT'S presenation of the facts. Additional work will be hourly, pre-approved by the client.
Nov 3rd 2018
I enjoy your articles, although I'm a bit surprised that you didn't actually meet the principals. Any particular reason why not? Also, wouldn't the 50/50 income sharing "arrangement" have raised a flag?
Nov 3rd 2018
Personally, I agree with both of you: That is, the low key alternative position as well as the level of service position.
It's been my experience that a lot of people don't know why they use/stay with an accountant other than it's the one they've always used. By asking how the level of service is, it gets them to thinking and maybe asking questions.
At that point, I would start telling them what a competent accountant/advisor should be doing and they should ask their current professional about those things. I then hand them my card and let them know I'm not looking to take their business away from their current professional, but I'm available if anything changes.