The Ruby Freelancers Show 011 – Taxes and Finances with Scott Sweeney

Download MP3

Panel E. Scott Sweeney, CPA (email 801-756-3394) Charles Max Wood (twitter github Teach Me To Code Rails Summer Camp) Eric Davis (twitter github blog) Jeff Schoolcraft (twitter github blog) Discussion Why you want a CPA? Accurate Returns Tax Savings Understanding of Tax Code You'll likely wind up paying taxes rather than getting a return. Home Office Deductions Itemizing Your Return Likelihood of getting audited Keep your receipts on every expediture Mileage - Begin odometer reading and ending odometer reading The IRS cannot audit you back 4 year Statute of limitations on fraud is 7 years Tax deadline for 2012 is April 17. Failure to pay penalty Filing an extension avoids the failure to file penalties Officer's salary in an S-Corp or a guaranteed payment in an LLC Wages and salary vs draws and dividends Self employment tax is 13.3% Picks Robbie McDonnell talk on goals (Eric) Freelancing Weekly (Jeff) iOS Biz Weekly (Jeff) Paleo Weekly (Jeff) Freelance Funnel (Jeff) Hootsuite (Chuck) Scott Sweeney CPA (Chuck) Contemporary VA (Chuck) oDesk (Chuck) A good bookkeeper (Scott) Excel (Scott)


[This program is brought to you by Harvest. I use them for tracking work and invoicing client. You can get a 30-day trial at Use the offer code “RR” to get 50% off your first month.] CHUCK : Hey everybody, and welcome to Episode 11 of the Ruby Freelancers Show. This is your host Charles Max Wood from This week on our panel, we have Eric Davis. ERIC: Hello. CHUCK: We also have Jeff Schoolcraft. JEFF: What's up. CHUCK: And we have a special guest -- and this is the guy who does my taxes -- it’s Scott Sweeney. SCOTT: Glad to be here. CHUCK: Do you want to introduce yourself real quick Scott, so people can kind of get an idea of who you are and what you do? SCOTT: Well, I'm a CPA, which is a Certified Public Accountant. I specialize in tax. About 98% of my practice is tax. I’m in public practice, so that means that I take clients from all walks of life and compute the taxes for them and give tax strategies, etc. I’ve been at this for a long time. And we probably will do 500 to 600 returns a week from Tuesday. So, that’s basically what I do. CHUCK: Alright, terrific. Just to add a little bit to that, some of the things that Scott has done for me is he help me work things out with an attorney to structure my business, to help me save on taxes a little. And we can talk about that if you guys are interested. And like I said, he’s done my taxes for the last two years (I think). He’s worth every penny. I’ll just put it that way. SCOTT: Thank you, Chuck. CHUCK: [Chuckles] Well, t’s really how I feel because I know I can’t do it with myself. And it saves a lot of time, hassle, and money. So do you wanna talk real quickly about why you would want to hire a CPA rather than trying to figure this stuff out on your own -- especially if you are in business for yourself? SCOTT: I think the biggest thing we bring to the table is that the returns will be done accurately. And you do not want to run file with IRS. The second thing is that, generally I can save in tax at least how much you pay me, over if you did it yourself because I'm aware of all the of the intricacies of the tax code etc., and the things you can take and can’t take. So, if you are out there doing your own thing, it’s better to outsource this so to speak, so that you are able to make sure that they are done correctly, and you minimize your tax as possible. CHUCK: So Eric and Jeff, I’m assuming you guys also have CPAs that do this kind of work for you. What’s your experience with them? JEFF: I'm in the same boat as you. I mean, worth every penny. I'm not a money guy to start with and then I don’t wanna know all the tax laws. And I can’t tell you how many times they change. My accountant will tell me how much its changed, and I shake my head in pity and write her another check. It’s just something I don’t wanna keep up with and she keeps me from being audited. More power to her. CHUCK: Eric? ERIC: Yeah, the same thing. I mean, I've been working with my accountant for I think five years now or going on five years. And like I said in the previous episode, I have actually never met her personally. I have talked to her on the phone and exchanged emails and that stuff. And now, she sends me an email with like a little program that says, “Fill in all your stuff in here” and there’s a button I can click in the program to send my data back to her, then she sends me a couple of emails of options. And basically, she sends me a packet that I sign, and all these stuff printed out and I have to send a check every quarter. So, not only in fact of like she can save me her fees, but she can also save me the time. I think I pay a thousand or maybe upwards a thousand on a complex year, a year for her. But if you value your time $100/hour, that's 10 or 20 hours a year I can put into doing another work. So it’s really worth it. I mean I come from a finance background, and I've done my own taxes and for my wife all the years up to before we got an accountant, and I know easily that I'm probably saving 20 to 30 hours a year just by hiring her. So as a business decision, it’s like a huge one. And it doesn’t even account getting into the… if I get audited by the IRS or all that stuff. CHUCK: So, one question that I have is, if you are self-employed, you pretty much can count on winding up paying taxes as opposed to getting your return, right? SCOTT: That is correct. Unless— [silence] CHUCK: Hello, are you still there? JEFF: I'm here. ERIC: I'm here. We can keep going and you can try to have a cut here if you want. CHUCK: Yeah, [chuckles] I like having the expertise. But yeah, in my experience, what has wound up happening was at least for the last year or so, I wound up paying tax as opposed to getting any kind of return. ERIC: Yeah. And for me, this year is the first year I'm actually getting the return. Like, actually not a return, a rebate. (A return is what you file). Every other year I’ve had to pay it, it’s just this year I’ve done a lot of changes and we actually decided the past year to actually overpay on my estimates just in case because I got hit on penalties one year just because I wasn’t paying enough and I made a lot more than I thought I was going to make. So this year, we ended up overpaying our estimates. And then my accountant, a couple of weeks she said, “Yeah, you are going to get a little bit back.” It’s like a significant amount but still, for a freelancer you only got to think about it. You are putting money into savings and that money is going to be paid off the taxes every three months, instead of the IRS taking that money out of your account, basically every pay check, every two weeks, every month or so. CHUCK: So basically, you’re withholding quarterly, yeah that make sense. So one other thing that I wanted to ask Scott (he kind of disappeared on us here) is about just handling an audit. What happens when you get audited and what's the best way to handle that. So hopefully, we can get him back the call here. JEFF: Yeah, knock on wood. I've never been audited, so I have no idea. ERIC: Yeah, same here. I mean, my accountant is nice and I can talk to her and she balances it. And I’d say, “Okay, you can try to claim some of these things.” It’s a higher risk, you might get audited. And then depending on how overall my return is, I can kind of say, “Yeah let’s take some of these more deductions.” Or just kind of let these slide. It’s going to be hard, especially donation stuff. Donations are always the hard ones to get claimed. Home office deductions are huge for freelancers, but they can they can throw a lot of red flags if you don’t do your math right. So that's basically why I hired my accountant, because of the home office deduction. CHUCK: Yeah and that's one thing, how do you calculate that? Isn’t that just the percentage of the square feet in your house that you use for your home office? ERIC : Kind of, but again you need to talk to an accountant. Because this is the thing, if you claim a home office deduction, you get flagged for, “Let’s check the math on this really heavy,” by the IRS computers. But basically, I have a home office I use for just for work, so mostly it’s 100 square feet and let’s just say I have 1,000 square foot house so it’s simple. That means the office is 10% of the house. So I think its 10% of all the house expenses like electricity, utilities, internet, all that stuff can be claimed as a home office expense. And some of like the mortgage taxes and mortgage insurance and all that can also be written off because the business is paying 10% of that. And then there's other things like if I actually come in and install like a new electrical panel in here and it’s just for the business, I think I can write that off. Or if I actually install a new electrical system for the entire house, I can write off 10%. So it’s really complex and it’s like one of those calculations you want your accountant to do, because in fact there’s this whole depreciation and whole bunch of some other things. CHUCK: We were talking a little bit about the different deductions that you can get on your taxes. So, one thing that I like to know about is, (and this is something that Eric brought up a few minutes ago) is how do you determine what sort of home office deduction you can get? JEFF: Before you answer, Scott and just so we can have this as said, because it hasn’t been said yet: yes, Scott is an accountant, but tax laws differ for every country at least, and I don’t know within municipalities such as states. We are not lawyers; Scott is only just an accountant for some people. Find your own accountant. SCOTT: Thank you for the disclaimer. The home office, they call it “the business use of the home”. One thing that you have to do is make sure that you are not located at any other facility, any other office. But I imagine most of you are working out of your home, but if you have another office then you are not eligible for it. So the way they do that is you take the total square footage of your home, you take the square footage of the room that you are using for business use of the home, come up with the percentage. Now, once you have that percentage, you are able to deduct 10% of your utilities (or whatever the percentage is.) That percentage of your home owner’s insurance. If you rent, you are able to take that percentage of your rent. If you have your own home, you can take the percentage of your mortgage interest, and of your real estate taxes on your house, that same percentage. CHUCK: Oh, wow. SCOTT: Yeah. Add all of that up and that becomes a deduction to you. Now, if you itemize, (which is mortgage interest, charitable contributions and so forth) and those itemization will exceed the standard deduction, then there's really not a whole lot of advantage to taking the mortgage in to the percentage of the mortgage interest in the real estate tax, unless you got a lot of self-employment tax to pay. And if you do, then you do want to take that on your business use of the home schedule, and not take it on your itemized deductions. So what they will allow you to do is take 10% percent on your business use of a home, and then carry 90% over to the right amount of deductions. By doing that, then you reduce the profit in your business return, so that the amount of self-employment tax you pay is significantly reduced. So that's the big advantage of the business use of a home. If you don’t office elsewhere, it’s an automatic. You need to be doing that. JEFF: Scott, I wanna say that there are some restrictions to that like, can it be just a kitchen table and a laptop and you are taking  10 square feet or does that have to be a single purpose room with a door you only do business stuff in? SCOTT: Well, that depends how aggressive your accountant is. If the IRS were to audit, they'd wanna see a room that is separate and apart from the other living space -- especially if the house is fairly large. But I have been successful in taking a portion of a room, especially if they are in an apartment or it’s a small house or something like that. I don’t have any trouble doing that. It would be better if you have whole separate room and  that’s the only thing you ever did in there, but realistically, if you don’t have that kind of option, then we can designate a portion of  the kitchen or portion of the front room or whatever as your business use of home. ERIC: I actually did that when I got first started because we lived in an apartment and we had a spare bedroom and basically turned into our office. But I used like a 5ft. by 5ft. bookshelf and put it right in the middle of the room (kind of like a divider). So one side is the business stuff and the other side is my wife’s personal stuff. So, we actually measured the business side of it and took deduction for just that side. But we were in a smaller apartment and it was pretty clear, like, this is where I work because I have all of my work stuff on the walls and all that and on the other side was just pure personal. SCOTT: That is exactly right. That's totally open and available to you. CHUCK: So one thing that brought up was that it depends on how aggressive your accountant is, and what occurs to me there is, if your accountant is more aggressive, is that mean you are more likely to get audited or not necessarily? How does that all pan out? SCOTT: The chances of getting audited really depend on whether or not you fall outside of certain parameters the IRS has established. For instance, in Utah we have high charitable contributions made by a lot of people, and those returns in Utah fall outside the IRS parameters through the whole country. CHUCK: You are talking about Mormons paying tithing or 10% of income to the LDS Church. SCOTT: Right. So what happens then is the IRS in this area has said, “Okay, if somebody pops up in the audit list because of high charitable contributions, then don’t look at their return anymore”. But there are other things that can cause those audits; right now they are involved in a lawsuit. So they run up about $200,000 of legal expense, and the IRS decided they want to look at that return because it generated a big lost for them. And the IRS came in, we were able to document all of the legal expenses and therefore, the audit accomplished want it wanted to do, which was to make sure that those legal expenses were actual and necessary etc. and once they determine that, then we were done. Now, as to whether or not your accountant takes certain aggressive positions, we are under obligation to make sure that we feel like we can prevail more than 50% of the time. If we can’t, if we don’t feel like we can do that, than we are not allowed to take a position. So you know, there’s a lot of safety build in by virtue of the IRS rules. But audits are prompted more by anomalies to tax returns, than they are by aggressive positions. So if you have something that's way out of the norm, then they’ll come in and audit. CHUCK: Okay, one other question that I have related to audit or audits are, I keep hearing advice from people saying, “You need to keep all of your receipts or just some of the receipts or you need to be keeping track of these kinds of expenses versus this other kind of thing.” Just in the case that we do get audited, what kinds of records should we have, so we can demonstrate to the IRS that what we claimed is actually what we should? JEFF: And sort of a follow up before you answer, does paper or digital matter? SCOTT: No. Paper or digital does not matter. So are you scanning your receipts? Is that what you are talking about? CHUCK: Yes, at least for me. SCOTT: That would definitely pass with the IRS because virtually it’s the same thing as paper. That's what I am saying. Now, as to what you need to keep, you need to have your bank statements (digital or paper). That's the very first thing they ask for. Then any expenses that you incur, you need to have a receipt for it. And that includes things that you might buy off of your credit cards or your debit cards or so forth even though they show up in  a third party document, they are not necessarily  going to allow that without the receipt. For instance, if you have a debit for Wal-Mart, generally they would not accept that without a receipt showing that there was a business purchase versus a personal. So, I advise very strongly to keep and have receipts on every expenditure. I do that myself and my business, and I really strongly advice that you do that because otherwise then we have to argue with IRS whether or not that was truly a business expense. Now, on mileage and I'm not sure you guys does most of your work over the internet if you ever incur mileage but if you do, I strongly suggest that you have a mileage log that you keep, which will show the beginning odometer reading and the ending odometer reading for each trip that you take. And Chuck, I’ve not been too big on this until this last three audits that I've done, and we’re getting burned on these mileage logs. So, I strongly suggest you keep something like that. If you keep it contemporaneous (which means that it’s the day you did it) then, there’s absolutely no question that the IRS have to accept it. CHUCK: Okay , but it has to be more than “I drove so many miles”? SCOTT: Yeah, you should put down beginning odometer reading when you leave and right when you get back. And that's miserable to do. Especially if you are going to do a lot of miles, then that's kind of a documentation that you are going to have to survive the audit. I do want to say this: the IRS cannot audit back more than 4 years. So, after 4 years you can dispose of the receipts that you have because they can no longer audit you. CHUCK: Okay. ERIC: I want to say its seven years for your actual tax return, just of like the return or something like that. Is that right? SCOTT: Well, not really. If there’s fraud involved, then it’s  seven years. But I don’t suspect anyone of you will be involved in fraud. But even if that, if you have shredded your past tax returns, and they brought a fraudulent audit to you, you can always get a copy of the original tax return from the IRS. Most of us accountants will keep your records electronically for far more than seven years. For my clients we’re going back ’01 or ’02. And they will not come after you generally if it’s over than 6 years anyway. So does that help? CHUCK: Yeah, so one other question I have (and I think you may have just addressed this) but I was typing in to twitter, “Ask us questions for the CPA”. But anyway, my question is, so we have old tax returns and some of them were prepared using like TurboTax or something which isn’t necessarily the best way to go, can we bring those in and have them checked over for possible money coming our way? SCOTT: Yes, if they are not more than 3 years old. Because we cannot amend and get you a refund if they are over than 3 years. So like the ‘08 tax return was due February 15, 2009; three years from that point is April 15, 2012. So if you want to have a review of the ’08 and try and get a refund, we got to get it done before the April 15th deadline. CHUCK: Okay. And the tax deadline for this year is April 17th because the 15th is a Saturday? SCOTT: The 15th is actually Sunday. The 16th is the Emancipation Day in Washington D.C. And because it’s a holiday in D.C., the IRS is going to take that a day off and therefore, the deadline becomes the Tuesday. Next year, April 15th will fall on a Monday, and the Emancipation Day will be on the 16th so the deadline will be April 15th in 2013. CHUCK: Okay, now what happens if you file late? Let’s say for some reason, I don’t get you my stuff in time and so I get it into you on the 14th and you are saying, “There’s no way I can get this stuff done before the 17th?” SCOTT: We automatically file an extension both for your LLC or partnership returns and your personal return. Now if you owe money, then we ought to send money to the IRS on April 17th. We just kind of do an estimate of what you might owe, so that when the return is finished, then we use that as kind of a withholding or estimated payment. And that keeps you from having what’s known as the “failure to pay” penalty. The “failure to file” penalty is avoided because of the extension, but the “failure to pay” penalty, you cannot extend. That's why we have to send money and have the extension. And then you have until September 15th on the business returns and October 15th on the individual returns to file. And then that point, there is no tomorrow. Failure to file penalty is 5% per month, up to 25%. The failure to pay penalty is half a percent per month up to 25%. So it’s critical that you get an extension filed because the penalty is like 100 times higher than the failure to pay. JEFF: And most good accountants will file for an extension for everybody whether you need it or not right? SCOTT: Right. That is correct. That is very correct. ERIC: The only problem, like, when I first got my accountant, I first got her basically signed up I think in February (so it was like very last minute) and she end up doing the extension for me. We only needed like an extra week. But I ended up getting I think one of the penalties of not paying enough, because the last year I didn’t know I had to make estimated taxes, and so I actually got hit by that. So if you are going out looking for an accountant now, it’s almost too late. Like you might find one, but you are going to pay a lot. So if you are thinking of starting freelancing this year, make finding an accountant one of the first things you do, because there are dates and stuff you have to hit with estimated payments and all that. And if you miss it, it think I paid like a couple of hundred dollars or several hundred dollars. If I just actually sent money to the IRS, I wouldn’t have had to pay that. CHUCK: One other thing that I want to add to that is that, when you are setting up your business, one of the first things that you wanna do is not only so you can avoid these issues, but your accountant has a lot of experience with how your business can be structured and how you can approach different aspects of your business in order to save money on taxes up front. So you can get all of these great advice while you are setting up your business and then you wind up doing things right as you move done the road. And that is one thing that I've found with Scott. And he was recommended to me by David Brady, who’s been on the show before. SCOTT: Yeah so that's what we do and that's part of our responsibility to the client. CHUCK: I have two more questions. The first one I want to ask is just off of Twitter itself. I put this out last week, and I got one question and I'm not sure if there is quite enough information here. We might have to guess with some of the aspects of the situation, but basically, what he says is: “What ratio of W2 pay versus dividend should an incorporated freelancer take home?” So I'm assuming he’s incorporated, he’s hired himself as an employee to his corporation so he is paying himself a salary or wage, and then paying himself dividends on top of that if he makes more. SCOTT: Yeah, this is a critical component if you are an LLC or an S-Corp, is that you need to take an officer salary an S-Corp or guaranteed payment in an LLC. There’s much controversy (maybe it’s the wrong word) but there is a lot of discussion as to how much those amounts should be. If you are working all by yourself, then you’ll probably need to pay quite a bit. When I say that, upwards to 50-60% of your total profit should be taken as guaranteed payment on officer salary. If you have other people working for you or you have equipment, and I would, think I don’t know exactly how it works if you take guys do a lot of remote work on your client’s computers or bring it in or whatever. But I think if the computer does quite a bit of the work for you, then you are able to take less as an officer salary guaranteed payment. The reason for that is you are making the money not solely from your efforts, and you have other people or equipment that helps in the production of the profits. At that point then, you are not required to take as much. The direct answer to the question is “it depends”. And again, you should work with your CPA, let them quiz your as to a lot of what goes on in your own business and then determine a good number, based on that information. So it’s really difficult to give you a blanket  answer to that. I will say this that generally, if you are not taking more than 45% of the profit as an officer salary or guaranteed payment, the IRS  will come in and bump that up to that amount. So the lowest is 45% now under the new rules. CHUCK: And the new rules as of when? SCOTT: Well, probably in the last 2 or 3 years. When I say “rules”, it’s what the IRS is doing when they go out on an audit. And double the numbers of auditors in the United States and there's just being a lot more aggressive than they have been on the past and so. So basically, all I'm saying is we used to get away with a third and now it’s gone up to about 45%. They are wanting self-employment tax. ERIC: I mean, to kind of get a bit of the back reason; this is an issue because when you get paid a salary, you got to pay employment taxes like Medicare and all that stuff, and you are at typically a higher rate, versus if you get a dividend or a draw from a company, that is tax on a lower rate. So if IRS is trying to get more money, they are doing it by making you pay more taxes on a higher rate than they are on a lower rate. And so that is kind of the back story reason why, I think. SCOTT: Yeah. Let me clarify that just a little bit. Let’s say you make $100,000 in the course of a year. That is your total profit. The IRS is going to tax you on that full $100,000. But, they are not going to tax you for self-employment tax on the full $100,000. That's what the officer salary and guaranteed payments comes in. You are actually paying two taxes: you are paying income tax and you are paying self-employment tax. If you do not have a business and are operating as a sole proprietor, there is no way around not paying both taxes on the full $100,000. If you incorporate or set up an LLC, that's where the savings comes in. It’s because if you pay self-employment tax, on normally 50% of you profit, then you are saving 50% of the self-employment tax that could be imposed. And that is the importance of having a business and operating under business is that it allows you to save on that self-employment tax. The self-employment tax rate 13.3%, and you are paying that in addition to the income tax. The income tax rate depends on how much you make as to what tax bracket you are in. So hopefully that clarified that just a little bit. CHUCK: Right. So the trade-off is which portion you are paying your self-employment tax on. SCOTT: Right. And you want to minimize that, obviously. You are going to pay income tax on the full amount of the profit, but you want to minimize the amount you take as guaranteed payment or officer salary so that you don’t pay so much in self-employment tax. CHUCK: Okay, so the other question I had was (I was a little bit public about this, I haven’t disclosed who the client was that didn’t pay me) but, how does that affect my taxes? Do I just take that as a straight loss on the business? SCOTT: Well, unfortunately, you cannot take lost revenue as a deduction. What happens is, if you incurred x amount of expense to produce the work product for the client, you are allowed to take that expense against your other revenues. So let’s say that you got $100,000 of revenues, and if this client had paid you, you would have had $110,000. And let’s say, it costs you $50,000 to do the work for the $100,000 and another $5,000 to do the work for the extra 10, you would have $100,000 then as revenue and $55,000 as expense. So you get to take the expense, and basically, the revenue just goes away. Now I would think that most of your work is your time and effort, and not so much in other expenses. So unfortunately, you would get hurt very badly with this rule because you spend the time and effort but they don’t allow you to deduct that when you are not paid. That is a real negative for folks in your profession. CHUCK: Yeah, that makes sense. So given the current situation, I’ll probably ask you later if you know a good collection agency. SCOTT: Okay. [Chuckles] And what you really need to do is set yourself up so that you are getting at least half the money upfront or some sort of portion. You do progress billings as you go along, and that keeps you from having a situation where you’ve done all the work and they don’t pay you a cent. CHUCK: Yeah, we’ve talked a lot about that on the show. But yeah, that makes a lot of sense, because then you get something at least for you time. SCOTT: Exactly. CHUCK: Well, we are reaching the end of our time here, and I know we have a few technical difficulties so this will probably a shorter show, but I don’t want to take up too much more of your time Scott because I know that you are trying to get a whole bunch of people’s tax returns in-- SCOTT: There you go. [Chuckles] CHUCK: …by the 17th so we really appreciate you coming on the show. We are going to jump in to the picks and then we’ll go ahead and wrap this call up. So Eric, we’ll go ahead and start with you. What are your picks? ERIC: Alright. So I don’t have any tax-related picks. Basically my opinion is, hire an accountant and just work with them. But last night, I was kind of going through a lot of Quantified Self videos. If you haven’t heard about it, it’s the kind of the idea of you do tracking different things in your life or your work that are numeric, and you kind of try to improve in some way. So there’s a video by Robbie McDonnell. He basically had a 21 minute talk about how sometimes goals can actually be bad for making habits, in that you kind of set yourself up for failure. And he proposed a different way of doing it. It’s pretty interesting. I think it can be used for a lot of things like personal, like exercise nutrition stuff, but also for business. You can set yourself up for like, different revenue. Like, you have this revenue goal, different revenue habit, marketing stuff. It’s pretty cool, it’s interesting. It’s a nice 20-minute watch. CHUCK: Cool. Jeff, what are your picks? JEFF: Surprisingly enough, I don’t think I have any picks today. My newsletters go subscribe to them. But I don’t have any picks. I've worn myself out looking at the internet. CHUCK: Alright, so real quick then. Let’s tell people what your newsletters are. JEFF: Freelancing Weekly, Paleo Weekly and iOS Biz Weekly. We’ll put them on the show notes. CHUCK: Yeah, and then you also got Freelance Funnel right? JEFF: Yeah. That’s not a newsletter though. CHUCK: Yeah, but I get the emails. Sometimes I chase leads off of it, so it’s pretty cool. Alright well I’ll go ahead and go next. I'm not sure if I picked this on the show already, but basically, one thing that I use for social media stuff is HootSuite. It’s actually a website. It’s kind of like TweetDeck where you have different columns, with different filters or whatever for your different accounts and things like that. It’s pretty nice I actually really like it. I’ll put a link in the show notes. It looks a lot like that. It doesn’t completely fit my workflow, but it does better than a lot of the other stuff that I've tried. So that's one thing that I am messing around with. My other pick is actually Scott Sweeney. And I really want to let you guys know that he has saved me a ton of time, trouble and effort with taxes and other financial things. And so I highly recommend him for that. One other that I have that is related to this is that I have a VA (virtual assistant) and part of the service that I use for my virtual assistant, they actually have a bookkeeper on staff and it just bills against my hours that I pay on my retainer. So they have a bookkeeper and she’s pretty good. So very happy with them. So you can check them out at I’ll put that in the show notes. I actually have an affiliate for that, so if you go click on the link, they’ll know that I referred you and that would be nice for me. But either way, if you are looking for that kind of service, go to I've also heard some people have some luck with oDesk, but I'm not familiar with the kind of quality you get out of there. I think it’s hit or miss depending on who you hire. That's one thing we didn’t talk about but maybe we can talk about that another time. So Scott, do you have any picks for us? Any resources you want to share or anything? SCOTT: Oh, well, this virtual assistant you just talked about, that is news to me and that sounds absolutely fabulous. One of the biggest things that I’ve encountered when I trying to do someone’s taxes is that the bookkeeping has not been done very well, so we end up spending a lot of time trying to straighten things out. And so if you are going to hire someone to do that, that would be a tremendous benefit to you, for when you get your taxes done. Also, what would be very beneficial to you in determining what your profits are as you go along through the course of the year, to see how things are going and you can compare quarter to quarter, year to year etc. it should be able to produce those kinds of things for you. That sounds very interesting to me. I’d never heard of that. CHUCK: Yeah, it’s kind of like a personal assistant except they online, they are remote. SCOTT: Yeah. Other than that I was going to suggest, if you don’t know Excel, you need to have some sort of software to keep all of your records straight, especially when we talk about keeping receipts, if you can tie those to the receipts, then that will help you too. That's probably all I’ve got. CHUCK: All right cool. Well thanks again for coming on the show, Scott. SCOTT: Thank you, Chuck for letting me come on. I appreciate it. CHUCK: Yeah really quickly, what's the best way for people to find you? I know you have a website. SCOTT: Yeah, and all you techie guys need to know that I am 61, and I'm not into that kind of stuff. So I have an email address, let me give you that. It’s and otherwise then my number is 801-756-3394. My website is not very good, that's why I'm not directing you to that. CHUCK: Okay, well if you want to get hold of Scott, we’ll have his phone number and email on the website and you can go find him. If you want other recommendations, Scott’s in Utah, but I believe he helps people all over the US. SCOTT: I do actually. There are certain states I won’t help people in, but there are probably 45 out of 50 that I help people in. CHUCK: Alright. So if you want a good accountant, I highly recommend Scott. If you want other recommendations, you can probably ask Eric or Jeff to find out who they use, but you know, I just can’t recommend Scott highly enough. He came to me, referred by somebody I trust, and you know, I have been super happy with the work that he’s done. SCOTT: Thank you very much, Chuck. CHUCK: Alright. We are going to go ahead and wrap this up. You can find us in iTunes, if you want to get us there, or if you are on the Android phone, I think DoggCatcher is a good PodCatcher but I know that there are other ones. And there should be a link for the RSS feed on the website. So if you are getting it there, great. If you are getting there from iTunes, then leave us a review. We are discussing, possibly doing a book club. So if you would like us to do a book club, I think there is actually an entry in the forum that you can go and vote up. And other than that, we’ll catch you next week! ERIC : See you. JEFF: Later!

Sign up for the Newsletter

Join our newsletter and get updates in your inbox. We won’t spam you and we respect your privacy.