One of the most commonly asked questions I get from both potential clients and colleges alike is “Do you do taxes?” and the common reaction is bewilderment when I give them my answer: “No.” Usually there’s a follow-up question asking why, since what the heck else would a CPA be good for? Well, when I got licensed as a CPA back when I lived in California, my intent never was to file taxes for people. Could it be profitable? Of course. Is the service in high demand? Yes, definitely around this time of year. So, what’s my deal?
My deal is that taxes are not enjoyable for me. Come on….I know most of you can relate to that! Taxes are tedious and always changing and I don’t care to keep up with the ever-evolving, never-ending tax code. Plus, if I put time and energy into doing tasks I don’t enjoy, my time and energy will be diverted away from the tasks that I do enjoy.
I recently picked up “Book Yourself Solid” by Michael Port, at the recommendation of my friend Kristin Stith (another local rock-start entrepreneur!), and it has truly invigorated my motivation to serve my clients well. One of the first steps in this book is to start working with only your ideal clients and not let dud clients suck away your enthusiasm potential. By allowing only ideal clients into your line-up, you are able to work at your best. I feel the same way about which particular projects I work on and filing taxes is my equivalent “dud client.”
Bogging myself down with undesirable projects will likely cause me to dread the work and dread communication with the client, even if I genuinely like the client. If I focus on the tasks I’m passionate about, I will perform at my best, which benefits both myself and my clients. That is why you will never find me offering to do someone’s taxes, other than my own. If you need someone to take a good, hard look at your accounting and business processes, you can bet that I’ll be doing my best to find solutions that will increase efficiency and effectiveness and I’ll be doing it with enthusiasm because it’s what I truly love to do!
Rest assured though, that I do have enough working knowledge surrounding taxes that I’m able to identify areas of opportunity and areas of potential risk as I’m working with my clients. I am always on the lookout while completing other projects.
Like I mentioned before, the tax code is endless! According to Forbes.com the code has grown from a whopping 27 pages in 1913 to OVER 4 MILLION WORDS (9,000 pages), with 4,600 changes from 2001-2012. WOW. That’s a lot to keep up on! If you’d like to see more humorous reasons that add to why I don’t do taxes, check out the Forbes article “20 Really Stupid Things In The U.S. Tax Code.”