To join in on this discussion, you must first log in.

Discussion:We've Got People

From TaxAlmanac, A Free Online Resource for Tax Professionals
Note: You are using this website at your own risk, subject to our Disclaimer and Website Use and Contribution Terms.

From TaxAlmanac

Jump to: navigation, search

Discussion Forum Index --> Business Growth Community --> We've Got People


JEllegate (talk|edits) said:

12 January 2007
As we all get rolling along into tax season it's nice to know that "we've got people" on this forum to help each other out.

Gees, maybe we should all get togther and form an advertsing coop and use this as a tagline!!

AHH (talk|edits) said:

12 January 2007
Hear Hear! Those commercials are already getting on my last nerve!!

Lizzit (talk|edits) said:

13 January 2007
Every time I see those commercials, I think:

Yeah, yeah, sure you got people, but do you have experts?

Bottom Line (talk|edits) said:

13 January 2007
Duh - now I finally get it! It's the Block ads. Here they're saying they can do your return with your final paystub even before you get your W-2. I've seen the billboards and thought it was the dumbest ad campaign I'd ever seen. Now I understand that's their slogan for this year. I agree; it's already bugging me!

Deback (talk|edits) said:

January 13, 2007
Yea, they're giving out Instant Money Advance loans. They're not actually preparing the returns using the final pay stubs.

Bottom Line (talk|edits) said:

13 January 2007
Sounds like the payday advance stores where they'll hold your check for up to two weeks and charge you a ridiculous interest rate. I wonder what state law says about this!

Deback (talk|edits) said:

January 13, 2007
That's all it is, BL--an advance payday store--or advance RALs. If you don't listen to every word in their TV ads, you will come away thinking they're preparing tax returns without waiting for the W-2s.

I had a tax client call me around the end of December, asking me if I could do her MFJ tax return with their last paycheck stubs. She said H&R Block is doing it that way this year. Of course, I told her I needed the W-2s, since the year-end paycheck stubs don't always agree with the W-2s, and I don't like to have a bunch of amended returns to do in the future. Then, a couple days later, I happened to see the TV ad she had watched, but I happened to listen a little better and heard the words "advance loan."

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

13 January 2007
The NFL games only carry beer and car commercials, plus maybe an odd try from IBM or Microsoft. I will take the information based on stubs but put the return 'on hold' until I get the real document, but this is food for thought. I've got this client Vito who has surplus cash; maybe he'd like to back advanced RALs and split the usury, ....errrrr interest, with me.

Will (talk|edits) said:

13 January 2007
What early game am I missing today by being in the office on Saturday D&T?

Bottom Line (talk|edits) said:

13 January 2007
Indy at Baltimore 4:30 eastern on CBS

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

13 January 2007
None, Ravens-Colts is 4pm EST, but for you on the left coast, 1pm. Quit at 4 and you'll be home for Eagles-Saints at 8pm EST.

Will (talk|edits) said:

13 January 2007
My last appointment is at 2pm pacific, the sad part is I haven't been able to watch Baltimore play all year. They never show their games over here...

Estock (talk|edits) said:

13 January 2007
Does any Proseries/Lacerte users feel betrayed by Intuit with their brilliant ad campaign for Turbo Tax? Ya know, do it yourself because Turbo tax will ask you the same questions a tax pro will... Guess my $5000 a year don't mean much to them ...And the program obviously knows more than me...GO BEARS!

Deback (talk|edits) said:

January 13, 2007
Personally, it doesn't bother me. I know I've lost some clients because they decided to do it themselves using Turbo Tax or efiling online, and that's fine with me, although some of them have come back within a year or two. Each year, I usually get around the same number of new and prior clients as the number of those that don't return. I'm hoping my clientele will decrease each year, because I have too many tax clients, and that's why I haven't advertised in several years.

Estock (talk|edits) said:

13 January 2007
Yeah, it doesn't bother me - I find it kinda funny actually. I usually have a handful of clients who buy Turbo, try to do their taxes, and then wind up calling me for an appointment. I don't advertise either - and also have too many clients, but I can't stop those referrals - that's why I hired someone the last couple of years - to take the overflow!

Deback (talk|edits) said:

January 13, 2007
If I hired employees, I would almost have to rent a building somewhere with more parking space (I have a driveway that will hold about four cars, if someone doesn't park smack dab in the middle). I've considered this several times in the last 31 years and always decided to just keep it as it is. I had planned on hiring someone after my son moved out of his bedroom that's downstairs near my office. But after he moved out, I decided not to. I guess I just wanted the freedom I've had without the extra hassles, and at my age, I decided I wanted to gradually decrease my business rather than continue to build it up.

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

13 January 2007
I had three fees last year for reviewing clients' Turbo Tax returns. I am waiting for the one to try her hand at Turbo Tax S Corp that I prepare for her. Of course, we can't bill for the time we spend here answering self-preparers' questions, but I like to think when they read the answers, they will realize just how deep the water is. Overflow = Extensions. JEFF GARCIA FOR SAINTHOOD.

Deback (talk|edits) said:

January 13, 2007
I guess if I didn't do monthly accounting work all year long, I wouldn't mind having extensions to do. But, in general, I hate extensions!

Bottom Line (talk|edits) said:

13 January 2007
I agree - I hate extensions. I have some clients that don't care when their taxes are done and I extend them early in the season as a safeguard in case I can't get them all done. But I really push for four months. I try to have everything done by 4/1 because April is a payroll tax month. Monthly bookkeeping keeps me busy all year. Taxes just adds to it. I haven't advertised in over 5 years. Referrals keeps growing the practice. I'm definately turning down any more "go to them" clients!

Deback (talk|edits) said:

January 13, 2007
My business is a little different. I prepare taxes every day during tax season, one after the other, including most Sundays, right up through April 15th (although I usually have only a handful to do on the 15th), and the accounting just adds to it. I currently only have four monthly accounting clients and three quarterly payroll clients, but I used to have many more monthly clients before 1996, when I quit taking new acct clients. So, I currently set aside a few hours twice a month to do the payroll and accounting. It used to be a nightmare (and many more hours each day) when I had more accounting clients.

Skq9545 (talk|edits) said:

13 January 2007
I wish I had too many clients - right now I need many more. What type of advertising have you done in the past? Several ideas have passed me, but I haven't been sure which route to take.

Deback (talk|edits) said:

January 13, 2007
Well, when I started in 1976, I placed a small ad in the local shopping guide. Did 35 returns that year. I continued the same ad every year for a few years, but I was also working full-time for the State of MI then and through Sept 1982. When I quit driving to clients' homes and moved into a house in town in late 1985, I had a business phone line, so I've had a free listing in the yellow pages ever since then. Off and on during the 80s and 90s, I'd place my small ad in the same local shopping guide, but I haven't done that in a few years. Most of my clients have come from word-of-mouth and referrals from current clients. Also, in the 70s and early 80s, I gave current clients $5 off their fee when they referred people to me.

SunGod (talk|edits) said:

13 January 2007
I wish Wilford Brimley could get a life. Is he touting H&R before or after constipation?!!

Gosix (talk|edits) said:

14 January 2007
Today I saw the most amusing thing driving my son to soccer practice. Its far beyond "We got People" and those silly last paystub preparation scam loans........

Almost need to post a picture for the full effect:

Imagine a very old run down trailer park, very low income area, trailers which have been added onto in lean-to fashion. Imagine one lean-to trailer shelter without paint, with weathered boards showing, no grass in the yard, 4 broken down cars littering the lot. Imagine taking one of those weathered boards down, painting in BIG white spray paint letters "GIT YOUR TAX RETURNS DON HERE" complete with an arrow pointing to the shack. I drove by right as the fellow was pounding the sign into the ground.

HR Block has competition!

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

14 January 2007
That is a riot; wish you had one of those picture cell phones. Wonder if he offers RALs....come to think of it, what happens when the battery on his laptop goes, or is there electricity?

Gosix (talk|edits) said:

14 January 2007
Can you post pictures here?

Deback (talk|edits) said:

January 14, 2007
LOL

Yes--into your User page, but you can email it to me, and I'll upload it to my web server and add a link to it, if you want.

JEllegate (talk|edits) said:

14 January 2007
Actually, our tagline (when we used to have two offices and a few staff people) was "We've got dogs" literally...I wonder if I have a case here to go after Mr Block since we had it way before their highly compensated marketing experts came up with their slightly modified version of our tagline? We always used to have our two black labs (mixed with who knows what that we found when they were 4 weeks old) with us at our Mom & Pop accounting practice. Our clients (well, most of them) thought the hounds were great, many came by a few times a year just to drop off treats for them. My wife (and CPA partner) used to joke that the dogs were a good judge of character due to the way they acted around some of the clients.

Anyways, lets get on with some stories about what we've run into over the years starting with:

1. One of the new national tax franchisees setting up shop on our street knocked on our door one day to get some help with his "tax exmination" that he had to pass in order to qualify for a franchise. Silly me, I figured what the heck I'd help him cause at least this Franchise seemed to be setting some standards. It gets better...the questions (as you might imagine) weren't all that difficult and at the end there was as an "answer guide" (nice way to say all of the CORRECT answers were printed at the end). I pointed this out to this budding entrapraneur and off he went figuring he didn't need my help anymore. Proceed to 2.

2. Fast forward to January 20th...he's now in business down the street. I get a call from him and he's kind of stuck figuring out what this "K1 thing is all about." Yes, I explained it to him.

3. Okay, now he must be past the 1st rush of EIC filers (rapid refund filers paying interest at 1200%) and he must be getting into the real deal clientele. Call #2, goes something along the lines of "have I ever run into this estimated tax payment stuff before?"

4. Call #3 (I PROMISE THE LAST ONE CAUSE I TOLD HIM TO CALL HEADQUARTERS FROM NOW ON FOR THESE TUFF ISSUES) he wants to know if line 21 (other income) is where "Gift income" goes or is there a separate schedule for it.

YES, the strange but TRUE.

There's more, plenty of it but...we'll save that for another day when I'm looking to proscratinate(spelling??) again...now I have to get back to work AND SO DO YOU!

But, do check back!

Deback (talk|edits) said:

January 14, 2007
Thanks for the story, JEllegate!  :)

Bengoshi (talk|edits) said:

14 January 2007
Sorry about the Eagles D&T...maybe next year. :) Go New England!

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

14 January 2007
Eagles and Saints: two good stories, one had to lose. I can't be too despondent. We beat the hated Giants last week, and the Cowboys twice. The game was exciting and well-played. Unfortunately we at home had to suffer through countless commercials, and not one from H & R Block. Worse, there must have been a zillion Fox promos for shows I could care less about. They ran so many commercials and promotions that when the two minute warning came, there were no plugs left.

Bottom Line (talk|edits) said:

14 January 2007
And CBS is just as bad.

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

14 January 2007
Between Gumbel on CBS and Stockton on Fox, I never heard so many wrong players named, or wrong yard lines called, or Gumbel twice totally missed the play calling interceptions that were not there. Then we had Moose and Goose on Fox talking over the action about their observations. Perhaps they were auditioning for Monday Night Football, when interviewing Syl Stallone and letting him plug his latest, is more important than what happens on the turf.

Bottom Line (talk|edits) said:

14 January 2007
Agreed - why can't they get someone that follows the game more than just on gameday to call it. I'm tempted to turn the sound off because I get better play by play from my husband. At least he knows who the players are.

Sandysea (talk|edits) said:

14 January 2007
Yes...GO PATRIOTS and GO BEARS!!! The Eagles played piss poor football yesterday...I am disgusted with them....

If the beard do not win today, my bf will be pissed...if the Patriots do not win, I will be pissed off....so here we go with a day that either both of us or none of us will be upset...

Now....I LOVE the idea of "git r dun" tax preparation...hehe. I probably could get more business if I had that as a sideline....yeah I live in po dunk Vero (but am on the ocean...hehe). What on earth is our profession coming to if people like JElles want to prepare taxes???? What is this estimated tax thing? What is this k-1 thing? I almost laughed so hard that my rum and coke came out of my nose :)

GIT R DUN!!!! lolololol

JEllegate (talk|edits) said:

14 January 2007
Hey Sandysea - it was even funnier when it happened... for the life of me this guy really came knocking on my door to help him with his tax franchisee qualification exam (yup, I thought it was kind of nervy of him too) and then after setting up shop he called with those questions. BTW, that franchise lasted about two seasons until some new garduate (took the expansive 8 week training course) took over. Scary thing is that is just one of many stories I can tell about the "strange but true" happenings at one of my offices in Western NY that I had for about 12 years. I see you're from Vero...I spent many a day there at the Dodger compound at training seminars during my younger days at AY (now E&Y). Check back for episode two.

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

14 January 2007
After my late wife had a heart valve replaced in 1997, Farfel, my old English mix [see photo of her after trimming on my profile] was part of my office every day, greeting one and all alike. UPS man was terrified of her so we had a sign that said 'Dog is In' or 'Dog is Out' on the door, since some days I worked downtown with her. Dogs have this habit of always trying to impress people who are not fond of dogs. Then the other line you'd hear was 'I think she smells our (dog)(cat)(rabbit)' to which I would say, "no judging by the area she is sniffing, I think she wants to know if you are male or female.' I finally settled this dog problem by moving the practice 250 miles and having everyone mail their stuff.

Bottom Line (talk|edits) said:

14 January 2007
She's adorable!

JEllegate (talk|edits) said:

14 January 2007
D&T...we must be related some how! We've done something similar with our practice. We had all sorts of comments about our dogs (mostly good) we lost a few clients over the dogs ...oh well. Last May we shut the doors at our two offices (one in NY the other in FL) and moved the computers/phones/filing cabinets and the rest of the junk into the basement of our home in NY. We'd had enough of the travel, staffing issues and so forth. Also, over the past five or six years we'd found that most of our clients would mail/email/fax whatever we needed to us. More importantly, our top ten - twelve clients which represent about half our revenue had never even been to our office as we'd go to them for fieldwork/planning meetings and so forth. So, we figured why keep the overhead. This season will be interesting...hoping the workload decreases!!

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

14 January 2007
I moved from the Philly area to Columbia County NY in a small house atop a hill on 3 acres. Would go to Philly ten days a season. My wife passed on in 2001 and now the office is near the bay in Ocean County NJ.

Estock (talk|edits) said:

16 January 2007
I'm glad to see other tax offices that are dog friendly. I have a 3 year old black lab, Skye, and she has come to work with me since we brought her home. I just have to keep cleaning up the hair! But she is a great mascot, and some of my clients bring in their dogs also. Oh, and she helps with my stress during the crazy times.

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

16 January 2007
Death & Taxes Inc. also registered the fictitious name "Farfel Associates" in Pennsylvania and now in New Jersey. I keep her diploma from obedience school on the wall next to my Certificate of Enrollment signed by the then Director of Practice at IRS. And no, he wasn't Helvering.

Gosix (talk|edits) said:

16 January 2007
I got pictures of their people.

http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/gosix/my_photos

Somebody must have told them about the sign being spelled wrong. Its been corrected now. I think they just flipped the board over!

Also anybody want a large NC mountain tract of land? See other photo album.

To join in on this discussion, you must first log in.
Personal tools