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What do CPA's who only prepare/review tax returns do after 10/15(aside from projections which are later on)? I'm a tax manager and am literally doing nothing as we speak.

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Level 15

Review last year's letter to client and update to get ready for tax season.

Review notes I have made during the year for clients that might need special attention - errors on prior returns to amend, possible pension planning, possible year end planning (especially with tax law changes), ...

Make new contact with clients to review their pay stubs and see how deficient their withholding is in light of this years changes.

Get ready for release of the organizer. 

Review and update the Lacerte (1) Client Letter (2) Table Editor  (3) Client Invoice. If you are charging my form now is the time to make increases as necessary and prepare a list of new forms for 2018 and (4) Prepare and review the Database reports (a) Client Summary and (b) Tax Practice Summary.

Clean up the piles created during the hectic tax season. 

Review a listing of clients that did not return. Possibly contact them to see why they left.

Beef up continuing Education hours. I have found https://www.cpaacademy.org/ to be very affordable (free) and offering some very good topics. Lacerte also offers some training https://proconnect.intuit.com/training/lacerte/ Not the greatest, but it doesn't hurt to see if they off a new trick to make the practice more efficient. 


ex-AllStar

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Level 15

Review last year's letter to client and update to get ready for tax season.

Review notes I have made during the year for clients that might need special attention - errors on prior returns to amend, possible pension planning, possible year end planning (especially with tax law changes), ...

Make new contact with clients to review their pay stubs and see how deficient their withholding is in light of this years changes.

Get ready for release of the organizer. 

Review and update the Lacerte (1) Client Letter (2) Table Editor  (3) Client Invoice. If you are charging my form now is the time to make increases as necessary and prepare a list of new forms for 2018 and (4) Prepare and review the Database reports (a) Client Summary and (b) Tax Practice Summary.

Clean up the piles created during the hectic tax season. 

Review a listing of clients that did not return. Possibly contact them to see why they left.

Beef up continuing Education hours. I have found https://www.cpaacademy.org/ to be very affordable (free) and offering some very good topics. Lacerte also offers some training https://proconnect.intuit.com/training/lacerte/ Not the greatest, but it doesn't hurt to see if they off a new trick to make the practice more efficient. 


ex-AllStar

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Level 10
My list has a lot of overlap with George's so this seemed like a good place to reply.  I strongly recommend #3 "Make new contact with clients to review their pay stubs and see how deficient their withholding is in light of this years changes."  I've done a fair number of these already and it can be pretty ugly.  I had one of my clients add $1,000 per paycheck in FWH thru the end of the year to try to catch-up.  (Which reminds me, I need to study the new/draft W-4 for 2019, 'cause we're gonna want to turn that off in January!)

One of my CPE instructors last year had a good idea.  Keep an eye out as IRS releases new/draft forms/pubs.  Read the "What's New" sections.

Vacation starts on Sunday.  Anyone near LAX?

Today was mostly filing/clean up.  I filed my (one) 6/30/18 FYE 1120 today (yes, I got the extension filed by 9/15 instead of 10/15).  I met with a late 1040 client, got signatures and efiled.

I "soft" fired a client today and I think I'm going to use that as a template for others:

"Effective immediately, I'm firing all of my last-minute clients.  Boom, there it is, YOU just got fired.  <Mic drop>

<Pick mic back up>  The good news though, is that you still have an opportunity to be a brand new not-last-minute client for next year.  I'm putting a 3/15 deadline down for everyone to have their tax data in to me or they can go somewhere else."

And then I proceeded to tell him the things he could do NOW that don't have to wait until next October 13th to be done.  I've decided I'm tired of extensions.  Every year it gets worse.  Life's too short.

For some of my small Sch C clients we meet in Dec to get 11 months of bookkeeping done.  I make this win-win by giving them a discounted "off-season" rate and then I'm not slammed in March doing 12 months of bank recs.

I'm going to try to get organizers out in December this year instead of the usual late-January / early-February.

So yeah, I have a pretty busy Fall this year.

Rick
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Level 12
@rbynaker   The IRS announced they were delaying the 2019 W-4 because of all of the complaints, so it will be the same as the 2018 W-4.
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Level 10
Thanks Bill.  I'm not convinced that's any better, but at least it's not something else new to learn.  No chance they've abandoned the ridiculous "postcard" 1040, is there?  Let's turn two pages into eight and call it "simplification"!
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Level 10
One more think I thought of:  Shredding (and general file maintenance whether it's paper or electronic).

I have about a half a file cabinet drawer of "shred in 2018" in accordance with my document retention policy.  And I pull out files of former clients (fired, left, moved, died), date them for shredding in the future, and move them to the shred section of the file cabinet.  Then I only have to flip through current clients next year when I need to pull a file.  I don't have DMS software, just use Windows Explorer, so I do the same thing with electronic client files.  Former clients get moved into an Archive folder which saves a good bit of time during tax season not having to scroll so much to find the right client folder.

Other electronic files get scattered all over different computers so I make sure everything ends up in the right place.  I try once or twice a year to "clean the desktop".  It's a little more involved, in a perfect world I'd file everything in the right place as soon as I get it, but this isn't a perfect world and I'm far from a perfect person!  Random stuff ends up on the desktop or in Downloads and really should be filed somewhere else.  5 or so years ago (which probably means it's been more like 10) I borrowed a big whiteboard from a friend of mine and wrote a massive list of computer file types and then came up with a logical way to organize all of them.  Music, photos, personal finance, CPE, business records, client files, vacation info, just to name a few.  So now everything has a "place" and every "place" gets backed up.

Rick
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Level 15

Vacation?

ex-AllStar, ex-Lutefisk taste taster, ex-ACME product tester
and ex marks the spot where those rocks and anvils hit me.
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I've already used mine. I'm just wondering if this is "the cost of doing business." That if you have own a big practice, you will inevitably have employees with a few months of heavy downtime.
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Level 15
Generate business for "off season"? Start contacting clients for year end planning?

ex-AllStar
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Level 15
I do audit and accounting work to keep me busy throughout the year so it isn't an issue for me, but year end isn't all that far away to start working with business clients for year end planning.
ex-AllStar, ex-Lutefisk taste taster, ex-ACME product tester
and ex marks the spot where those rocks and anvils hit me.
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I am busy year round.

ex-AllStar
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^As am I/the firm I work for - busy year round. Only real difference is I won't work this weekend like I have for the past few 🙂
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Same here. I'm out the door at 5 PM today -unusual for me.

ex-AllStar
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Slackers :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye::stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:
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and ex marks the spot where those rocks and anvils hit me.
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Level 15
I'm out around one....we are dog sitting for a 3 year old Choc Lab & I want to go to the beach & play with her & Juno.
Juno, who didn't even swim three months ago, now clears 10-12' when jumping off the pier.  It's so much fun to watch; we are thinking of entering her in those jumping dog contests!
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Sounds like fun

ex-AllStar
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Jumping off the pier?   Our lab mix will do everything in his power to avoid letting his toes touch a puddle on a sidewalk.
ex-AllStar, ex-Lutefisk taste taster, ex-ACME product tester
and ex marks the spot where those rocks and anvils hit me.
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Must be the mix part.

ex-AllStar
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Yeah, I don't think you see too many pugs leaping into water.
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We are still trying to figure out what Juno is mixed with...at first we thought German Shepard, then greyhound. NOW we are thinking short-haired pointer.  There was a rabbit in the yard last weekend, and she went into a perfect point.
I'm thinking spending the money for a DNA test will be worth it just to satisfy our curiosity :dog2:

What's odd is she doesn't *chase* anything she sees.....squirrels (aka tree rats, Hi Archie), chipmunks, rabbits, bears.  
You'd think a lab/pointer mix would chase just based on instinct.    
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@IRonMaN  - from what I know about pugs (which isn't a lot...) I don't think they CAN swim. Something about those smushed in faces?  So it's good your pooch doesn't jump off the end of piers :smiling_imp:
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He resembles a small lab.  When I bring him out to the cabin, he might get his toes wet if he gets a drink or is looking for frogs or something else to play with in the water.  I have tried to lure him out into the lake with treats to see if he could swim but he would only go about shoulder deep and then give me the look of "even a venison treat just isn't worth taking the chance".
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Good for him, knowing his limits.  Bet you gave him the treat anyway :joy::joy:
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Of course :smile::smile:
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Become a procrastinator because procrastinators find other procrastinators and they will keep you busy all year long. Stragglers are still appearing and I have 10 years to do for one entity. Learn to save any 1040-X, 1065-X, etc for after the deadline.  Do all your CPE after the final deadline since it will be fresh in your mind in time for 2018 returns. Live in Texas because all C Corps, S Corps, limited partnerships, LLC's have Franchise Tax Reports due on November 15th. Payroll taxes go on all year long.  Since I have known most of my clients for over 30 years, I have a number of dinner and luncheon invitations in the next few weeks. The list is endless.

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<<What do CPA's who only prepare/review tax returns do after 10/15(aside from projections which are later on)? >>

Answer posts about what they're doing after 10/15.

** I'm still a champion... of the world! Even without The Lounge.
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LOL.   :smile::smile:
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Level 15

Rest/Vacation (I'm off to San Diego next week.... yipeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee)

CPE

Rest

Work on fine tuning in house accounting so entity returns can be done in January

Rest

Fine tune what I want my organizers to ask/say

Rest

Fiscal year end Non-profit returns  (most I do probono)

Rest  

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"I'm off to San Diego next week"

I'll be sure to wave as I pass by on my cruise from L.A. to Cabo. 🙂
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The house we rent is right on the Strand in Mission Beach, about 5-6 feet from the sand then out to the ocean.
Are you stopping in San Diego by any chance?
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Have a good time, Anna and Rick!
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Still an AllStar
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Thanks, Jensen.
We always do...and since *we* have the house at the beach, all our friends come there to party with us.  That eliminates the drinking & driving issue (for us at least...).
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:smile::+1::smile: :+1:
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Still an AllStar
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Nope, no stop in San Diego. 😞  There is a remote chance that we'll be in Lake Tahoe in June though.
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That'd be cool - I'd get to meet another forum'er (is that a word?)
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I was in Reno a while back (heck, it's probably been a decade now!) and we took the rental car up to Tahoe.  Nice area.  Wow, I looked it up in Quicken and it was 2007!  Went out onto the lake on the M.S. Dixie II.  I remember the water levels were really low that year.
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You were on South Shore then...I'm on the North Shore.  The Lake is 12 x 22 miles, so South Shore isn't really very far away.  It is a lot more developed, and more people, and more gambling....a different life style.
2007-2009 was one of our worst drought cycles ever recorded.
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Going to movies is good.

I only have seasonal employees.

Turn off alarm clock.

Walk in the woods.

** I'm still a champion... of the world! Even without The Lounge.
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If you're with a firm that has different practices, I'd also find out if there're any secondment opportunities to work in other areas to learn new skills and broaden my experience.

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Still an AllStar
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I trying to finish off my CPE

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Level 15

"....That if you have own a big practice, you will inevitably have employees with a few months of heavy downtime."

THAT is a bit of an issue, and always has been in this profession.  If the firm is strictly tax prep, then there are some months with very little for the minions to work on.  Keeping employees busy can be tough.  I've heard of firms that 'force' all vacations are during that down time.  

I'm lucky, MY employees are willing to work really, really hard during tax season and then take it easy during the off times.  

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hile all the other CPAs in town did quarterly financial statements we only did monthly. While the other CPAs would slip behind a few quarters and have to catch up in the busy season, we were nedver more than 2 months behind. We dealth with issues each month is the slow season and had good tight books for the tax returns. But now the books are posted on QuickBooks by ex Taco Bell employees and tax season is a nightmare trying to figure out what they did and what thye were thinking. We have turned into detectives.

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