Recently, Caleb L. Jenkins, EA, CQP, wrote an article about how he is using multiple monitors to get his work done at RLJ Financial Services, his family’s tax and accounting practice in Ceres, Calif. We recently met with Caleb to find out more about his background, goals for the practice and why he participates in the Intuit® ProConnect™ Tax Customer Council.
ProConnect: Tell us about your practice.
Caleb L. Jenkins: My family started RLJ Financial Services, Inc., in 1986; we primarily serve medical- and agricultural-based clients. Our services include tax preparation, tax planning and strategizing, outsourced accounting/bookkeeping, outsourced payroll, and wealth management and financial planning.
ProConnect: Why is the ProConnect Tax Customer Council important to the profession?
CJ: The ability to connect with leaders at Intuit and government leaders in Washington, D.C., gives us the unique position of collaborating to lead and shape positive change in the tax and accounting profession, as well as the regulatory environment. We meet bi-annually to share thoughts and ideas on various topics.
ProConnect: What’s your favorite part of being on the Council?
CJ: I love interacting with other professionals who have similar firms as ours. Some of my closest colleagues are on the Council, and I love learning something new from them. It has also been an incredible opportunity to be able to interact with the ProConnect leadership – and I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything.
ProConnect: What kind of Intuit software do you use?
CJ: We use Intuit ProConnect Lacerte® for tax, Intuit Link to collect forms and documents related to the tax preparation of our clients’ tax returns, QuickBooks® Online Accountant to manage our clients’ QuickBooks Online files, QuickBooks Online for our own books, and QuickBooks Payments for payment processing.
ProConnect: What are your goals for your practice this year?
CJ: I want to continue to push the complete transition to cloud apps so that we can access everything from any device, wherever we are located. This would include changing to Intuit ProConnect Tax Online. I also want to continue moving away from after-the-fact bookkeeping/tax returns to a forward-looking tax planning and business coaching perspective.
ProConnect: What was your very first job?
CJ: Before I started working at RLJ Financial Services, I ran a couple of different small businesses, including a landscaping and maintenance business within two miles of home, baking chocolate chip cookies for our firm during tax season, and operating a cherry stand alongside a highly trafficked road. At the time, I used QuickBooks Desktop to track expenses based on classes in my three businesses; the classes tracked the profitability of each business, which made it easy to file my tax return.
ProConnect: Who is your favorite author?
CJ: E.D.E.N. Southworth. She wrote many books, including a historical novel book set titled “Ishmael” and its sequel, “Self-Raised,” that are two of my favorites. This books focus on a young man named Ishmael who was born into utter material poverty. His commitment to character and integrity continually challenges me. He had a perseverance and determination that led him from poverty to one of the highest positions in government. In addition, one of my favorite business authors is Patrick Lencioni. His style of writing captivates my attention and conveys his teaching, which is extremely impactful.
ProConnect: How can tax professionals keep up with all the changes in tax laws and regulations?
CJ: There are multiple ways that I keep up with changes. First, I subscribe to Spidell Tax and Western CPE, which both send out flash briefings on anything related to federal or California tax law changes. Second, I am connected with friends on Twitter who are always posting about changes in tax law and regulation. Third, I follow the Intuit ProConnect Tax Pro Center, which sends out many great articles relating to the changes in tax laws and regulations – and also gives some great practice management tips and tricks.
ProConnect: Thanks, Caleb!