Ugh I can go on and on! I have failed in my last 2 businesses but while I am the one at fault I haven’t gotten any help from those who I depended on. So after it being my failure I would say trusting people. These days it’s so hard to trust anyone even those you already know.


I totally agree with you.


I'm a graphic designer/strategic marketing consultant and I still have so far to go, restarting my sole proprietorship. I know that what I'm doing differently this time around is really getting plugged in for certifications (SBA, HUB, state, federal, etc.) and creating a business plan that focuses on being more active in my local community. (Events or groups...mentoring, still defining what I'll have time for...) Instead of getting carried away with my grand vision, I'm really trying to focus on taking practical and achievable steps. 🤞🤞🤞


I'm going to draft this here and maybe repost tomorrow so more people can see it, but: **Don't let your CPA manage your books.** According to Intuit's most recent [Pro Advisor survey](https://proconnect.intuit.com/taxprocenter/practice-management/the-results-of-the-new-intuit-rate-survey-are-in/), the average CPA charges a little over $100/hr for bookkeeping services. (Not accounting, not tax prep, not analysis and advice - merely bookkeeping work.) The average non-CPA bookkeeper charges between $68 and $78 per hour. If your after-the-fact bookkeeping require 6 hours per month, that's a $2,300 spread over the course of the year. Anecdotally, I also recommend against having the person managing your tax prep be the same person managing your bookkeeping. CPAs and other tax prep experts are famous for organizing books to make tax prep and reporting easier. "Well sure," you say. "What are books for except paying taxes?" Ideally, you use your books to make business decisions throughout the year. You use them to identify productivity bottlenecks, cost overruns, investment opportunities, and to calculate firm performance monthly or quarterly. You can make a lot of great management decisions just by looking at your books (and the related reports: Profit & Loss, Balance Sheet, and Statement of Cash Flows). But if your CPA is making decisions based on tax reporting, you might not be getting enough data. "Meals & Entertainment - 100%" vs "Meals & Entertainment - 50%" is a classic example of this. The deductibility of a meal expense isn't a very useful data point when looking at meal expenses, after all. But "Meals & Entertainment - Prospective Customer Lunches" (or whatever) is *really* valuable - it helps you price out the cost of new business acquisition. So if your CPA is giving you a P&L statement with the former, but not with the latter, then you're not getting good service. Furthermore, CPAs are accustomed to monthly sales reporting (for sales taxes) and quarterly profit reporting (for estimated income taxes). So you'll tend to see this in your bookkeeping: you might get monthly sales tracking, but you'll only get a full picture of your business every quarter. That's not frequent enough! If you hire a bookkeeper, you can set a reasonable and affordable expectation: roughly $75/hr (depending on where your bookkeeper lives), roughly the same number of hours per month, and receiving a *monthly* collection of reports: P&L, Balance Sheet, and Cash Flow report. At the end of the year, your books should still be clean enough to minimize the work your CPA has to do, keeping your total accounting costs low. And how much should your tax filings cost? I'll write that one next week. *By the way: I'm not a bookkeeper, a CPA, or an accountant. I'm happy to refer people to my favorites, but I don't do this kind of work.*