The Green Industry's Resource Center

Thread Tools   Display Modes
Old 01-02-2003, 12:14 AM
Superiorlandscaping Superiorlandscaping is offline
LawnSite Member
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Ma
Posts: 62
Accountant or Quickbooks???

In my first year i am planning on grossing around 50 grand. I plan on doing about 50/50 resi/com. I do not think i really need to hire an accountant. How hard can it be. Does every single company in existance need one. If so maybe i should switch my major to become an accountant. I have quickbooks and I am using the cash method. Seems pretty simple. Will an accountant save me money or just be a burden?
Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2003, 12:57 AM
beck beck is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: St. Louis, Mo
Posts: 422
An accountant is always good to have for reference, someone you can turn to and ask questions about depreciation expenses, amortization schedules, write offs. Even if you want to file your taxes yourself it would not be a bad idea to find someone you can ask these questions. I will usually ask his advice a few times a year and he does my taxes at the end.
As far as switching your major it is probably not necessary, but a background in business courses, including accounting would be helpful.
Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2003, 01:07 AM
Lanelle Lanelle is offline
LawnSite Bronze Member
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: No.VA, zone 7
Posts: 1,361
Yup. Both. You save money doing much of the work yourself. Accountant checks everthing over, does your taxes and keeps you out of trouble. Shop for one that works with small businesses.
Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2003, 01:20 AM
Barkleymut Barkleymut is offline
LawnSite Bronze Member
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Richmond, Virginia
Posts: 1,117
I assume you are going to be solo and a sole-proprietor. If so you may be able to get away with doing the taxes yourself.

I have a business admin. degree and took 5 accounting courses. That included 3 high level courses, and I still pay an accountant $500/year to do the year end stuff. Way too many places to make a small mistake which could really cost you later. Of course I have a couple of employees and an S-Corp.
Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2003, 01:47 AM
Fine Lines Lawn's Avatar
Fine Lines Lawn Fine Lines Lawn is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Posts: 447
Quickbooks Pro to keep your records, invoicing, and estimates. A bookkeeper at tax time.
Bill Parrish
Fine Lines Lawn
There are no stupid questions... they're just the easiest to answer.

Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2003, 08:16 AM
rodfather's Avatar
rodfather rodfather is offline
LawnSite Fanatic
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Clinton, NJ
Posts: 9,629
Originally posted by Fine Lines Lawn
Quickbooks Pro to keep your records, invoicing, and estimates. A bookkeeper at tax time.
Ditto...and to help with quarterlies if needed.
Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2003, 09:55 AM
bruces bruces is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Independence, MO
Posts: 648
From a CPA's perspective

Can you get by with Quickbooks? Yes, no problem, if you have a basic concept of business and bookkeeping.

If you are dealing with payroll for employees, payroll taxes, sales taxes, etc. are you confident enough to handle that on your own?

If so, great, if not, hire an accountant to help with those issues.

I also assume that you will need help with your taxes, depreciation, and other issues that are more complex.

If you set up and keep your books all year on your own, chances are that the accountant at the end of the year could spend more time straightening out your mistakes than actually doing your taxes if you haven't done things right all year.

If you spend a little money on the accountant and have them help set up Quickbooks right and answer any tax questions, payroll questions, etc. as you go, you will know that your Quickbooks is giving you an accurate picture and you will have someone to fall back on if you have a problem.

In my opinion, a combination of using an accountant for consultation and doing your books yourself using Quickbooks would be the be way to go.

You are probably also going to need someone to consult with regarding estimated taxes during the year. You don't want a huge surprise when you prepare your taxes.
Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2003, 09:45 PM
leadarrows's Avatar
leadarrows leadarrows is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: N/A
Posts: 925
I found an accountant that is a certified QuikBooks adviser. He helped me set up my QB pro and I E-Mail a copy of my QB records every quarter so he can keep up and advise me of any thing he needs to. He stops by the house twice a year and we go over things. It has worked out great for me and he is able to give me a reasonable prices for his services this way. I inter all the info at the end of each day religiously so it's not a big chore. QB was a little hard for me at first but now I love it. My accountant keeps up with all tax info for me and that is worth every penny. I'M in the service industry. Tax laws change to much for me.
I would rather spend my time making uncle sam more money.: than sorting thu new tax laws.
Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2003, 12:11 AM
Fvstringpicker's Avatar
Fvstringpicker Fvstringpicker is offline
LawnSite Fanatic
Join Date: May 2002
Location: columbus, georgia
Posts: 7,479
From another CPA's perspective

I am in complete agreement with Bruces. As he points out, one of the biggest shocks to a business owner is to discover unforeseen tax consequences of business decisions. Additionally, there can be substantial penalties in additional tax. For example, treating statutory employees as independent contractors. Quicken, Peachtree, and other programs do a good job of compiling data but only if it's set up right. It's back to the old adage "garbage in, garbage out.
Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2003, 08:04 AM
Sean Adams Sean Adams is offline
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 3,608
Great advice here. It is good to know as much as you can, or better yet.... it is good to know as much as you need to know. But if your goal or plan is to grow your business, you do not have time to wear that "many hats". Leave the accounting to the accountants (but still know what's going on). And remember, just like an attorney, your accountant works for you. Ask questions. Make sure you understand what he/she is telling you and doing for you (or maybe to you....).
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Layout Style:

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ©1998 - 2012, LawnSite.comô - Grand View Media
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:09 PM.

Page generated in 0.09780 seconds with 8 queries