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May 28, 2008


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I can't believe they missed the most obvious one:

Planning. Get the CPA involved BEFORE you do something major. I'm talking about buying a business, selling a stock you've held for long time, etc. Knowing the tax effect going in to the transaction will prevent surprises later on when it is too late to rectify.

Here is a quick question about a CPA I went through this past year. I found a good one and didn't really have any problems until he billed me for the year. He charges $90 per hour and was charging me in 15 minute increments (Which is fair). But if I asked him a question that took him 30 seconds to answer, I would get charged for that increment. Is that avoidable? When I asked him about it, he just said it depends.

Luke - as a CPA myself I would not bill for 15 minutes for that short of a question. Are you working with the Big 4 firms, because that sounds like something they might try to pull. My firm bills in 6 minute increments, but for something that small, I probably wouldn't even enter it into our time tracking system. Have you tried bringing this up with him/her? Perhaps their billing is so automated this fell through the cracks. At worst you still have to pay it, at best they would write it off. They might not want to risk losing a client for $22.50.

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