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General FAQ

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Lipsey & Associates FAQ's

How much do you guys’ charge?

Our prices are unique to every single client! We usually deal with complex individual tax returns which requires a custom pricing to maximize your tax needs.

Why do you need my prior year return?

Since you are a new client, we have no way of knowing how to best help you and see if we are a good fit.  A prior year tax return will tell us how we can better help you for the following tax year and if there mistakes your prior accountant missed.

How long does it take to prepare a tax return?

The time it takes to prepare a tax return varies depending on the level of complexity and whether we have all the information necessary to complete the return and what format that information is in. The more organized your information is and the faster you get it to us, the faster your return will be ready.

Our process is simple, you send us your most recent prior year return, we look it over, draw up a proposal breaking down our service fees and send it over to you for approval. Once approved, we will tackle your biggest concerns and questions and work on making sure you are sending us all the necessary documents to file your return(s).

Do we have any references?

We work all kinds of clients from individuals to all kind of small businesses in Northern Virginia. From restaurants to lawyers to doctors!

Can you prepare state income tax returns for other states besides Virginia?

Yes, we can prepare tax returns for any state in the U.S. There is an additional fee for each state return that we prepare for you outside of your residential state.

Can I speak to a CPA or EA?

If you are a new client, you will most likely speak to our client services coordinator. Our CPA and EA’s will be able to help you once you have fully onboarded as a client.

What is an Enrolled Agent (EA)?

An Enrolled Agent is someone who can help represent you in front of the Federal and or State Tax Officials in case of an audit or collection.

Why should I have a CPA firm prepare my tax return instead of using TurboTax like software or a seasonal tax preparation service that only operates a few months a year?

As a CPA firm, we are highly trained and experienced professionals who can advise you about how current tax laws apply to your unique financial situation and help you with tax planning. Software cannot tell you this, and many tax issues are beyond the scope of what employees of seasonal tax return services are trained to handle.

Why should I choose a monthly accountant vs. less frequent methods of accounting?

Monthly accounting services provide substantially more value than only an annual service. If an accountant only sees your numbers once a year, it is too late to offer advice that would have helped to make that year more profitable - and too late to lower your tax liability for a year that is already over with. Here are five ways monthly accounting pays for itself:

  1. It saves you time

  2. You get regular business profitability advice

  3. You have peace of mind that your finances are handled

  4. You can make more proactive financial decisions.

 

How much does monthly accounting cost? What factors go into the pricing?

Pricing for our monthly accounting services varies by your company’s needs. It is not based on the size of your company, rather your company’s accounting activity and the complexity of your financial statements.

We will work with you to arrive at an affordable, fixed monthly fee. These fees are all-inclusive; services provided include:

  • Profit and loss statements

  • Balance sheets

  • Bank reconciliation

  • Sales tax filings

  • Audit representation

What does the monthly accounting process look like?

Our monthly accounting process starts with receiving your source documents and access to your QuickBooks Online Account. Our staff compiles the information and reports back to you with a profit and loss statement, balance sheet, and general ledger. These monthly financial reports are presented in digital copy and will be sent via our client portal ShareFile.

What accounting system do you use?

We primary use the following systems: CCH Axcess, QuickBooks Online, ADP and ShareFile.

When should I consider outsourcing my accounting?

If your business is too small to hire an in-house accountant or you simply don’t have the desire to do it yourself, you should consider outsourcing the task. While QuickBooks is used by many small business owners, the software can be more complicated than first realized. By outsourcing your accounting, you free yourself to focus on other aspects of your business.

How much do payroll services cost? What factors go into the pricing?

Pricing for our payroll services includes a base fee, which is based on:

  • The frequency of your payroll

  • A fee after 5 employees

  • The number of W-2s that need to be filed

Other contributing factors include:

  • Doing business in other states

What is audit protection?

Audit protection is a service we provide to all tax returns. It acts like insurance in case you get audited. Audit protection will allow us to protect you from the IRS free of charge. However, audit protection is optional and can be opted out.