This episode is sponsored by SmartVault. Learn more at https://www.smartvault.com/
John Coleman, the owner of Commonwealth Business services, joins the DM Disruption! Listen now to learn how John uses SmartVault in his business, and how proper file management can save your firm time!
How John Found SmartVault
John begins his conversation with Dawn by talking about how he first saw Dawn in a CPE training course that discussed proper file management and storage. He said that he was looking for a new file storage system at the time, as their current program discontinued that service.
He discovered SmartVault through Dawn’s presentation, and was also intrigued by her teachings because of her admiration for softball. In the training, Dawn talked about how proper file management allowed her to leave the office early and attend softball practice.
He learned that SmartVault seemed to have exactly what they needed, and he says it is a wonderful program.
How John Uses SmartVault
Johns talks about the features of SmartVaults that he appreciates, and especially highlights SmarVaults drag-and-drop capability. He loves the feature of being able to seamlessly drag documents from emails directly into SmartVault.
John also talks about how you can print a client’s tax return directly to SmartVault to a specific client. This saved his admin a lot of time, and saved them from having to manually and separately send the forms.
John finishes by saying that they were able to complete more returns than they did in previous years, and they were able to save time when doing so.
Managing Work Life Balance
John shares with Dawn that he was able to attend every softball game and practice for his children while in the midst of tax season. Even though tax season can be a busy and stressful time for his firm, because of the software and technology they implement, they were able to complete more returns than they ever had that year.
John even shares that he was able to take a 5 day vacation after tax season, and he says that was the longest he’d been out of the office in years.
Importance of Succession Planning
John also talks about how one of his employees suddenly passed away, and how losing him was very hard on the firm. He said he was very integral to their business and it proved to be more of a hardship than they expected.
He also said that this was one of things that encouraged him to seek out software and technology to assist with many of the tasks they need to get done. While no one is glad to see good co-workers leave, it’s important to have procedures in place to ensure the business can continue to operate smoothly.
Want to learn more about John and his business?
Check him out here: https://www.teamcommonwealth.com/index.php
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you did it?
Hey everybody and welcome to the DM disruption.
I’m here, my name is Don Brolin, I’m a C.
And a certified fraud examiner and I’m out here trying to help educate other practitioners to improve their processes, improve their lives in some capacity, if that’s possible.
And I have the honor, I would say of having jOHn Coleman with commonwealth business services with me here today on the D.
Disruption, john has an amazing story.
I’m wearing a vintage smart ball t shirt this episode of DM disruption sponsored by smart fault.
And we’re going to talk about smart ball today because smart boat sounds like may have helped jOHn in some capacity in his life.
So john introduce yourself, tell us all about yourself and then we’re gonna get into the story.
Hi, well, my name is john Coleman, I live in central Virginia.
We’re in a little town called fredericksburg, which is equidistant between Washington dc and Richmond And I have a firm, we have about 14 people.
There’s some part timers, some full timers and we do tax and bookkeeping and the only reason why I’m here is is basically because of a fluke that happened.
you know, I had taken some classes, it was a training for some other software back in february of 2021 you know, if you count up your C.
E in december, you go, okay, yeah, I took that.
So, but I didn’t have a certificate from these people.
And so I reached out to them and they said, well no, those, those 20 hours aren’t C.
So I was like, oh my God.
So, one of my staff said, well, this is one and two hour things you can take,, that are fairly informative.
I had never heard of before.
And so I started taking these one and two hour classes and Dawn happened to be in one of them.
And he was talking about, you know, file storage.
And the file storage system that we’ve been using for a very long time was called File hold.
And the only reason why we’re using that is because we have been, we’ve been continued to use a lizard, which is a fantastic tax program, but it had its own document management system, but it discontinued their document management system.
So we had to quickly find something else.
And we went to,, to this other program that really just was kind of archaic in a way, it was really interested in finding out a little bit about smart ball.
Well, needless to say Don was on the program and she started talking about how she’s a big softball player and say, well, you know, I mean, I, I have 22 boys and they both play baseball and they’re at the age now they’re pretty close in age together, but they’re at the age where they have to be on two separate teams right now.
And so it was my turn to coach, the younger ones team and their, their, their practices start at the end of february, beginning of March.
So I had to be out of here, as dawn had mentioned in her thing, her program, I had to be out of here at like 4 30 on some days in the middle of tax season to get home, get them and get them to their practice or later to their game.
And she was talking about how, when, using just software in general, how she could really leverage that to kind of help her in her business and kind of, you know, leverage on that to get her out of the office.
And I believe he was saying three or four o’clock some days and I was like, this is exactly what I need because number one, we always have seem to have some challenges with, with personnel and unfortunately one of our personnel guy had been with us for 10 years, he had passed away in december of 2020.
So we’ve been without him for about a year, but really he’d been here for so long, he really was my right hand guy here.
you know, it was, it was tough and I wanted to see if we could use technology to, to have, you know, you gotta pay for it, but to have a smaller team and still be as effective.
, and it sounds like smart ball had a lot of bells and whistles that we really wanted to try and to utilize.
So literally at the end of the, at the end of the presentation they asked you want to know more about smart ball and I was like, y es you know, so, I did a little webinar with them.
They showed me the things they could do.
, it’s a wonderful program and it just has so many things that makes, not only the staff and the reviewers more efficient, but even the admin.
and I don’t even know where you’d like me to start in terms of efficiencies, but I will say, you know, for me, the biggest one for me was there was the Dragon drop capability.
So if I got an email from someone, I didn’t have to create a pdf and then go find it on my, my share drive and pull it in to the file, whole program.
All I had to do was just right over, I used two screens right over into smart vault and then you can change the name of it to say confirmation that they did make, first quarter payment or whatever it is.
And it’s just right there.
It’s there forever.
And the same thing with, you know, spreadsheets or anything else.
It was just right over.
And that was one of the things I love, the other thing is so many things I love about this program, but one of the things I loved was you can actually print out of loss or not.
It depends on the program, you’re using the tech program.
You can print directly to smart vault to that client.
So if you’re working on john smith and you’re ready to print the return go file print and we configured it because in the third you can print out four different copies.
So what we did was we made one of the copies, just the file forms.
So when we hit print it would print two copies.
One just the file forms and one the tax return copy.
And the reason why we did that is because our admin would separately send the evil forms normally through right signature.
And before they had to go into the one pdf and take those two out and, and just those two now they had their own copy and they loved it.
So we just called it, you know, john and jane smith 2021 signature pages and they go right in and right, you know, so it made them even more efficient and he didn’t have to go in and you know, go through the pdf and you know, and kick out the pages and then save the file and then import the file into a program.
It was just save so those two just alone, save so much time.
And then, you know, certainly smart vault has so many other capabilities, you can change the name of any, anything you want on the fly, you can move things around you.
I just finished an amended return today.
Some poor fellow just got a 1099 late from his brokerage people.
And just not to confuse anything.
We got, you know, a section called tax returns.
So I made a subsection called original and put the original stuff in there.
And another subsection under 2021 is amended.
So I told the admin people, I said just look at the section called amended when you’re putting all this together, give to them like, Oh that’s great, that’s so wonderful.
but to create different subdirectories and kind of tailor it to yourself is is phenomenal as well.
So it has said that we did more returns this this past tax season than we’ve ever done.
Certainly we can’t necessarily compare to the two pandemic years too much because we had extra time.
But even now that, you know, the pandemic due dates have passed, we’re still ahead of the game in terms of, of processing and completing the most number of returns we’ve ever done.
And people say, well how is that possible?
I mean, you know, tax caddy had definitely a lot on that taxi.
I’m sorry, the smart vault had definitely a lot to do with that.
we didn’t use a program of tax caddy as well, but we, you know, smart ball was for every client.
Tax caddy was for, you know, probably about 10 to 15% of our client base, maybe 20.
so we used it for every day for every client and it just worked out so well, I mean they had a little bit of training but you know once you get it set up is is pretty easy to follow along.
So we just set up like we wanted it and just kind of roll from there and now we have, you know, an estimate folder for this year.
So as we’re going through estimate stuff, the client says, yeah I did pay that Q.
One and Q.
Two you told me to, I just write over and I changed the name to confirmation of so that we don’t have to ask them later because it’s already there because sometimes they do go, hey didn’t you already asked me that like because before nobody ever really bothered to put a lot of correspondence into our document management system because it was just, it took so long to do.
I mean it was, but the dragon drop feature was phenomenal.
So anyway, that’s, that’s really on the, you know the 1000 ft level.
How I, how I love the program and I mean there’s a lot of bells and whistles to this thing.
I, when I was talking to someone the other day about it and I was saying we’ve kind of gone from, when you had, you know your phone that was on the wall and you thought you were and you thought you were cool because you had a really long cord so you could like go in the other room so your roommates couldn’t hear what you were talking about.
We’ve kind of gone from that to an iPhone 13.
I mean it’s it’s that big of a difference between our file hold system and smart faults.
So very happy with it.
extremely pleased with not only the training and the setup, but just the functionality of it.
It’s, it’s worked, it’s worked so well and, and I really think every staff person here has said something about, hey, this is this is so much better.
It’s like this is this is night and day compared to what we used to have.
So yeah, awesome.
That’s, you know, sometimes I talk to when I’m talking to other professionals are doing a webinar like, you know, yes, I want to solve for me.
I mean that’s, that’s just a natural.
I want to make my life better, but you’re right.
Like what we’re able to do for the admin.
I know Tracy in my office is just like, we just the systems of onboarding onboarding clients, whether they’re new or even I say we on board clients every year really because it’s kind of like, well I’m not gonna make any assumptions, they’re coming back.
So, you know, I brought this whole quoting process and we do this, but it’s so automated with the technology.
I never touched that return until it’s go time and Tracy says everything’s in smart fault which is great.
But I just want you know less clients are calling and asking for copies of returns that you know they may say okay we have a copy sure Tracy.
We just kept the same process of, well we’re not gonna still attach a tax return and password protected.
We’re sending you a link.
You figure out how to get into this thing.
Then we need to call your Children or something.
We need to like get medical help that I kind of think about it.
But so I want to hear more about.
So so that was great.
You implanted what happened the next baseball season is what I want to know.
Well first I say you know when people call and they have issues like that, we always say they’re not Y2K.
We either have to get their their kids or their grandkids to help them out on these things.
But you know I did not miss a single solitary practice or game because of work.
Now one practice I did miss because it was raining like cats and dogs and it was about an hour away and I just decided you know what some people did still make it out there that day but they just kind of played in the mud and that really wasn’t a practice.
But got every pregame, got every practice in and didn’t miss a beat with tax season because we again did more returns finished more tax returns than we have ever.
And the opposite of that is, and I tell my staff this every year there’s gonna be a finite number of returns we can get done in a year and if you can get more done during tax season while the conveyor belts really running, you know?
Yeah, it’s gonna make the summer and even the fall much better for you.
And I will tell you that I actually took a nice five day vacation, Which is the longest I have been out of the office in seven years.
and so now, not only was it five days, I came back and I was off five more days because it was the 4th of July holiday.
So I was gone from this office for 10 days, which is the longest I’ve been gone since my honeymoon 12 years ago.
So everybody’s like, well how is that?
We’ve got so many more returns on during tax season.
Why is that what we installed new software and, you know, and still, you know, somebody told me five years ago you’d be going to your kids baseball games and doing coaching and things like that during tax season, I’m like, what are you smoking?
I mean I never get get home until, you know, at the earliest six o’clock, There’s no way I’m going to be able to do that, but it’s worked out really well for everyone.
And you know, it getting more returns done during tax season is critical.
And I think the big challenge right now and this is why I like to help other firms is there’s just no staff.
You can’t find competent staff people anymore.
And that’s, you know, that’s really difficult, especially when you learn when you lose a very seasoned person like we did, you can’t replace them.
I mean, and so what do you do?
You try to use technology to kind of offset?
So not just you, but your staff aren’t here, You know, 14 hours a day trying to get stuff done.
You can leverage, we now have free admin people.
So they and they’re very talented and there’s a lot that they can do on the computer program side and it makes us much more efficient.
And we’ve also seen the efficiency some on their side so they can do other things too now so they can do things like work on building.
You know, it’s a little bit important too.
But you know, yeah, I love the program, I love the idea that technology is, is out there for us and I’m looking at some some more technology for us for this upcoming tax season just to make us even more efficient.
But you’re right when you have an access, a client has their own ability to pull down a tax return themselves through a portal.
they don’t call you as much or even a copy of a W.
Two if they have the access to it online.
You know you don’t get these constant calls you know and obviously it doesn’t really affect me anymore when I was first starting out I did but you know I kind of feel for the admin people sometimes okay we’re gonna password protected the last word of your of your social and the first four uni and they never can figure that out and so they have to call back again what’s the password again?
And so anyway it’s really eliminated a lot of that as well.
Well and it’s interesting you say that too because like one of the things that we started doing as part of that like I say I call it the on boarding process because until until the documents are there I don’t even want to know what’s going on.
That’s all Tracy.
One person We do around 300 returns.
It was there’s two of us but one is actually leaving so it’s interesting.
We’ll talk about that in a minute.
Yeah he had her I had her going into assert and entering names, addresses, phone numbers all the like preliminary stuff any dependent he knows how to add a dependent.
She’s a smart woman.
So I’ve enabled her to even do things such as entering the mental assert so I can just get in there and get started.
And so that is such a huge, like you don’t think about it, but that could be 10 minutes, multiply 10 times 300 clients.
That’s, that’s a lot of front.
And we, we actually tracked this year and individual wise, we picked up 85 clients.
So you know, I mean it’s a tangible amount.
And here’s the thing with admin that I found out if you include them in more things, they feel better about their job.
I mean they’re not just answering the phone and making copies.
They’re actually an integral part of the functionality.
And I’m always like, look, because they sit towards the front of the office.
I’m like, you’re driving the bus.
So you know, I mean, you know, you’re at the front, you’re driving the bus.
So you know, we’re back here in the back doing stuff, but you’re driving the bus, you’re very important here.
But if you show it by as time goes on, you know, certainly that’s not something that somebody does in the first day they walk in the door.
But as time goes on, hey, we’re gonna show you a tax program, we’re gonna show you how to do this.
They get very excited about it.
They’re like really, you know, it’s like, yeah, I mean you’re very talented person and you know how to do data entry efficiently and effectively and we we just brought on a new Office manager and she types 80 words a minute.
I mean she probably can put information in the system faster than me.
So I mean I know she can so she you know, so I had one of my staff people even though she’s new and that’s you know, somewhat unusual.
But she’s talented enough and I said sure how to use the asserts so we can we get new returns in, we have a little checklist, we go through, you know, to make sure we update all our databases and all our stuff so that we can get the thing into smart vault and get it rolling and send them the quotes and then, you know, you send them a quote and they reply back with a sign, you know, sign quote right into smart ball that goes, I mean it’s lovely.
So that’s that’s the thing when you nail down those processes, when you’re there, you’re like, and I remember the days when I would have to, you know, print to pdf and then upload and do all this other stuff when you can just drag that over there.
You know, and I I think it’s so important for people to think about and yes, we the industry is definitely having issues with staffing, we know that it’s not that we don’t want to hire people, I want to hire people, but I can’t find people who want to work.
People are willing to sit in the chair for more than three hours, which I get it.
I want you in and out of here too.
But it’s like there are things we can do to maximize the opportunity of, hey, this technology is going to work for me.
So I’m gonna give you an example.
So you talked about so sorry to hear about your staff member who passed away.
That’s a staff member by the way, that’s not the way you want to lose them.
No, we’ve had several retiring but they told us long in advance they were retiring.
This was quite a shocker, especially at the beginning of december when we’re getting ready to go into in the tax season.
It was, you know, in the middle of covid too.
So it was, it was not fun.
And you think about that and, and one of the things I always talk about, I don’t know about you, but I mean what your plan is, but just succession planning and looking at a firm sale at some point want to hand them keys to a building that they got to come in and figure out what’s going on in there.
Here’s my user name and password.
I’ll take that last two factor authentication on my phone bang that is now your bus, your butt.
But it’s turnkey where everything is organized.
Like in smart, there’s this organization of everything where they know where to find things because it’s all consistent.
They’ve got the integrations already established.
All those things make your firm be more attractive to someone that’s gonna come in as opposed to a place with file cabinets everywhere.
And also if something does happen to you make it marketable because it can’t be just, oh well john did that, Oh, I don’t know, john did that.
You know, you have to be able to have a system in place.
And I can tell you, you know, I know that when I decide to sell all a part of the business here, whoever the buyer is is probably going to come in and incorporate some of the things that we’ve done into their firm.
So we’re gonna make them not only bigger in terms of client base, but we’re going to make them more effective.
That’s, that’s my goal because I like to use smart vault.
No, Do you use blank blank useless sir?
I think you should.
And here’s why, and kind of go through the list of things because a lot of big firms, they wanna just use, you know, one vendor and put everything on the cloud and just, you know, and you know, you’re, you’re shooting yourself in the foot because there’s a lot of great programs out there that aren’t necessarily run by the big companies, but you know, you should be using them.
So let me ask you this question as we’re thinking about what’s happening next right road map.
Let’s think about a road map for a hot second.
I’ll give you an example to give you a chance to thumb through your coconut there to figure out like for me and what’s on, what’s on john’s next road map.
I’ll tell you what’s on Dawn’s next roadmap.
My next road road map is because I am losing a tax preparer.
I don’t want to look for one.
So I’m going to implement and I’ve used this app before and I liked it, grunt works.
I don’t know if you’ve heard of it grunt works to populate even just the simplest things.
And then the other thing we’re looking to do is to start actually mapping Q B.
Most of our I mean I’m a desktop lover, I am always, we’re gonna be committed to the desktop.
I love it and I used to love the Quickbooks desktop.
So even with quickbooks, desktop is to map especially with all the business returns that we can between now and the end of the year is to map all those files to assert.
At least we’re able to pull, you know, I can pull A P.
On a schedule, C do a book to taxi if it ties out.
If it doesn’t it’s likely to appreciation because you still have to enter fixed assets.
But the mundane posting to advertising expense and be more of a troubleshooter as opposed to an entry person.
So those are the two big improvements we’re looking to make this year.
What about you?
Well it’s interesting.
You mentioned grunt works.
We two years ago we initiated shirt prep which is similar to grunt works.
And they have another program called tax caddy which that solved another huge issue of ours which is I know you probably get this all the time.
People will call you and say don what else do you need from me because I don’t remember.
And so what tax cutting does is it incorporates the list out of lesser that they had last year and it goes down and so you can drag and drop your W two S and they can go back on at any time and see what else they’re missing.
And when they have everything done it asks you are you done because they may have something new that they know about.
And when they say I’m done you get an email that says so and so it’s done and then it pulls it into your prep which your prep will take it and sort it based upon it, put the W two S first and then at 10 90 nines and expenses.
And so you have one pdf with all the clients data in it.
And so if you’re looking for something that’s a little table of contents, you click on the pdf to go back and say wait a minute they had $400 in interest from centrist last year.
Where is that?
You just go back and say, oh I must have missed that page and there it is or it’s not there.
And so then you got to reach out to them, but it has eliminated so many phone calls and emails because who gets those phone calls and emails, the emails they come to me and I haven’t used them to return yet because it’s still being prepared.
So I have no idea what they’re missing.
So I got to go ask the staff and they have to email them and, but you know, they don’t even ask cause they can, they can actually download an app on their phone and it’s like, oh okay, I’m, I’m still missing my mortgage interest.
So let me get that.
And it’s worked out really well for some people for most people.
And there are some Y two K.
Compliance issues people that just couldn’t figure it out and that’s fine.
You know, we’ll send you an organizer, it’s okay.
We have a few of those.
but it’s, it’s worked out really well, but again, it’s using technology, whichever one you use and everyone you’re familiar with to try to get some of the work done for you.
And speaking of population Of your, your tax program years ago when I was at Deloitte, we used ghost system and we had about 300 partnership returns and they all basically were rental real estate.
They had one rental property in each of them.
So we were able to start mapping from lotus 123 of all things mean to into our ghost system and I created the map program and so literally you get the financial statements done in lotus 123 and you hit F one F two or something of that nature and it all go right into go system and you’re right.
The one thing we almost always had to change was either meals, entertainment or depreciation And then the return was done but you talk about 300 returns, they all have the same gl and everything.
They, the returns got done so much quicker because of that.
but it’s again, I mean I guess it’s been my experience all along is trying to use technology.
Not necessarily because when we first started talking about shirt prep, a couple people were thinking, well am I still going to have a job?
You know, if you’re gonna, it’s like you can’t replace people, especially talented people and like we have a suction from, you know, Richmond kind of sucks some people and they can pay more and dc.
So we have that challenge here where you know, it’s even harder to find talent sometimes, but we’re also fortunate enough that we have some older people that don’t want to commute anymore and they want to stay here in town and they’ve been great employees over the years.
But yeah I would highly recommend you check that out and grande works out and see if it works for you and see how how well it’ll work.
Especially you know if you can try it out for nine and 1015 deadlines would be great.
And then the mapping, I’ve looked at that before.
I haven’t ever gotten there.
I think probably because you know we have such different G.
For everybody but I think it’s wonderful that you can do it let me know let me know.
Yeah I was gonna say the next thing we’re really gonna look at is actually another one of your programs that you’ve you’ve touted in your in your webinars in the past which is canopy we actually have tomorrow morning we have a demo on canopy.
So we’re looking at that next to to see.
Yeah very happy with canopy and I do a lot of resolution work.
I don’t know I mean we all do but anybody that’s listening if you do taxes, you do resolution work because you’re either doing non filers or you’re responding to notices and that’s that’s representation right there.
Canopy has been awesome for me and I used canopy many years ago and it wasn’t where it is today.
So one of the things that people Yeah you saw it 5-10 years ago.
It is a totally different program.
I think most most programs are you know I mean yeah that’s a problem if they are different than where they were five years ago.
They’re not improving.
So that’s number 23 for example.
So that’s a funny thing you said that but can be the resolution where you need to do 4 33 for maybe a collections case.
This really great tool where you can actually send they call it a survey and basically it’s collecting all the information that belongs on a 4 33 but more through a questionnaire.
So the clients don’t have to look at a 4 33 and be like overwhelmed because it is overwhelming to look at it.
And most people don’t have O.
They’re just gonna be like oh and skipping lines and then they don’t fill everything in It and then it populates the 433 and the 656 that they’re doing an offer and it just really streamlines and makes the client participate and I’ve got great success from that.
Now it’s not O.
Because that’s the way it’s supposed to be alphabetically and so you know just so you know a little bit of it.
Not as much as some some folks but I do have a little bit of and people tell me especially stay off.
They’ll tell me sometimes that you’re so picky.
I’m like I’m not the picky one.
It’s the contents you know, I’m, you know, you gotta make sure you spell this word all the way out there, so, and so is gonna, you know, be calling me so, but yeah, we’re excited to check that out and, you know, continue to work with smart vault and tax caddy and shirt prep and see where all of it goes.
because it’s just making us more and more efficient, you know, any viable program that we bring on, Obviously there’s a little learning curve to everything, but if you can do it, especially for october 15th for your individual clients, when I call them the usual suspects show up on october 1st going, oh my God, And it’s like the 15th time in a row.
They’ve gone, oh my God, you know, you know, hopefully you can get it in there quicker and you’re not working on a sunday in october wearing here in Virginia.
It’s really, really nice outside in october, so you don’t want to do that.
There’s all kinds of festivals and fairs.
And then obviously I got fall baseball coming up, so I’ll probably be at a baseball field, so I need to make sure I’m efficient as possible.
You just, and you probably already do this job, you got to implement the P I A C.
And that’s just, you come on October 15, there’s a surcharge.
Yeah, it’s, we call it the pdf e.
Yeah, yeah, the pdf e we actually in our quote sheets now put in a rush fee because, you know, some of these folks have been doing this for so long now, they come in on october 7th and they’re like, I’m really sorry, here’s my stuff.
I know I’m going to get hit the rush fee, but here you go.
And it’s it’s not a cheap amount either, but you know, if I’ve got to tell a couple of my staff, they got to work on a saturday because these people have been like, twiddling their thumbs all summer, then they’re gonna, you know, they’re going to pay for it, you know, and what I try to do with those things just to if they’ve got to work on a saturday evening, their salary, you know, I’ll get them some kind of bonus later for that because, you know, we made more money off of it because they’re repeated.
So yeah, we have, we have built that in on on quite a few folks and on a few they’ve been like, you know, you guys are just too expensive and we’re gonna go, it’s like back in when you were dating, you know, it’s the one the girlfriend you were trying to get rid of, so you never gave her any attention.
And they finally, she finally like, you never paid me attention, I’m going someplace, it’s kind of the same thing, you know, So yeah, you didn’t get the hint, I didn’t call you, well, we did call back, but you know, we’re gonna it’s gonna be how much more this year.
Wow, that’s a lot.
So eventually they do go away with some people, some clients we just fire out, right?
But you know, for some of them that they go through the tax return with their microscope and it’s like, why is this number?
Like, you know, it’s like, look, you know, that’s let’s let’s not worry about that because The numbers are right, you know, okay, I could have put this in office supplies as opposed to supplies, but it’s a fully deductible expense.
Either one because it’s only $300.
Let’s back to doing whatever you do for a living.
And you know, let’s let’s roll from there.
You know, there’s nuances, you’re gonna give yourself a heart attack trying to trying to get down to that that craziness of A level.
But we, you know, we’ve had people like that.
So, so, so I think canopy will be our next and then some of the staff, they didn’t get fully trained on tax cuts last year.
So we’re and we got a couple of new new folks, our new office manager in particular, so got to make sure that they know how to run that so they can kind of learn as they go for this called the mini tax season coming up.
Yeah, that’s the nice thing about extension season.
This is the time to try out new stuff and do something different and plan for it and then a little hardcore implementation in november and december.
You know, I like to keep november december as light as possible.
But then again, I think I like to keep all the time as light as possible, falling into the trap of, you know, practice, I don’t practice, but I got something else I can do for sure they’ll be sitting in here, so absolutely, you know, I do some volunteer work too.
So it’s, you know, if I can, you guys have picked out a little bit ahead of time, you can’t just show up on the fly for that.
But you know, I got, I got better things to do.
You know, then I’m sitting here punching in W two s for somebody that decided to show up on october 14th.
So well I love that john because you know, we’re, I would say we’re in similar age, I would think we’re in similar age bracket.
So, you know, I remember the days and you probably when I talked about this briefly is just, you know, the 80 hour badge, like look how cool I am.
I worked 80 hours last week.
Well, you mean you were in the chair for 80 hours and people like to say Berlin, you’re so busy.
I said no, I’m actually productive is what I am because I don’t want to just be busy, I don’t want to be busy, I want to be productive.
I want to get returns done and you know, take care of the clients as I need to take care of the clients, but then move on with my own personal life because I don’t Want to deal with my personal life when I’m 80, Like I’m gonna be crippled probably by then with all the sports I’ve played and all the dangerous things I’ve done.
but you know, I enjoyed myself today.
Not 30 years from now.
Well I have a lovely client who recently retired and she talks about the go years, the slow go years and the no go years and she said I’m in the slow go years now so I need to get out and travel and so they’re, I think they’re either in spain or France right now, her and her sister because they’re going to travel the world for a couple of years while they’re still in the slow go phase and I think that’s great.
But you see that you see it in the client base to people retiring in a few years later there coming in with a walker.
It’s like what’s going on?
I gotta have a hip replacement.
So you know, you gotta keep up with your physical fitness.
In fact, That’s another thing I’ve done in the past couple of years.
Ever since we started putting in more technology is at 3:00 on Tuesdays and Thursdays highly even go to the gym and do it in the middle of tax season for sure.
But the rest of the time I try to get out there and do that and you know, to make sure I come, I have a personal trainer who’s standing there waiting for me.
So, you know, I can’t disappoint her because she’ll start texting me and be like, where are you?
So, but you know, your health is very important as well and you, you know, you don’t want it taken away from you between that and playing coaching baseball and running around with kids.
I seem to, hopefully starve off the ill effects that I’ve seen with so many of my clients over the years.
So, you know, but if you’re sending a desk being non productive for 80 hours a week, which I know I wore that badge, you know, all six years at delight, you know, but you’re young then, but still, you know, it takes its toll on you.
And you know, some people say, oh yeah, my firm does, you know, 1500 tax returns a year.
Then you start talking to the people a little bit more and they’re doing, you know, 10 for 540 easies.
And you know, it’s like, okay, well that’s how come you can do so many because because I started asking what technology they’re using, oh, we’re using this and then it’s like, I personally know that those programs aren’t very good and I’m like, how?
So then you find out that, you know, it’s it’s not necessarily that big of a firm after all, they’re just doing a lot of easy returns.
We do some 10 40 Zs every once in a while.
But that’s not really our forte for sure.
Schedule, C schedule.
These are doing a lot of 10 65 11 20 s.
We got a lot of c corpse.
That’s not my bread and butter.
And I don’t like doing 19 nineties.
The rest, if anything I do, I’m on the board of one.
So I have to do that.
And there’s a couple others that we do, but it’s, you know, if they were bigger, Yeah, if they were bigger, I’d, you know, Yeah, I know there’s, you know, we do some bookkeeping for a non profit right now for complementary because you know, one of the officers, there is one of our great clients and he’s a wonderful guy.
So we kind of get roped into it.
Like my H.
And first summer I was walking down the street.
The treasurer at the time said basically came up to me on his bike and said, I need you to be the treasurer.
Like, okay, I’ve been here like, you know, six months.
But anyway, so then I became the treasurer there and you know, everybody’s like, you’re gonna be the treasure forever.
So anyway, yeah, you get those kind of things, but it’s little bit fun in a way, but it does take time and you got to have time to do those things.
And if you get your staff and everybody around you more efficient and effective, you’ll see that time.
And I’ve seen it, you know, this last few years with the technology,, you know, we’re more efficient now than we were when I had my right hand guy with me and, and, and it’s because of technology.
Well, john, this has been amazing, so much for the occasion with us trying to get the technology to work.
Speaking of technology.
But john and I are fighters, john and I fought through the technology challenges because we had the priority of seeing each other and talking about how, you know, hopefully those of you who are listening that you’re gonna take at least one thing away from this.
But I can tell you, I know for myself being able to coach and do something outside of this office, like changed my life a little bit right for the better and not being able to go out with those boys and being on the baseball mound with them.
That’s that stuff.
That’s when they’ll be, that’ll be with those kids for the rest of their lives and that’s what they’re gonna remember dad was there and that’s so important.
So john so much for, for joining me here today and you know, the DM disruptions here to motivate people to do something different, that their lives can be better, not just themselves, with their staff and their clients in some capacity right to get their returns done faster, they like their refunds, Yeah, they get them done in february, they go out and tell all their friends, so it’s like, you know, if we can keep doing that even better, so thanks again from you, as I can see you’re out in san Francisco right?
Well yeah, as I told you before, I have to keep my location secret because some clients will come and find me if I don’t, but well, thanks again, john, you’ve been awesome.
Thanks for everyone for listening to DM disruption will talk to you next time we’re going to bring some more motivational content, especially from your peers, I think that’s what people love the most.
So john Austin, john Coleman, we’ll talk soon, good luck with the baseball and I’m sure we’ll cross paths again soon.
Okay, well thanks so much by