10 Signs it’s a Good Time to Look for a New Accountant in Elkhorn, WI

During tax time and all year-round, dealing with your personal or business finances on your own can feel much like getting teeth pulled. You don’t have the time or expertise to properly keep track of your money, which means you may have an accountant at the ready—but are they the right person for the job? Here are 10 signs it might be a good time to look for a new accountant in Elkhorn, WI:

  1. Not being able to get your accountant on the phone or by email, text, snail-mail or even going to their office can be stressful, and you should not be okay with this. Communication is key, especially when it comes to your money.
  2. It comes to your attention that many of your accountant’s other clients are getting audited, their financial records and important documents already pulled. You don’t want to be caught up in an audit, whether personal or regarding small business finances.
  3. Is your accountant quoting the fees for their services differently every time you talk? This can be viewed as questionable behavior. Therefore, it behooves you to ask an accountant for a current list of their services and expected fees before you hire them.
  4. You record and save all your financial documents that will be required for tax time, then the accountant loses your financial paperwork after you give it to them. It’s a good idea to have a backup copy, but it should be for you, not for your accountant (again) because they’ve lost the originals.
  5. You become aware that your accountant is basically doing the job of a bookkeeper, only filing taxes for your business and nothing more. It’s not worth it to pay your accountant X amount if they are not handling all aspects of your finances.
  6. After delivering all needed financial records, you should not have to check in on the accountant’s progress or make sure your taxes have been filed. If it takes your accountant more than a few weeks to file your tax return, it’s time to move on from them.
  7. Your accountant is not organized and cannot locate your financial documents. Like all important financial documents, your previous year’s paperwork and files must be labeled for easy access the next tax year—the accountant’s job.
  8. Most regular folks are not up to date on tax laws and available tax breaks, however, your account should be. If they do not continually research these, then you may end up paying incorrect amounts on your taxes.
  9. It is disrespectful for your accountant to be gossipy about their other clients, not to mention a breach of privacy. If they are talking about others behind their backs, they are likely doing it to you too.
  10. Your accountant uses accounting jargon that leaves you in the dark. A good accountant speaks in terms that you can understand—important when your finances are in someone else’s hands.

If you are in the market for an individual or small business accountant in Elkhorn, WI, contact A Plus Accounting LLC today.

CPAs vs. Tax Preparers: What’s the Difference?

It’s no secret that tax season can be a stressful time for many, which is why a taxpayer may decide to hire a tax professional to relieve them of the stress and headaches. Whether you own a small business with finances on the books year-round or simply need help with tax preparation in Elkhorn, WI, it’s a good idea to educate yourself on the difference between CPAs and tax preparers.

Type of Education

While accountants and tax preparers sound like similar roles, there are differences when it comes to the level of required education. Certified professional accountants (CPAs) are accounting professionals who are looked at as reputable and trustworthy with financial information. Accountants, CPAs, have a college education and, at a minimum, they possess a bachelor’s degree in accounting.

As a tax preparer, he or she may or may not have gone to college to obtain a degree in the field of accounting. Instead, many tax preparers benefit from professional training offered through their place of employment at a tax preparation center.

Required Certification

Even after earning an accounting degree, further certification is required to become a CPA. They must pass a qualifying exam testing their knowledge in a number of accounting practices consisting of not only accounting but also business law, personal finance, audits and taxes. CPA certification requirements are rightfully demanding with the reward of respect within their field.

One does not have to be a CPA in order to seek out a career as a tax preparer. Although not issued a professional certification or license, an individual must first pass an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) exam to be declared an enrolled agent and receive an earned credential. The IRS exam consists of federal tax laws and various other taxation issues.


CPAs may have a greater understanding of all aspects of accounting, personal finance, business law, auditing and more, but CPAs may not be experts in the principals of taxation. It’s because of this they must demonstrate their knowledge in federal tax laws.

Tax preparers have greater knowledge and experience due to the required IRS exam’s focus on tax law in order to earn a designation as an enrolled agent. Therefore, tax preparers are highly knowledgeable in tax laws for big corporations, as well as individuals.

When choosing to use a CPA or tax preparer, it comes down to your financial needs and level of comfort with someone on the outside coming in to take the reigns over your finances. Of the two types of tax professionals, most people hire a tax preparer, as they may not benefit from a CPA who would be more involved in their overall financial picture.

Looking for personal or business tax preparation services in Elkhorn, WI? If you have accounting or taxation needs and would like more information to get you on the right financial path, give the professionals at A Plus Accounting LLC a call today.

When Should You Meet with Your Personal Accountant in Elkhorn, WI?

For many people, the thought of meeting with a personal accountant in Elkhorn, WI is not always the most pleasant. Much like going to the dentist, they know it is something they should do, and that it will be beneficial to them in the long run, but it is often avoided. It is often easier to simply not think about it.

Yet it is not only those with their own personal accountants that miss out on the benefits their expertise may offer. For many middle and lower income households, they may not think that meeting with a personal accountant would be beneficial to them due to a lack of assets.

Regardless of how much money you have in savings, how many assets there are to your name or how much you are dreading the experience, there are specific times in every person’s life that the knowledge of a personal accountant can be absolutely crucial in taking the right steps financially.

Buying a house

Meeting with a personal accountant prior to buying a home can be critical when determining whether to seal a deal. An accountant can let you know what exactly you can afford and, if it is a bit out of your reach, how to make the purchase of your dream home a bit more feasible. In addition, a personal accountant can provide perspective on whether it is the right time for you financially to purchase a new home.

Winning or inheriting a large sum of money

Any time you receive a large sum of money—whether by inheritance or by luck—it is worth consulting your personal accountant in Elkhorn, WI on how to manage it successfully. Consulting a professional can provide insight into how to offset taxes and allocate it in a manner that will benefit your financial goals and future quality of living.

Starting a business

When starting a new business, it is important not only to fully understand the amount of money available to you, but to also have a plan in place. The success of your business can actually depend on your knowledge of your financial state and all of the options—especially if everything is not going as planned with the startup process. A personal accountant can help you figure out where you are starting financially, assist you in developing a budget and help you outline incremental goals. Down the road, a personal accountant can even assist with small business taxes.

Before retirement

A personal accountant in Elkhorn, WI can help you realistically determine how much you really need to save for retirement in order to sustain your current standard of living. If you are looking to have a more lavish retirement, a personal accountant can also guide you on what changes you will need to make in order to make those dreams obtainable. By meeting with a personal accountant concerning your retirement plan, there are no surprises and a clear outline to guide you to a happy retirement.

Most importantly though, a personal accountant can provide you with expertise and perspective on any life-changing financial decisions you may be facing. Meet with a professional accountant in Elkhorn, WI from A Plus Accounting LLC Traveling Bean Counters to guide you through the major financial decisions of your life.

Worried About Security? Ask Your Accountants in Elkhorn, WI About the Identity Protection PIN

As more and more business is conducted and more and more transactions are carried out online, the need for security measures to help protect individuals’ personal information is greater than ever—and the risks associated with a security lapse are also higher than ever before.

Many people are worried about the security and safety of their information following the recent IRS data breach. More than 330,000 United States citizens were affected by the breach in security. In this security issue, criminals used stolen data from other sources, such as a Social Security number or birth date, to gain access to past tax returns. The breached records were used to file fraudulent tax returns, resulting in nearly $50 million being stolen from the IRS.

While the IRS has stated they will provide free credit monitoring services to those affected, it is still possible that your personal information is under threat. In order to help eligible taxpayers prevent the fraudulent use of their Social Security number, an IP PIN can be used. If you’re wondering whether to visit your accountants in Elkhorn, WI about obtaining an IP PIN, here’s some basic information to keep in mind.

What is an IP PIN?

An IP PIN is a six-digit number assigned to eligible taxpayers in order to prevent the misuse of their Social Security number on fraudulent federal tax returns. Once an IP PIN is received, it must be used to confirm the taxpayer’s identity on the current tax return.

What does it do?

The IP PIN acts as a secondary validation of your identity, accompanying a Social Security number. If a return is filed and the Social Security number or IP PIN number is either incorrect or missing, the IRS’ system will reject the submitted tax return until it is submitted with the correct information. This method will work regardless of whether the return is being filed electronically or on paper.

Who is eligible for the IP PIN?

You may choose to get an IP PIN if one of the following applies to you:


Once you determine that you are eligible for an IP PIN, you will need the following information to have it assigned: your Social Security number, your date of birth, an email address, your filing status and the mailing address from your most recent tax return. If all the information you provide is correct, you should be assigned an IP PIN.

Ultimately, the security of your information is vital when filing a federal tax return or in any financial situation. At A Plus Accounting LLC Traveling Bean Counters, we are here to help you ensure that your personal information is completely secure. Call our offices today and speak to one of our accountants in Elkhorn, WI to schedule an appointment. We can help you determine if you are eligible for an IP PIN and ensure both the safety and the accuracy of your tax return.

Talk to an Accountant in Elkhorn, WI About Your Farm Taxes

The tax code for just about everything is complicated, and farm taxes are no different. Some people assume accountants are only for individuals and commercial businesses, but in fact, many accountants are able to assist people in many industries, including farmers. Understanding the ins and outs of farm taxes can help you save money and better secure your financial future. For full advice it is imperative to actually meet with an accountant in Elkhorn, WI to go over your particular financial situation, but just to get you started, here is a quick guide to help you better understand some of the key tax issues you might encounter.

Perhaps the most important thing is to gain a complete understanding of the various tax codes that apply to farmers. Without help, this can seem pretty daunting. Numerous codes exist and sometimes the information is not completely straightforward. Allow a professional accountant with A Plus Accounting LLC Traveling Bean Counters to guide you through the current tax code so you can make better financial decisions going forward.