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.

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.

Understanding Tax Changes When You Retire

They say that the only sure things in life are death and taxes—and for the most part, this is sadly true. Most people think that when they finally hang up their work boots for the last time and saddle up their rocking chair to celebrate retirement, they’ll no longer have to answer the call of the Tax Man… however this couldn’t be further from the truth. The IRS is still going to come calling after you retire: they’ll just be asking for a different amount!

All kidding aside, there are some very important things to understand about your taxes after you retire, but unfortunately there’s not a lot of good information out there to help people understand these changes. So, we’ve compiled a list of important concepts to understand when it comes to undertaking tax preparation in Elkhorn, WI after you’re done working.

Social security income

One of the biggest questions people often have about taxes after retirement is whether or not they have to pay income tax based on their social security checks. The answer is a bit complicated: a portion of your social security income is eligible to be taxed, but how much that is depends on how what your combined income is. Your combined income is measured as the “total of your adjusted gross income plus non-taxable interest, plus one half of your Social Security benefits.”

Total taxable retirement income

In this day and age, most people aren’t getting by on social security alone after they retire: they have a pension, 401k, IRA or some other source of income that’s helping to sustain them. With all of these things factored together, you’re looking at a total retirement income. And, the total amount of taxes you’re going to pay depends on where this income is coming from! If you have multiple sources of retirement income, such as a 401k and an IRA for example, you’re going to want to speak to an accountant when it comes time for tax preparation in Elkhorn, WI to get the total breakdown of what’s being taxed and what the rate of your taxation is for each “Revenue stream.”

IRA withdrawals

The time has finally come when you can tap that IRA you’ve been stowing money in for all these long years! But, how much is the government going to take when you finally decide to start dipping into your funds? Well, the good news is that it’s generally not much, however the government does consider this a source of ordinary income, so escaping taxes isn’t optional… unless of course you have a Roth IRA! When created and maintained appropriately, you’ll pay no withdrawal taxes on a Roth IRA!

Investment income

If you’re lucky enough to have a source of income from asset holdings in your retirement years, be prepared to pay some taxes on that income based on what type of holdings you have. Dividends, investment income, capital gains and more all come into play when you’re dealing with assets and depending on the value of each, you’ll be taxed differently. Again, it’s best to work with a professional during tax season if you’re looking at multiple sources of investment income.

Misc. income and taxes

There are even more retirement changes that you’ll need to get familiar with when it comes to maintaining your income taxes after retirement and it’s wise to seek tax help if you’re not quite sure of what you should be reporting. Everything from selling your home to getting income from annuities comes into play and it’s best to have someone on your side who knows where all the decimal points line up!