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Monthly Strategic Advising & Accounting

Here’s a high level look at what you get as a Advising & Accounting client

#1 – Advising & Accountability

Monthly meetings – 60min Zoom call to discuss your business and set monthly action items
Weekly accountability – 15min Zoom call to check in on your progress
Unlimited access – available by phone, email, and Slack

(Too much? There’s also Advising Lite – 1 meeting & 1 accountability call per month with limited access.)

#2 – Tax Compliance

Tax returns – Business and personal tax returns
Annual tax planning A year-end checkup to make sure you’re on track
Reasonable compensation study – figure out how much to pay yourself (for S-corps)

#3 – Monthly Accounting

Capture every deduction – properly categorized transactions so you don’t miss a single deduction
Monthly Profit & Loss monthly P&Ls to review your finances 
Cloud software  view your accounting from anywhere

Ready? Book a Call

No hard-selling. Promise.

Or, read everything you want to know.

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Have you outgrown your local, jack-of-all-trades accountant?

  • Your accountant never has the time to speak to you and rushes you off the phone.
  • You need real, solid business advice and aren’t sure where to get it.
  • You’re getting better at doing client work, but you’re not getting better at running your business.
  • Cash flow is all over the place. Some months, you can pay all the bills. Other months, you wrack up credit card debt.
  • You’re making good money, but you’re always broke and scrambling to pay the mortgage (let alone save for your kid’s college fund).
  • Your taxes get done, but you don’t understand them.
  • Nothing makes sense. And, some months, you feel like throwing in the towel.
  • Retirement feels like a far off dream.

Imagine taking your business to the next level

  • Having personalized, step-by-step guidance about what to do next from someone you can confide in
  • Seeing a clear path to your biggest, hairiest, most audacious goals
  • Taking home more money, but working fewer hours
  • Stressing less about your business and getting a proper night’s sleep
  • Making it home for dinner with your family, instead of working late 
  • Being confident in your business
  • Knowing you’ll be successful

Testimonial:

Mike is an extremely attentive and prompt accountant. Extremely personable. I use Mike for all my business accounting and I can always expect a great job.

-Dan

The Process

Step One: Onboarding call and goal setting

During your onboarding call, we’ll deep dive into your business and set short-term (less than 3 months), year-long (12 months), and long-long-term (retirement) goals.

We’ll discuss your:

  • current revenue & profit
  • current financial processes
  • current cash flow
  • current progress towards goals
  • review application answers

And, you:

  • financial goals (how much you want to earn)
  • personal goals (what will make you feel accomplished)
  • business goals (how big you want to grow)
  • retirement goals (when and where you want to retire)

We’ll also:

  • exchange private contact info
  • set up Slack access
  • set recurring monthly advising meetings
  • set recurring weekly accountability calls
  • agree on the first set of action items

Step Two: Monthly advising

I’ll be your advisor, mentor, and sounding board. When you become a client, you’ll never have to guess about your business or go through it alone again.

Every month, we’ll have a scheduled recurring meeting to discuss your business, finances, and goals. Tell me what you’ve been struggling with since we last spoke and I’ll give you highly, actionable advice. At the end of our call, we’ll agree on a new set of action items for you to complete by our next monthly call.

I’m always available to discuss your finance, strategy, and business questions. If you have a quick question you can reach me by phone, email, and Slack. Shoot me your question and I’ll get back to you within a few hours. If you call, please leave me a voicemail (I’m on the phone a lot).

If you’re very confused and need more help, you’ll have access to my private calendar (with greater availability) to schedule a meeting.

    Step Three: Weekly accountability

    Even the best plan in the world isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on, if it’s never implemented. That’s why I think regular accountability is just as important as great advice.

    Every week, we’ll have a scheduled recurring 15 minute Zoom call to check on your progress with your action items and towards your goals. If you’re making good progress, we might add a new action item or tweak your current ones. If you’re slacking, I’ll kick you in the butt and a push in the right direction.

    (Optional) Need extra motivation? Put your money where your mouth is. We’ll set up a challenge. Complete your action items within a certain timeframe or pay an agreed upon penalty.

    Ready? Book a Call

    No hard-selling. Promise.

    Step Four: Annual tax compliance and planning

    Let’s call it what it is, you’re probablyyy here because you need a new tax accountant and are tired of the same old, bare-minimum service you’ve been getting. In that case, I’m more than happy to handle the IRS.

    1. Spring tax filing

    In the spring, we’ll get your annual business and personal tax returns filed. If you’re missing documents for either your business or personal tax returns, we’ll request a filing extension so you have plenty of time to collect your paperwork.

    When your tax returns are finalized, signed, and filed, I’ll also calculate your quarterly tax estimates for the upcoming year. These quarterly tax estimates will keep you safe from any underpayment penalties and lessen the April tax surprise (if you’re growing, there’ll always be a bit of a surprise).

    2. Fall tax planning

    In the fall, we’ll take a hard look at your numbers and estimated taxes.

    We’ll review your:

    • year-to-date profit
    • salary
    • profit distributions
    • retirement contributions
    • quarterly tax estimates

    And, look for any ways to reduce your taxes. That usually means making sure you’re properly reimbursing valid expenses, contributing to tax-qualified retirement accounts, and making any end-of-year purchases that you need.

    (Note: I can’t believe I have to say this, but I always get a few emails about it. I’m not going to help you commit tax fraud that includes bogus expenses. If you want an accountant that will take unethical positions (aka deduct grossly inflated expenses or set up illegal tax plans), then I’m not your guy.)

    Click here to see the tax fine print

    What’s included

    1. Business tax return (S-corporations, C-corporations, partnerships, SMLLCs, sole proprietorships)
    2. Personal tax return
    3. Annual reasonable compensation study

    S-corporations are required to pay owner-employees wages/salary. Many accountants pick a number out of thin air. I use software and a wage database to create a Reasonable Compensation Study to give us a more accurate figure. The Study also creates a more defensible position, if the IRS ever audits your reasonable compensation.

    4. Payroll setup (for businesses that need to run payroll but haven’t set it up yet)

    What isn’t included

    1. Amended tax returns
    2. Audit representation (Although, I’ll typically defend audits that I think were my fault.)
    3. Fixing your DIY accounting records
    4. Any major (major) differences from when you sign up (for example, you sign on with a simple return, but it turns out you have multiple foreign bank accounts and own a rental property in Costa Rica)
    5. Complicated tax projections

    Step Five: Monthly accounting

    Your monthly accounting is your business’s personalized financial data. It’s crucial to running your business and making educated decisions.

    We’ll leverage modern cloud accounting software (like, Xero, Hubdoc, and ReceiptBank) to streamline the accounting process, help you manage your receipts, and correctly capture every expense, so you get every deduction. We’ll also have accurate financials to discuss during our advising calls. 

    I’ll also give you a quick overview of the cloud accounting software so you know what’s going on. And, explain the parts you really need to know (like the invoicing dashboard).

    $$ – Minimum Investment

    Advising & Accountability – starting at $500/m
    Advising & Accountability Lite – starting at $200/m

    Tax compliance (sole propietor & SMLLC) – starting at $650
    Tax compliance (Corporation & Partnership, including reasonable compensation study) – starting at $1,650 + $250/partner
    Tax compliance (Personal)  starting at $300

    Monthly accounting – starting at $400/m

    Important note: I only handle tax compliance and accounting for advisory and legacy clients. Exceptions on a case-by-case basis for micro-businesses.

    Testimonial:

    Michael is great. I just started going to him and he gets the job done, plain and simple. Doesn’t over-complicate things and makes sure his clients understand what is going. Great prices as well. I highly recommend him.

    -Ben

    ?? – Frequently Asked Questions

    How do I know if I’m a good fit? –

    Businesses that’d get the most benefit out of Advising & Accounting have plateaued and need more than traditional compliance accounting. If you know you can take your business further and the only thing holding you back is indecision, then you’ll probably benefit from this program.

    What type of business do you worth with? –

    Digital agencies (eg marketers, developers, creatives, etc)
    Professional service firms (eg law firms, consultants, coaches, etc)

    Do you work with freelancers or solo practitioners? –

    Yes!

    What are the requirements for working with you?

    Clients need to be tech-friendly, honest, ambitious, and willing to implement new ideas.

    Tech: We’ll leverage modern cloud software including Slack, Zoom, Xero, Hubdoc, Gusto, and my secure portal. 

    Honest: Life is too short to lie. That includes lying to the IRS and local tax authorities. All tax returns are prepared strictly by the book, which means proper reasonable compensation (for S-corps) and no personal expenses on business tax returns.

    Ambitious & New ideas: Advising & Accountability is about finding and implementing new ideas to reach your BHAGs (big hairy audacious goals). 

    Will you fix my business? –

    That’s the goal. But, it depends. All the advice and accountability in the world can’t replace hard work (or working capital). You’ll need to implement my advice, take advantage of my help, and make the necessary changes in your business.

    If your business is actively collapsing and you’re desperate for work, my Advising & Accounting program may not be a good investment. 

    I still have questions! –

    Well, then, don’t be a stranger. Shoot me an email at michael@ecksteinadvisory.com

    Testimonial:

    Having Michael to work on your tax return is a pure pleasure. He is very professional, kind, understanding, patient and above all knowledgeable in his field. His services are excellent and I am gladly recommending him while looking forward to be his customer in the future. Rarely one can find such a down to earth person filled with humbleness and readiness to help. All the best to you Michael.

    -Sophie

    Schedule a free Intro Call

    Does my Advising & Accounting program sound good to you? Then, schedule a discovery call, and let’s get started!

    On the first call, you can ask me any questions you have about your business, my accounting firm, myself, and the process.

    On the second call, we’ll discuss your prior-year tax returns, accounting records, and discovery survey.

    If you seem like a good fit, I’ll send you a proposal.

    Why two calls instead of one-and-done?

    Two calls gives you plenty of time to ask questions and see if we’re a good fit. Plus, I think asking for full access to tax returns and accounting records before our first call is kinda like asking someone to marry you right after matching on Tinder.

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    Step 1:
    Initial Call

    Ask all your questions about my accounting firm, myself, and the process. Plus, get some free business advice.

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    Step 2:
    Send Documents

    You’ll send me your prior-year tax returns, accounting records, and answer my comprehensive discovery survey.

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    Step 3:
    Review Call

    We’ll discuss all the info you’ve provided me. I’ll ask some clarifying questions and point out any potential issues.

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    Step 4:
    Proposal

    I’ll send you a proposal and we’ll get rolling.

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