Frequently Asked Questions

Questions? We have the answers.

Q:Why do I need an accounting firm?
A:From the routine to the complex, many individuals and families need expert advice regarding taxes, bookkeeping and financial planning. You may need bookkeeping services ... or assistance with a business sale & or help with the expansion of your business globally. Or you might be looking for an accountant to simply prepare your year-end federal taxes or generate financial reports. At Jacobs & Company, we offer a wide range of integrated services all designed to give you personalized attention throughout our business relationship.
Q:What homework should I do before my first meeting?
A:Don't go to the initial meeting empty handed. To fully understand your accounting needs and the condition of your business (or personal finances), the accountant will most likely want to see some financial records. Take your most recent federal tax return, including all schedules and forms. Also take a copy of your trial balance and a current financial statement if available.
Q:How do I know if I can do my own taxes or if I need to consult a certified public accountant?
A:The IRS estimates that it can take 28 1/2 hours to research tax law, organize your records, and complete a standard 1040 return with three common schedules. Tax law is constantly changing, so it is important that you are educated about these changes so you correctly fill out your forms. A CPA will help.
If you're a salaried employee who takes the standard deduction, your return is likely to be simple. However, if you've encountered a major life change, such as marriage, divorce, a financial reversal or ownership of a vacation home or rental property, your tax situation may be more complicated.
Self-employed individuals and small business owners are more likely to be audited by the IRS, and working with a CPA will help lessen that risk. Also, if you have a high income or have a lot of miscellaneous itemized deductions, you could be subjected to the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). The AMT, which was devised to ensure that wealthy taxpayer's pay their fair share of taxes, is now affecting more middle-class taxpayers. If you think this might affect you, consult a CPA.
Q:How can Jacobs serve my business, my governmental entity, my nonprofit or me?
A:We can help by:
  • Recommending tax planning strategies
  • Preparing tax returns
  • Advising individuals on personal financial planning, including retirement and estate planning
  • Reviewing a company's accounting system and recommending improvements
  • Consulting on business problems and advising ways to improve the use of a client's resources
  • Assisting in the design and installation of data processing and management information systems
  • Conducting special studies (financing, inventories, credit and collection) for business, government, and nonprofit organizations
  • Helping clients apply for loans and credit by gathering and preparing information required by lenders
  • Working with clients, attorneys, and bankers on mergers, acquisitions and expansions
  • Q:How can you help my family?
    A:We can help...
  • Advise on divorce settlements
  • Devise savings and investment strategies
  • Build college funds
  • Q:How can you help me as a taxpayer?
    A:We can help...
  • Develop tax strategies
  • prepare tax returns
  • Minimize tax liability
  • Q:How can you help me as a business owner?
    A:We can help...
  • Set up accounting systems
  • Secure financing
  • Analyze operating results
  • Provide management consulting services on such subjects as data processing systems
  • Develop budgets and business plans and forecasts
  • Prepare tax returns
  • Audit, review or compile financial statements for privately-owned entities
  • Assess benefit and compensation plans
  • Q:How can I get the most value out of a relationship with Jacobs?
    A:Be prepared to discuss your plans, goals, problems and questions. We can most effectively advise you and serve your best interests when we understand your goals.
    Gather all relevant personal and business financial information so we can get an accurate picture and ask specific questions.
    Be clear and candid about what you expect from our services.
    Keep us informed of changes in your professional and personal life. A marriage or divorce, the birth of a child, an inheritance, a career change, a financial reversal or a generous bonus can have a significant impact on your tax liability and financial goals.
    Finally, you need to make sure you (or your staff) meet your commitments to deliver appropriate, accurate and timely information so that we have the information we need when we need it.