The Motley Fool Discussion Boards

Previous Page

Education, Jobs & Professions / Self-Employed Fools


Subject:  Re: starting out - who do I need to help? Date:  11/15/2000  7:39 AM
Author:  SixOfNine Number:  2188 of 15025

You seem to be reinforcing for me that I probably don't need an accountant but more an attorney.

I'm not so sure. I'd wager that a lot of us on this board were able to incorporate without an attorney. There are plenty of good do-it-yourself books on the topic with all of the forms you need to incorporate in your state and also maintain the corporate records.

On the other hand, an accountant has been a lifesaver for me. There are a lot of little nits that a good accountant knows like the back of his/her hand about which I was clueless. For example, did you know that you have to capitalize (i.e., record as an asset) the costs of starting up the business rather than expense them? And then depreciate that asset over some number of years that my accountant knows but I don't ? <g> Any other assets that you bring into the business also have to be depreciated properly, and this means correct entries into your accounting system of record.

It was my accountant who told me that if another person owned 10% or more of my business that I would no longer be taxed as a Personal Service Corporation (35% flat rate). I was so astounded by this advice that I checked it out with a lawyer who confirmed it. My wife now owns 11% of my corporation <g>.

A good accountant is also very helpful with the periodic stuff like the monthly tax payments, the quarterly 941 filings, and the once-a-year stuff like the FUTA payment and the state workers' compensation (I'm in Virginia - details will vary by state for some of this stuff), not to mention preparation of the corporate tax return.

As for software packages, you might also want to take a look at MYOB. Here's a PC Magazine review comparing MYOB to Peachtree:,4161,2353171,00.html

Here's a PC Magazine review from February of seven accounting packages, including Quickbooks Pro and MYOB:,4161,2433824,00.html

Congratulations, good luck, and please feel free to ask more questions.

Copyright 1996-2020 trademark and the "Fool" logo is a trademark of The Motley Fool, Inc. Contact Us