I have paid to talk with accountants twice within a span of six months. I learned a lot by talking with these professionals. The biggest lesson of all, is how much I really don't know (even though I thought I was well aware of my lack of knowledge).
I worked in the banking industry for about thirty years. I took several financial planning courses. I've taken a bookkeeping course and I've worked as a bookkeeper. I have done my own taxes and the taxes of several others for many years. Yet when it comes to farming, business and self employment income tax, I know only enough to be dangerous.
I have asked many questions along the way but one thing I've learned when it comes to taxes, you can ask five different people the same question and get six different answers. Who do you trust? Certainly not me!
People have over estimated my capabilities. I have jumped in over my head more times than I care to think about. Yet I just seem to just keep jumping.
This is the last year I will have a dependent child to claim on my income taxes. I have never been a single, with no dependants tax payer. I want to be ready to make this transition when I do my income taxes next year so I thought I would go into this year as prepared as I can be to help with the transition.
I paid $58.00 to a chartered personal accountant last night. I spent an hour with this professional and she gave me a lot of tips and information. I had made an attempt at my taxes before I went to see her and according to that calculation, I owed over $500.00. I made all the revisions she suggested this morning and according to my preliminary calculation, I now get a $20.00 refund. Hmmm. By spending $58, I will be not only be saving over $500, but I have the peace of mind knowing I have all the information I need to do the job right.
While we were talking, this accountant asked me if I would be willing to take on any additional bookkeeping jobs. She said that she often has to turn people away and she likes to be able to give them a name. I told her I didn't feel capable of doing the job of doing someone's books without someone to guide me along the way. I am so relieved that was my immediate answer. As I heard her forming the question but had not yet asked it all I could think of was, "NO!! Not another bookkeeping commitment!" The only kind of books I want to keep these days are books that are filled with words, not numbers.
I woke up this morning with no regrets. I don't feel qualified to do a bookkeeping job without someone at my side, guiding me along the way. But more importantly, it is just not where I want to spend my energy. I don't know enough, I don't have enough time and I don't think I could be paid enough to take on any more.
I admit defeat. I do not know enough to help someone else. But I am good enough to do my own work. And that is just about enough for me.