Tax Guru – Ker$tetter Letter

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Archive for April 11th, 2002

Posted by taxguru on April 11, 2002

PDF Is Very Handy

Anyone who has been surfing the net for very long soon realizes that the PDF file format by Adobe has become the standard method of passing on forms and documents. IRS uses it for the forms and publications that you can find on its site. For the first time, the tax prep software that I have been using since 1985, Lacerte, finally allows forms to be prepared in pdf format for 2001. This has been extremely handy in the past few weeks, as I prepare extensions and email them to clients as attachments. As I tell them, we are doing everything possible to keep the Postal Service out of the loop because they have proven themselves over and over again to be the Weakest Link.

If you don’t already have the free program from Adobe that allows you to open and read pdf files, you can download it from here. It’s something everyone should have on their computers. In fact, as you realize how handy pdf files are, you may want to upgrade to the full Adobe Acrobat program that allows you to produce pdf files from many programs. When installed, the pdf appears as another printer on your system. When printing a form or report, you just select the pdf printer instead of your regular one and give a name for the file. I use it quite often for preparing financial statements and reports from QuickBooks that I can then email to clients.


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Posted by taxguru on April 11, 2002

Fringe Benefits

Back when I was in college for my Bachelor’s in Accounting (1973-77), there were three main types of employers recruiting among the Senior class.

Private Industry Companies offered by far the highest starting pay and benefit packages for those willing to work in their finance and accounting departments.

The Big 8 CPA Firms were offering about two-thirds the starting pay of the private industry companies plus extra long hours and almost no benefits. They were able to do this because of the potential high pay for those who could stick it out and make Partner within 10 years. They also had (& still have) a captive employee pool because in order to qualify to become a CPA in California, you were required to work for at least two years with a CPA firm, with a certain number of hours spent performing certified audits. It’s a mandatory paid intern program that many other states don’t require for their licensed CPAs.

Government Agencies, State and Federal, including IRS and FBI. Starting pay was about a third of that offered by private companies, with an upper range much lower than with either of the other two types of employers. This meant that most people who accepted government jobs did so because they were passionate about the cause they were working for, or because nobody else would hire them.

Because of the relatively low pay that most government workers receive, some of them make up for it in other ways. For many, it’s a power trip, where they can intimidate other people and get their jollies that way. For others, it’s more direct extortion for financial gain. This IRS auditor in Denver probably had worked out deals all around the area where his position enabled him to obtain freebies and discounts. He was busted when he got too greedy with his car mechanic.


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