Summary of Guide and Flowchart
In a perfect world, the financial statement information the client sends a CPA firm would be at the same quality as the practice problems an accounting major receives in college. In college, the balance sheet always balances and the retained earnings account always rolls forward without an issue. The student’s only problem is understanding the tax or accounting issue on the related test question.
But you are preparing a tax return in the real world. You have finished entering the data into the trial balance and importing the data into the tax software. Unfortunately, you see that your balance sheet does not balance or the retained earnings account does not roll forward.
You look at the tax return and the client workpapers. But you can’t figure out if the problem is related to:
- Bad client data.
- An error in your input.
- Tax software problems.
- A combination of all of the above.
Your manager is willing to help you if needed and says that he wants you to ask questions. But you do not want to appear helpless to your boss.
Therefore, you stare at the computer screen hoping something will become obvious. An hour later, you ask your boss for help and he finds the answer in five minutes. You shake your head and wonder if you will ever learn how to do this stuff.
No, your boss did not use magic. He did not get lucky. It’s not that he understands the Internal Revenue Code or the client better than you. Your boss has simply learned through experience a system as to how to divide and conquer where to find the problem. As he crosses off each checkpoint in his head, he eventually finds the problem.
To help you out I put together two separate items in the same pdf file to help you with these problems:
- A five page step by step guide that walks you through how to solve these problems.
- A five page flowchart (its big because I wanted it to be easy for you to read) that gives you a graphic version of the step by step guide.
Fill in the information below to get the Free Guide & Flowchart for Reconciling Business Tax Returns.
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