FAQs

Mike McGee, CPA, answers your questions. Go to:

Services

What exact services will you provide for me?

The answer to this question begins with a conversation. Once we have discussed your expectations and talked about the ways we can help you, we will draft an engagement letter that details the work we will do for you and what you can expect to pay for that work.  

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Which of your accountants will I work with?

You will work with me, Mike McGee, and the responsibility for the relationship you have with Michael K. McGee, S.C., rests squarely upon my shoulders.  Mona, Andrea, and Jeremy will provide support.  In the event that we need to bring another accountant onto a project, you will be the first to know. 

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Can you work with my other advisors?

I can and will work with your attorney, bookkeeper, and any other advisors or staff members you want on our team.  Client confidentiality is essential to our work, however, and we will not discuss your business without your authorization, unless compelled by law.

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What can you do that my bookkeeper can't?

A good bookkeeper records your organization's financial transactions, and produces reports.  While good record-keeping is essential to a company's operation, no special education or certification is necessary to do bookkeeping work.

A good accountant knows how to use bookkeeping records and reports to:

  • Fully understand what is taking place in the business
  • Spot areas of financial weakness and strength
  • Identify warning signs and opportunities
  • Explore options for improving cash flow and reducing taxes
  • Assist in the decision making process

Read more about the difference between accountants and bookkeepers

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Can you teach me or my staff how to use our accounting software?

While I can assist you in assessing which bookkeeping software products are well-suited for your business, I am not a trainer.

Fortunately, there are plenty of local and online resources for getting yourself and your employees educated. 

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I use online accounting software. Can you work with that?

I can work with any source of accounting data.  All that is needed is for you to give me access.  

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What is the difference between a CPA and an accountant?

About CPAs (Certified Public Accountant)

Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is a title reserved for accountants who have made a serious commitment to their education.  To become a licensed CPA in Wisconsin, an individual must:

  • Earn an accounting degree from an accredited college or university
  • Intern at least one year under the supervision of a licensed CPA
  • Pass all four parts of the Uniform CPA Examination
  • Complete the Ethics Examination of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
  • Commit him/herself to 120 hours of continuing education every three years

This foundation of education and experience enables CPAs to provide high-level auditing, tax, and financial services for their clients, from analyzing financial records to recommending tax strategies to guiding a company's financial decisions.  Michael K. McGee S.C.,

All of the accountants on the staff of Michael K. McGee are college-educated.  We strive to hire only accountants who are either CPAs or on in the process of qualifying for CPA credentials — working on their education while working for us, as well as completing the internship requirement for their future certification.

Tips for choosing an accountant 

Read more about the difference between CPAs and accountants

Accountants

Anyone can call him/herself an accountant.  A public accountant is not required to have a college degree, be licensed, take any exams, or meet legislated standards. If a public accountant is over 18, s/he can prepare tax returns after registering with the IRS and taking a test. Public accountants can prepare financial statements, but they cannot issue an opinion on financial statements or perform audits.

Tips for choosing an accountant

Read more about the difference between CPAs and Accountants

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Fees

How are your fees calculated?

We bill our clients based both on the type and project and on the time we invest in their project. We track our time in tenths of hour increments. Fees are specified in our engagement letters.

Typically, we won't charge a client for a single phone call to address a simple question.  If it takes several phone calls to resolve an issue, however, those phone calls will likely show up on the client's invoice. 

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Do you accept credit cards?

We do not accept credit cards.

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Can you just take your fee out of my refund?

No, I do not have control of your tax refund. You can direct it to the bank account of your choice but I do not have control your money.

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Communication

How should I prepare for our first meeting?

Come prepared with your questions, concerns, and goals for our work together.  Bring the documents or files you think would help me understand your situation.

If we will be talking about a business accounting situation, bring three years' worth of tax documents and other financial history, so I can get a feel for the direction your business is going.

If we are talking about tax return preparation, I like to review your tax returns from the past three years.

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Do I have to buy special software to work with McGee CPA?

No. 

I will need well-organized financial information from you.  If we agree that electronic files are the best method for passing along that information, the only criterion is that I be able to open your files with my PC.    

Every client has access to a secure private portal for uploading and downloading documents, but no special software is required to use it.

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Can you provide online access to my documents?

Yes.  We can offer you 24/7 access to all your accounting reports through a secure private portal.  Log-in to this client portal to upload data to us as well as download reports and tax returns from us.

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How do you communicate with clients?

I am in the business of taking care of my clients.  If I we can't communicate, I can't do my job.

I try to make myself accessible 24/7/365.  Telephone, cell phone, email, snail mail, and text all reach me.  I always endeavor to respond as quickly as practicable.

Because I split my time between my offices in Madison and Richland Center, face-to-face meetings are best scheduled in advance.  I am seldom away from either of my offices more than a day or two at a time.

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Do you need computer files from me?

Not necessarily.

I will need well-organized financial information from you, but whether electronic files are the best method for passing along that information depends upon your individual situation.   

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Do you need hard copy, paper files from me?

We don't require paper files to do our work — if you have a good electronic record-keeping system.  Once we have talked and established your accounting needs, then I can look at your record-keeping practices and make recommendations about the right record-keeping system for your individual needs.  

The IRS no longer requires you to keep hard copy records if the electronic storage system you use has been tested to establish that the hard copy books and records are being reproduced in compliance with IRS requirements for an electronic storage system and procedures are established to ensure continued compliance with all applicable rules and regulations. You still have the responsibility of retaining any other books and records that are required to be retained. (More info)

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