Tax return preparation is the largest part of our practice at Dawson & Gerbic, LLP, and our small-firm culture has enabled us to maintain our tax return relationships with numerous clients since the firm’s inception twenty-five years ago. And, like other local firms, our small-firm culture has enabled us to maintain beneficial relationships with numerous clients since the firm's inception over twenty years ago. The similarities between our approach to tax return preparation and that of most other local accounting firms end at that point.
Local accounting firm practices typically involve the preparation of a disproportionately large number of relatively uncomplicated tax returns. We believe that type of tax return preparation more closely resembles a commodity sale than a professional service. Therefore, we prepare relatively few returns of that nature. Instead, our tax return preparation is almost exclusively limited to complex income tax returns for business entities and their owners.
The quality focus for our tax return preparation practice is also quite different from that at many other local accounting firms. Many firms seem to believe that the tax return preparation process cannot provide independent value for clients, so they focus on achieving low-cost, assembly-line-like return preparation. Our experience, on the other hand, is that a highly technically-skilled and innovative approach to tax return preparation can almost always produce an improved financial result. So we strive to hire, train, and retain top graduates of our local universities, with significant non-public accounting business experience, and to provide them with the highest-quality technical resources.
Pat Ackerman and Eva Leung, our firm's managers, supervise the firm's income tax return preparation engagements. During the last five years, both of them have completed a major professional certification programs aimed at expanding their return preparation competencies. In response to our increased services for distressed businesses, Eva became Certified in Financial Forensics by the American Institute of CPA's and a Certified Insolvency and Restructuring Advisor. Additionally Pat earned a Certificate in Gerontology from the University of Washington in order to better understand the needs of our clients' aging owners. Pat completed that program with near perfect grades. Pat and Eva average over twenty years experience in public accounting.
Both of the senior accountants who prepare tax returns in our firm hold two master's degrees, including recent Masters of Professional Accounting in Taxation from the University of Washington.
To augment our academic training and to provide access to the most current and complete U.S. income tax information, we subscribe to RIA's Analysis of Federal Taxes - Income, RIA's Checkpoint internet income tax reporter service, the CCH Standard Federal Tax Reporter, the BNA Tax Management Portfolios, the NYU Institute on Federal Taxation, and half-a-dozen current tax-related periodicals. In addition, we have shelves of treatises and texts on specific tax topics from a dozen publishers.
For our mechanical processing of income tax returns, we utilize the web-based version of GoSystem Tax RS. The processing system is described in CPA Technology Advisor (April/May 2009) as “…the premier package, providing comprehensive entity support across all U.S. taxing jurisdictions, along with unparalleled productivity tools and review process.” We agree with that review.