Kelly A., CPA is an experienced tax accountant who provides accounting and tax compliance support for corporations, small trusts, individuals and nonprofits across a number of industries. As an expert with Paro for CPA Firms since 2020, Kelly helps top CPA firm clients solve their staffing capacity challenges. The partnership allows her to build her own business, find meaningful projects and maintain her desired level of work-life balance.
Q: Kelly, what kind of work do you do for your CPA firm clients?
I am considered a tax specialist, and I do work with a lot of small business clients. I help them out during busy seasons (i.e., tax season, tax planning and extension season). I don’t do a lot of 1040 filings, so [CPA firms] know that they’re going to hand off all of their business returns to me.
Q: Why did you decide to go fractional?
I wanted the flexibility of working when I wanted and how I wanted, with the clients that I wanted. And also, I used to work for just one firm as their W-2 employee, and I found that I really liked working with different clients and working with different CPA firms. I actually learn a lot more, and I grow as a professional.
Q: As a remote tax accountant, have you been able to find the quality projects that you want through Paro for CPA Firms?
I really do like the quality of the clients. All I have to do is pick and choose who. I’m not struggling to find clients. Paro does a really good job of picking clients that are in a certain [niche]. If someone is e-commerce, or if someone is in real estate or nonprofits, it’s very clear and easy to see if you fit in. [Paro] lets you know what the client does, what’s needed and if your skillset actually matches with theirs.
Q: How have you been able to build your book of business and turn it into a sustainable operation?
The time I have been with Paro, I’ve actually stayed pretty busy. I’ve had one contract after another, so I haven’t had to look for clients. It’s all just come to me. When you [win a contract] for a firm, you get to know them and their clients. It can create consistency if you’re not just working all over the place with one person here, one person there….It’s actually a little bit easier when you do have a contract with a firm, and you’re working with them throughout the busy season, because it creates that consistency.
Q: What has been the greatest benefit of working with these clients?
I think the benefits go both ways. I’m not going to get people that want me to do some odds things that aren’t what I’m supposed to be doing. And they expect the [same] quality of me. They expect someone to come in, that knows what they’re doing, that has grasped these concepts and can just hit it running. There’s an efficiency in that, with not having to teach someone how to handle a certain situation. It just creates this synergistic effect where both of you win. I see the value in working for someone that does good work and wants quality work.
Q: What are some personal successes you’ve experienced working with different CPA firms?
Working with different people, I’ve learned a lot of different software and different tech stacks. I’ve actually said, ‘Hey, I notice you’re not using this to your full ability, and I know how to do a certain thing with this software that we’re not even using…and we can become a lot more efficient.’ And they were like, ‘Oh, that’s awesome, can you teach my accountants how to do that?’ I find that very fulfilling, and I love to do that. I like working with technology and knowing how to do certain things, so that was one of my personal successes. I felt like I was really helping them and bringing value to their firm.
Q: As a Paro expert, do you feel that you have control over your income potential?
Within the Paro platform, you actually set up how many hours you want to work. And then there’s also a section that says, ‘How much money do you want to earn for that year? What is your income? What revenues are you wanting to build?’ And you definitely can always meet that. There’s always plenty of work for any revenue set that you feel that you can do. It’s open to you.
Q: How has being a fractional tax expert given you flexibility as a professional?
I want to work during the busy season, and I know that if I don’t want another contract during the summer with my kids off, then I can definitely do that. Or, I can just take something for 15 hours a week. It’s very beneficial.
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