Jumpanzee Client Spotlight – Less Taxing Services!
Jumpanzee appreciates all of our extraordinary clients, & we want to let everyone know how awesome they are! That’s why we have created our Client Spotlight series. Learn more about some amazing small businesses & startups and their owners/founders. We dig into why they started their business, what are their unique value propositions, & what makes them successful.
In this client spotlight, we focus on Less Taxing Services and their “Chief Geek” (a.k.a. CEO), Mike Russo. We had the opportunity to work with them on their website & logo and can vouch for their exceptional services from experience as Jumpanzee is a customer!
Less Taxing Services Client Spotlight with Mike Russo (Chief Geek)
What is your business & what problem does it solve for your customers?
I’m a 21st century accountant that uses technology to make your financial life Less Taxing!
In the past going to the accountant meant making multiple trips with stacks of paper or files. I use technology to automate this process. I have software that fetches bank and credit card statements as soon as they are available, apps that automatically track mileage when you start driving, and portals to safely exchange documents from your phone!
Whether you’re an individual that just needs a tax return each year or a small business that needs monthly bookkeeping service and advice, I have technology to make that process easier and more efficient!
What’s your background and how did it play a part in starting your business?
I have a bachelor’s degree in music performance. I was a tuba player so I literally have a piece of paper that certifies I’m full of hot air however, music and tax law actually require a lot of the same skills.
When you look at a piece of music, there are just notes on the page. You must develop an interpretation of that piece and your interpretation must be convincing. When you read tax law, it’s just a bunch of words on a page. It’s the interpretation of those words that can lead to clients keeping more of their own money!
What is your ideal customer or who can you help the most?
I love small businesses and people following their passions. Clients that need someone acting as bookkeeper, tax accountant, and business advisor all in one. In these cases, I get to interact with the people so much more and help them build the business they want. Being a part of someone achieving their goals is awesome.
What were your biggest challenges when you started?
Like most start-ups, finding clients! I was lucky to have some referrals right off the bat but being someone that loves technology doesn’t always translate to being the best networker. Finding the right kinds of people to network with made a big difference.
Many people also don’t want to reach out to others that do what they do for advice. I bucked that trend and talked to many people that were doing what I wanted to do the way I wanted to do it. That turned out to be an awesome two-way street. They could share insights with me and also confide in me problems they were having to get two heads together to solve them.
Don’t be afraid to ask successful people for help. The worst they can do is say no!
What are your biggest challenges today?
Accountants have two big challenges.
- Tax law is always changing
- Automation is becoming more and more prevalent in the accounting industry.
To combat tax law changes, I take close to 100 hours of continuing education every year. These classes ensure I know what is in the current law, but also what could be law down the road. Knowing what’s coming helps my clients plan so there are no tax time surprises.
Automation is something I support. I don’t believe anyone should have to pay for data entry. What I bring to the table is advice and the compliance needed to run efficient businesses and save on personal taxes.
Which resources to run your business do you use most?
The INTERNET! The good thing is, I have so much technology in the cloud, I can work from anywhere. The bad thing is, if that anywhere doesn’t have an internet connection, I’m completely stopped. Luckily, I have back-up systems to keep me running under most circumstances.
Any advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Have good bookkeeping!!! If you aren’t the personality type to be diligent enough to learn about it and do it regularly, outsource it right away. So many problems can be tied back to bookkeeping errors and if those errors go unchecked for too long it can be a very messy fix.
Outside of business what do you enjoy doing? How do you recharge your batteries?
I’m a woodworker. I like to make functional items like shelves for my office, organizational items, and small boxes, but I’ve made a few pieces of furniture in the past.
If you had 1 “request” of people reading this, what would it be?
Know the person doing your taxes. Every year I see returns where tax payers paid to have their return professionally prepared yet the bottom of the form says it was self-prepared. True tax professionals have a PTIN (Preparer Tax Identification Number) and show their firm name on the bottom of the return. They also continue learning every year.
Ask your preparer how much education they take each year? What’s new in the tax world that could affect you in the future? What professional organizations do they belong to? Do they have licenses such as an EA or CPA? If the person you talk to isn’t the one that prepares the return, ask about the firm review process.
I believe in building relationships, not just doing taxes so I’m always happy when someone wants to know about me before I know about them.
Where can people stay up-to-date with your business?
Want to work with Jumpanzee?
We love working with small businesses & startups to provide them with the tools for an amazing online presence. It is an incredibly opportunity & honor to partner with them in their success that we do not take lightly.
If you would like to work with Jumpanzee & have us design an absolutely kick-ass website, a captivating explainer video, and/or amazing graphic design solutions for your business, then get in contact here!
Finally, check out some of our other client spotlights!