It’s that time of the year many of us dread the most; Tax Season! Many of us find that keeping our records throughout the year in order to file our taxes are a complete waste of time and a bore. However, failure to do so can get you audited if you file your taxes incorrectly. What happens more often than being audited is millions of people actually end up paying more taxes than they should.
4-U-Nique Publishing decided to enlist the help of tax expert Rasheme Kilburn to share some tips to make filing taxes more enjoyable. Mr. Kilburn also gave us some interesting insight on how he got his start as an accountant.
4-U-Nique Publishing: Kilburn can you please tell us about yourself, your company, and the services you offer?
Rasheme Kilburn: Originally born I was born in Chicago but I was raised back and forth between New Jersey and New York. As a 16 year old high schooler I got my first job working at Burlington coat factory in New Jersey and by the age of 18 I transferred to Hampton, VA. Within in one year of working in Hampton I became a manager. I stayed with Burlington for 17 years, working in management, until leaving the company and starting my own business, Kilburn and Associates. Kilburn and Associates is a tax preparation firm that originally started as a business that covered all areas of accounting but later adapted into a company that focused and specialized in tax preparation.
4-U-Nique: How did you get inspired to become an accountant, as well as, starting your own company?
RK: I actually entered into this field by accident, in 2007, as a single dad I went to get my taxes prepared by an accountant that used my job as well as my barber business expenses to prepare my taxes. At the time I really didn’t understand the magnitude of what he had done but I was so excited about the amount of my refund that I sent my coworkers from Burlington to him to get their taxes done as well. In fact, I sent him so many people that he offered me a job. At that point it became another side hustle to make some extra money. After about 3 years I began to understand the value of this industry because in 4 months of my last tax year under him I made $40,000 just off of sending him referrals. Normally, that would have took me 12 months to do on my regular job at Burlington. At that point I knew I had something special for this industry. I realized how much money I was making for Burlington and that Account. I decided to take things into my own hands, so I went to school and got my education. Once I got finished with school, I started running my own business right from my living room.
4-U-Nique: Ok, it’s Tax Season and I know you see this every year, where people haven’t been keeping up with their records. How can you help?
RK: The funny part about telling people how to keep up with their records is that they should do just that. KEEP AS MANY RECORDS AS POSSIBLE. If I can’t tell where to start with you, for example the “shoebox filing” “envelope keeper” “plastic bag storage”, or even receipt laying all over bed, then I tell you start with a simple formula. Create an email for all your invoices by taking pictures of receipts as you get them and emailing them to yourself. Once the picture is taken, label it and create different sub categories that you can store the picture in, this way if you ever need to go back to it you will know what it is for. For our people who are more serious about record keeping I would encourage you to create a log and to track your mileage, updating it weekly or bi-weekly, and to make sure not to let too much time go by before updating it. And for individuals who are very aggressive about bookkeeping I would recommend software such as QuickBooks, Xero, or, Officewise. There are also apps that can be used. Personally my favorite app is Taxbot which was designed by Sandy Botkins an IRS auditor and tax lawyer.
4-U-Nique: What advice do you have for individual tax payers, small business tax payers, as well as big business tax payers, in reference to how they can do better in being organized with their records year around?
RK: I pretty much have the same advice for all of them, quarterly you should pay attention to your books. According to how much time is spent on a daily bases it will let you know how aggressive you will have to be towards the end of that quarter. Of course, individuals may not have to spend as much time going over their records as a small business or big business would for that matter. But for the small or big business owners I would suggest spending time such as 1 or 2 days out of the business week at the end of the quarter to focus on bookkeeping. This will help you going into the next quarter to where you should allocate your money. Again, keeping up on daily basis will help this quarter end process.
4-U-Nique: I asked you this personally but can you tell our readers, which bookkeeping software you prefer and why?
RK: QuickBooks. I usually recommend QuickBooks because it the easiest thing that transfers from normal day life to accounting life. And as you grow in it, the program has specials bells and whistle to help you with accounting features, such as sales invoicing, expense management, payroll, and its user friendly. To top it all off it is made by Intuit which has other components that can be used as add-ons to the QuickBooks program.
4-U-Nique: Can you tell us anything funny that you had to encounter in your industry?
RK: I remember once having a client that made 1.6 million and he hadn’t done his taxes in 4 years. When I first sat down with him I thought he was going to be a headache because he worked in the restaurant industry. I knew that the restaurant business came with a lot of expenses and with 4 year of restaurant taxes to do I figured it will be an all week process. Low and behold, he runs all his business off his phone and had all the copies of his purchases in his emails, once he emailed me all of the invoices I actually had all the information I needed to process all 4 years. So as unorganized that he was everything was just saved right there in his email. So what I thought was going to be a headache turned out to be a really easy process that took me only 3 hours to process 4 years.
4-U-Nique: What advice would you give anyone interested in becoming an accountant, tax preparer, and anyone starting their own business like you have?
RK: Entrepreneurship is not as easy as it looks, be prepared to have long days and long nights, but if you want it bad enough anything is possible. Make sure you keep your priorities a priority and balance your home life with work. And as far as anyone wanting to get into the accounting industry if you do not have a passion for numbers or any type of interest into learning tax laws stay away from this industry.
4-U-Nique: If you could work with or hold a conversation with anyone past, present, or future, who would they be?
RK: The owner of Chick-Fil-A. I would like to interview him about having his Christian beliefs and intertwining them into his business and being able to stand on his principles in the face of animosities of not conforming into the system. I would like to ask him how he never faltered from his vision. For example, he is closed every Sunday, for me that is the biggest day for families to sit around and eat chicken but he is not concerned with that.
4-U-Nique: If you could be anything in the world what would you be?
RK: I’m really love entrepreneurship. I am proud of what I do. If I wasn’t doing taxes I would still own a chain of barber shops or restaurants.
4-U-Nique: What kind of books do you read? Who are you favorite authors?
RK: Personal development, all the books I read are personal develop. Eric Thomas and Tony Robins are my favorite authors.
4-U-Nique: What are your 2017 goals?
RK: To teach someone in my organization to make $100,000 and to work with them close and personally until they make it.
4-U-Nique: Where can people who are interested in using your services find you?
RK: Website: Kilburnandassociates.business
Office: (757) 838-9000
4-U-Nique: What message do you want to leave anyone who are reading this interview with?
RK: I want people to know when it comes to being successful it all starts with your belief system. You have to believe in what you do. And once you see yourself in your mind as being successful then all you have to do is get started. You don’t have to wait on a loan, wait on saving a certain amount, or your family to cosign on your idea…JUST GET STARTED
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