“Here are some overhead items that most CPA and tax attorney preparers have that unenrolled preparers generally do not have:
• Sophisticated tax preparation software, updated for the latest tax law changes
• A quality tax law library either on CD, through an Internet service, or in hard copy
• Malpractice insurance (if your tax preparer makes a mistake, you can recover the costs of that mistake through an insurance claim)
• Fellow tax preparer employees to review all tax returns before they are filed (lack of secondary review is a major contributor to the filing of incorrect returns)
• Extensive continuing tax and professional education”
My answer to this nonsense is, of course, “poppycock”. Actually I had another word in mind, but want to remain civil.
I know many, many non-CPA and non-attorney tax preparers, both EAs and the “unenrolled”, who have, if not all, most of the above items. The most important of these items is, of course, the last – extensive continuing tax and professional education.
Just a note – my experience with the then “Big 8” accounting firm, as discussed in my post, clearly indicates that item #4 does not always work. As I pointed out, a simple error on a state tax return was missed by a multitude of CPAs.