Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

Why Should I use a CPA?

A CPA is a very trusted, confidential advisor of individuals and businesses who is expected to uphold high standards. Not all CPAs perform the same types and/or levels of service. However the most common services consist of accounting, auditing, tax, financial planning, and management consulting. Furmankiewicz and Associates has chosen to offer accounting, tax, management consulting, and various other services as agreed upon by the firm and the client. CPAs must pass a comprehensive 2 day exam covering all aspects of accounting. In addition relevant work experience, a background check and an ethics exam must be completed before the state will issue a CPA certificate. To stay current on issues, 80 hours of continuing education are also required every two years.

What are your credentials?

Alan Furmankiewicz brings over 20 years of accounting expertise to his select client base. As an IRS Agent and team leader for 15 years, Alan led audits and handled complex corporate tax issues. Alan was selected to represent the agency as spokesman and educator and has appeared on many radio and television programs. A graduate of Valparaiso University with a BS in Business Administration majoring in Accounting, Alan is a CPA licensed to practice in Illinois & Indiana.

Why should I choose Furmankiewicz and Associates?

The goal of this firm is to provide clients with complete tax, accounting, and consulting services, enabling them to make sound business and personal decisions based on well-thought-out planning and professional guidance. We assist clients with ways to increase efficiency and limit professional fees charged, so they can retain as much of their income as possible.

What about the IRS and other government agencies?

Although everyone dreads an audit, Furmankiewicz and Associates stands behind their work and will act as your legal representation before the IRS and other regulators.

When I can't reach you at the office because you are at CPE, what is CPE?

CPE is short for Continuing Professional Education. As a licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA) I am required to complete an average of 40 hours a year of continuing education in order to keep my license. Why is this important to you? This requirement insures that I am keeping up to date on changes in the tax law, technology and trends in the business environment in general. While we are required to complete continuing education, tax preparers that work at businesses like H&R Block have no such requirement. Think about that for awhile.

We know your firm has caller ID, however, I keep calling and no one calls back. Why?

Well, it is our firm’s position that unless a person leaves an actual voice message we do not call back. The volume of calls is so large and includes so many sales calls that unless a client leaves a message we do not call back. If you would like a call back please leave a message, so that we can return you call as soon as possible.

What is your firms' records retention policy?

In August of 2007, we started going “Green” and it became the policy of the firm to process as much work as possible electronically. So we have been scanning and electronically storing all tax returns, supporting documents & work papers generated since that time. We also, as time provides, are going back to prior years and returns and doing the same. Once the documents are stored electronically the original documents are destroyed. So if you were to call for a copy of your tax return, we will ask you for your email address and send the electronic version to you as an attachment to the email and you can print out the return at your leisure. It also needs to be mentioned that even though we are storing the documents electronically we will erase the electronic version after the seventh year.

Personal Finance Questions

Do You Do Financial Planning?

Yes. We can and do financial planning for either business’s or individuals. The planning can be done as a separate engagement or can be done as part of an on-going engagement. What we can do is set out the plan in general, give suggestions for the types and amounts of investments you can or should make, but because we are not licensed investment brokers, we can not execute any kind of trades or contracts on a specific product offered. We will work with a broker of your choice or suggest one of a number of brokers or agents that we have worked with in the past that we believe will offer you service of type and quality we believe you deserve.

Tax Questions

What type of business structure is best?

That is very complicated answer that is determined based upon a lengthy interview with each client, but to get you going to see what questions we will be asking, here is a brochure from the American Institute of CPA’s that discusses this very topic as well as the pros and cons of each.