Using an accountant

I have my very first park under contract and am wondering if I should hire an accountant? What do you guys use for accounting and book keeping? what are some of the negatives and positives to having an accountant?

Keep your own books; it is not very hard and you should be intimate with your business’s numbers anyway. Keeping your own books is a great way of achieving that. If you are starting out it should not be too time consuming. Although, if you have an employee, I would recommend using a payroll service because all the reporting requirements can be damaging to your health; hypertension is a serious condition.

what about depreciation and all that kind of stuff, is that going to be done through the tax professionals at the end of the year??

I use Intuit Online Payroll. Very affordable and they figure all the payroll taxes, file forms online, make tax payments, employee direct deposits etc…
Very easy and just takes a few minutes each month.
The book keeping is easy as well since you will not have too many expenses. Quick books works well.
After you learn the depreciation schedules it is always the same. With that said its best to have your CPA review everything!!

Use turbo tax. It does the depreciation and keeps track of everything. It’s very simple.

Here’s the thing with taxes. The hard part is gathering all the information you need to fill in the forms. If you go to an accountant he is going to give you a form to put all that information on for him. Then he enters it into a computer which does all the calculations and print out the forms.

Programs like Turbo Tax do the same thing an accountant does (how much did you spend on advertising? – how much did you spend on office expenses?, etc.) and walks you through step by step.


I would recommend when setting up your books for the first time, using as many of the categories that are on Schedule C which make sense to your business. It makes it easier when you do your taxes. Of course you may want to have some categories which are not on Schedule C, but it makes sense to build you categories around the IRS’s ones as much as possible.

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Hi Brian, if I may ask, how many lots do you own? Not sure what the cost is for Intuit Online Payroll but trying to determine if there is a point of critical mass where it makes sense to use it, or if it can be used out the gate on a single smallerish park (40-60 spaces).

It’s a payroll service. So if your manager is an employee you need to withhold taxes and pay your share. This figures it out for you. One employee or one hundred it is a pain to figure out. I like to spend my time on revenue generating activities. :slight_smile:


I notice you said IF your manager is an employee. Do some people count the manager as a contractor? Or just not keep his pay on the books at all?

That’s not going to fly unless your manager has his own management company and manages other properties and does it without your supervision.

That’s what I thought. Thanks Randy.