We checked in with local accountant Stephanie Gibney, 35, owner of Accounting 4 DC, who started the firm on a part-time basis in Northeast D.C. in 2009 while working full-time for a corporation.
She started doing accounting consulting on the side during the first quarter of each year, but quit her corporate gig and went full time in 2011 after her client list grew. She runs the firm out of her townhouse in Northeast D.C.
What do you hate to see the most from your clients when they ask you to do their taxes?
Receipts in shoe boxes. We are open year round, so why would you save these for the last minute? Clearly, you need a bookkeeper. We do have one of those, by the way.
What are some common mistakes people and businesses make?
Individuals don’t properly fill out their withholding forms. Single people without children tell me they mark one for single and one for head of household. One person isn’t a household.
New business owners who start businesses with no annual budget. Or ones who do not know they are supposed to make estimated tax payments and are surprised by a large amount due.
Also, everyone should prepare personal financial statements. I’m making this a thing for 2014.
Is this the time of year when you get new clients or are they existing clients?
For tax, we see an increase in new client inquiries because we cap the number of new clients we take each year.
For outsourced accounting/controller clients, we only take three a year. We take a new pro-bono nonprofit client in November of each year. We just accepted one for 2014 last Friday.
What kind of calls do you get from people in December as the year ends. Are they in trouble?
Tax clients contacting us in December are either proactive or they are someone who hasn’t filed and they are thinking of their New Year’s resolutions and getting right with the IRS is on that list.
Why is Nino, the official receptionist, a pit bull? Is it because you have difficult clients?
He actually has a very calm personality, which everyone on the team finds soothing when it’s tax time. He changes people’s minds about what you expect of a pit bull. He’s a rescue and very loving. Everyone should know the love of a pit bull.
Pinxter, a new fashion app that was funded by a group of local angel investors, including Cal Simmons, Red Peg Marketing’s Brad Nierenbwerg and Aspire Lifestyles chief executive Mary Naylor, had 50,000 downloads in its first few weeks.
Pinxter is a social network for the clothing industry that allows users to check out outfits on real people, in real time, rather than models. They can get feedback on the item they are thinking of buying.
“Our original idea came about when I was shopping with my wife and sister at a retail store and they needed affirmation on what to buy in real time,” founder Sergei Dubograev told us in an e-mail. “Users like to see regular people wearing brand outfits rather than models.”
Gaithersburg-based electrical contractor Jim Fabiszewski is praying for storms. The businessman, who this year started Fab Generators for commercial and residential customers who want a backup electrical source when the next hurricane hits, has sold 132 generators worth $1.9 million in sales as of Nov. 1. Residential generators run $10,000 and $12,000; the commercial ones are much more expensive, from $75,000 to $200,000.
“If [WJLA retired meteorologist] Bob Ryan is correct, the Washington area is in for a very harsh winter, and that means power outages, frozen and broken pipes, spoiled food and big hotel bills,” Fab said.
Knight Kiplinger, president and editor of the eponymous family-owned media company at 13th Street NW, speaking Nov. 15 at the D.C. Convention Center:
“A slower-growing D.C. economy — due to federal cutbacks — will still be a very strong economy, compared with most other large metro areas. Indeed, an off-year in the D.C. economy is still a good year almost anywhere else — the envy of most of America.”
To help ensure that the Carlyle Group’s tune was heard loud and clear, each attendee at the District-based private equity firm’s recent investor conference was given a pair of Beats by Dr. Dre earphones. The button-down Carlyle recently made a $500 million investment in Dr. Dre, which garnered attention from the financial world because it was a step in a different direction for the firm, which made its name in the defense and aerospace industries. For seven hours, Carlyle’s top brass, including co-founders David Rubenstein, Bill Conway and Dan D’Aniello, walked investors as well as stock analysts through the fine print of Carlyle’s business. Goldman Sachs analysts liked what they heard, upgrading their rating from “neutral” to “buy” with a price target of $36.