Service Recommendation from JWR: Mara Helland

Tuesday, Mar 9, 2010

You might have noticed that a CPA service advertising on SurvivalBlog. Her name is Mara Helland. Since it is now tax season, I thought that it would be appropriate to give my personal recommendation, and let you know what services she offers.

Like many other CPAs, Mara mainly does tax accounting. But what sets her apart from other CPA firms is absolute privacy. I know that this is crucial for a lot of people, especially fellow SurvivalBlog readers. I don’t know what privacy issues are like in the big cities, but I do know that in small towns, people who make a decent living want to be assured their personal financial information isn’t going to end up as fodder for gossip at the local bar.

I've learned that when new clients come to Mara Helland from another CPA, it is almost always because they have experienced poor service. She says that she rarely hears complaints about prior CPA fees, but she definitely hears about lack of attentiveness from other accountants. Of course, all CPAs will say that they value their clients and that they provide "excellent service", but that is not what happens in reality. A lot of times, CPAs or firm-partners will bring in the new clients, but the actual services and care for the clients are pushed off on staff members, with much less experience and fewer skills. Mara is now in her 20th year of working in public accounting. When clients come to her, they get top-notch service directly from Mara. As I have experienced personally, when a client calls her office, she answers the phone herself. She prides herself on taking good care of her clients, and I think that shows with the number of very long-term client relationships that she has developed.

Mara works with a wide clientele, including individuals, all types of businesses, estates, trusts and non-profit organizations. She has clients throughout the United States, so being in Montana does not limit her to only having Montana clients. She also works with military families and US citizens that work overseas.

March 15, 2010 is the tax-filing deadline for businesses that are corporations. And, of course April 15th is the big deadline for personal income tax returns, as well as partnership/LLC tax returns. If you need more time to gather your personal or business tax information, she can prepare and file a tax extension for you.

Mara noted in an e-mail: "I, too, am a SurvivalBlog follower. I came to your site first as a reader and then later chose to advertise with you. I can certainly relate to my SurvivalBlog clients."

I'm one of Mara's satisfied tax accounting clients, so I can highly recommend her!


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