November 13, 2018

How a Ridiculously Young Entrepreneur Grew His Cloud Accounting Firm

xero cloud accounting

Going Concern is partnering with Xero, the innovative cloud-based accounting platform for small businesses, accountants and bookkeepers, to bring our readers content about entrepreneurs who are starting their own firms. We hope you enjoy and welcome your comments.

Nick Pasquarosa is the type of guy you’d like to have a beer with. Speaking in a light Long Island accent, he says things like “I want to make the world a better place” without a drop of irony or cynicism.

He tells you he “genuinely loves accounting and helping people.” And maybe it’s the calm confidence of his speech, or maybe it’s the geeky-yet-sociable way sentences fly off his tongue, but for whatever reason, you believe him.

Just five years ago, however, you couldn’t have taken him out for drinks. Not legally, anyway. Pasquarosa is 25-years-old (“26 in July,” he assures us). And with some help from Xero, he runs his own cloud accounting firm.

Humble beginnings

Pasquarosa started his firm, Bookkeeper360 (which is currently hiring, if you’re interested), when he was still in college. Working part-time as a bookkeeper for a few small clients in the Long Island area, he realized there was a serious gap in his customers’ financial capabilities.

“There was a tremendous need for technology and accurate financial information which I saw early on with every single client I dealt with,” he says. “If business owners are not getting knowledgeable information, they can’t grow.”

Pasquarosa quickly found that technology was the answer to this disconnection, and identified cloud accounting as the logical solution to the problem.

“With cloud accounting, small business owners can collaborate in real-time with their accountants” he says. “There’s no delay for information or data. You can access your clients’ financial information whenever, wherever.”

And so Pasquarosa made the leap from freelance accounting to cloud firm operator. But the decision wasn’t solely one of financial opportunity–he was also interested in coaching his clients to leverage technology to become better business owners. In order to do that, however, he first had to learn how to do it himself.

Enter Xero

With Bookkeeper360 still in its infancy, Pasquarosa realized QuickBooks Online wasn’t adequately meeting his or his clients’ needs. Looking at his alternatives, he turned to Xero, and soon found himself operating a firm on the cutting edge of accounting technology.

“Xero helped me scale, they’ve helped me grow,” he says. “And they’ve given me the opportunity to better service our clients.”

With Xero, Bookkeeper360’s employees are now able to work from one common data set. They can operate from anywhere on any device. And they utilize Xero’s unmatched reliability to seize business opportunities faster and create better experiences for their customers.

Thanks to Xero, Pasquarosa is now able to employ services that were once exclusive to businesses with six-figure IT budgets.

“They’ve definitely opened the door for smaller organizations to run and grow like a Fortune 500 company,” he says.

A larger community

While Pasquarosa initially sought out Xero for technological reasons, he describes the benefits of its community as “icing on the cake.”

“People probably don’t understand the power of the Xero community,” he says. “You would think any other bookkeeper or accounting firm that’s using Xero is our competitor. It’s completely the opposite of that. We’re all using each other’s information, and there are plenty of opportunities for everyone to succeed. They have created a community of collaboration versus competition.“

Advice for future entrepreneurs

Asked what he would say to someone considering the launch of his or her own cloud accounting firm, Pasquarosa cautions that the work will be difficult. But Pasquarosa contends that the benefits of running your own business far outweigh the sacrifices.

“I don’t have a ‘job.’ I have something that I love and I enjoy,” he says. “At the end of the day, the work is worth it, because we’re helping our clients grow.”

Unlike some cloud accounting firms, Bookkeeper360 maintains a physical office. You can find Nick Pasquarosa working there most days–you know, if you want to buy him a beer.

Be like Nick and provide better experiences for employees and clients through cloud accounting. See how Xero can help you power your practice now.

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Give It Up Tax Protesters, You’re Just Screwing Yourselves

Of the adherents of strange and puzzling belief systems – 9/11 Truthers, Fed groupies, Cubs fans – few work so hard to screw themselves as tax protesters.

By their own account,”>spend “thousands of hours” reading their arcane tracts, expanding on theories of why the 16th Amendment is a figment of our imagination, or why a gold-fringed flag means you’re in an admiralty court, which somehow undoes the income tax.

Or why the federal tax law only covers the District of Columbia and federal forts, or why Section 861 says U.S. source income isn’t taxable. The result? They still owe the taxes, penalties, and maybe $25,000 idiot fees from the tax court – and that’s if things go well. If they go badly, they go very badly.

Every year the IRS updates its handy debunking of tax protester arguments. It does little good. You can spend hours trying to talk tax protesters out of their ideas, but they move effortlessly from one gold-fringed bad idea to another, and they can almost sound like they make sense, until you get outside and get some fresh air. But there is one common problem in all of these “Tax Honesty” arguments: they don’t work.

No matter how convinced you are that Irwin Schiff’s theories of the income tax are true, that there is no income tax, all of the federal judges think there is one. So does the IRS, the Federal Marshals Service, and pretty much everyone in the Bureau of Prisons. What they say trumps what Irwin says, which is why the poor man is likely to die in jail.

But what about the glorious courtroom triumphs of Lloyd Long, Vernice Kuglin and Tom Cryer? They were acquitted by juries! Yes, these guys beat criminal charges. Why the juries voted the way they did, we’ll never really know. Maybe they were nullifiers, striking a blow against the income tax. Maybe they decided that the defendants really believed their schtick, so they didn’t “willfully” fail to pay their taxes. But these acquittals debunk the income tax only if the O.J. acquittal debunks California’s murder statute. Even though these guys didn’t go to jail (unlike many, including their pied piper, Irwin Schiff), they still have to pay their taxes.

Maybe you’re reading this and thinking “Of course he says that. He does taxes for a living. He’s in on the conspiracy!” If so, come on. If this stuff actually worked, I wouldn’t grind my way through every tax season pretending there is an income tax. If it worked, I would just talk to a few of my wealthiest clients, work out a deal to take 5% of their income for the next 10 years in return for making their taxes go away, wave my wand, and spend March in Mesa.

But here I am, grinding out those returns. That no more makes me “pro-tax” than believing in germ theory makes a doctor “pro-bacteria.” Still, if you really want to ruin your financial life, you’re welcome to choose your poison. But first ask yourself: are all of these big companies and rich guys who pay taxes crazy or stupid? Or is it just you?