There’s always a path.
That’s the message Redding-based A.E. Cumings CPA has for small businesses and individuals navigating the tax season and its associated anxieties.
With a career spanning roughly 40 years, Anda Cumings has seen common missteps that smart, motivated entrepreneurs make when it comes to finances and tax preparation. And, she’s passionate about helping them find the way out from under those burdens.
“When something goes wrong and you get that letter from the state or federal government, it’s a scary feeling, Cumings said. “You need someone in your corner and that’s where I come in. I’m already on it.”
She offers accounting and tax preparation for individuals, partnerships, corporations, trusts, estates and exempt organizations, in addition to being a small business advocate.
“My specialty is assisting the self-employed, making sure they free up some of that time spent on taxes and bookkeeping,” Cumings said. “It causes a tremendous amount of anxiety.”
The University of Michigan Business School graduate is a long-time Redding resident who raised her family in town. She previously worked for accounting firms in Stamford and Ridgefield, before starting her own, locally-minded public accounting firm.
“It’s good to be connected to someone in the community that you can get in touch with when you need it” she said. “There’s no phone tree to reach me.”
Cumings also works to give her clients some training and accounting independence, so they don’t need her services on a daily basis.
“New business owners might be using Quickbooks but are often using it incorrectly or not to its full capacity,” Cumings said. “Another common mistake is to pull too much cash out of the business and not set aside enough for taxes or retirement savings. Contributions to a retirement plan are an important deduction for the self employed. It is important to have sufficient cash flow to take advantage of this.”
She enjoys helping her clients overcome or avoid those and other common pitfalls altogether.
“These are smart people and if you put some more tools in their drawer it’s very empowering,” Cumings said. “You give them a few ideas and it’s contagious. We inspire each other.”
When it comes to tax preparation, the devil is in the details. Cumings is always staying up-to-date on changing tax laws, so her clients don’t have too.
“I’m connected to two tax libraries that are updated every 20 minutes — so, if you have a question, I can delve into it,” she said.
Cumings has seen clients spend hours or days trying to do their own research, often coming up with outdated information that leaves them feeling more confused than ever.
“You can’t just Google and hope for the best — there is a lot of misinformation out there,” she said. “I tell my clients not to spend the time and emotional energy doing your own research when you could be running your business.”
Cumings said her passion comes from wanting to support her neighbors and local economic growth.
“I love this community and there is a lot of talent here and, I think, plenty of room for more economy, more cottage businesses,” she said.
Whether Cumings is offering advice, acting as a second set of eyes or providing more involved tax services, the goal is the same.
“You’ve worked hard to make money and I will figure out how you can keep as much of it as possible,” she said.
To find out more about A.E. Cumings tax and accounting services, email [email protected].