The Secret Behind My Successful Practice

I have the time to write articles, do interviews, speak at conventions, all because of my wife Belsis Smalley. My wife’s name is pronounced exactly like it looks Bell Sis. She says her parents made the name up, but my wife was born in 1976, and there was a Cuban swimmer in the Olympics that year, that medaled, named Belsis. My wife’s name is trademarked in Germany. There is a manufacturing company in Deutschland called Belsis. My nickname for her is Bels. We have been together for 22 years. Not only is she the love of my life, and an excellent mother to my two boys, but there would be no business without her.

She is the IT Department. She taught herself web design, and how to write code. In fact our website, is nothing but a code that she spent several nights creating that crawls the internet searching for my articles that have been published, interviews that I have done, basically ANYTHING that is public about me, this code picks up, and once a week, she simply clicks a button, and the website is updated.

When our old server wouldn’t load the new version of QuickBooks, saying I needed a different operating system, it caused me to call a client that is an IT professional, who tried to sell me a $9,000 server. She explained to me that we hardly used our server and she was in the middle of investigating switching all of our software to the cloud. To fix the QuickBooks problem, she simply stayed up all night, determined that all we needed to do was download a service pack, she did, and when I woke up, QB 2017 was on our server.

I want to stress the amazing part of this, my wife doesn’t have an IT degree, she literally just figures it out. She’ll stay up all night, when I have some crazy idea about what I want something to do, figuring out how to make it happen. She does what I do with tax law. We are an unstoppable team.

Any practice management article that you have seen me write, or an article about how we moved everything to the cloud, or that we don’t need servers anymore are all because of Belsis Smalley. If some degree toting IT person contradicted something that my wife has engrained in my head, I don’t care if they are Ivy League educated, I’ll listen to my wife first.

Most accounting firms will pay tens of thousands of dollars to IT companies. I am blessed, because I have Belsis Smalley. She is my equal partner. If you book an in person appointment with me, she is in the room with me. When a client doesn’t understand a complicated concept I am explaining, she will chime in and explain it in layman’s terms, In fact, we have gotten some clients that I never thought that we would get because I will get frustrated with something that I am explain, she is cool as a cucumber and converts the potential client to a paying one.

My wife loves it when my articles are in a tangible magazine. I’ve been doing some writing for the EA Journal, which is a semi-monthly publication by the National Association of Enrolled Agents (NAEA). Today the new issue came, and I wrote an article for it about a Backdoor Roth.

About six years ago, there was this company called Nerd Wallet. They had a forum called “Ask an Advisor.” The concept was the public would come in and ask financial or tax question and an advisor would answer the question. I answered a lot questions on that forum. One question was regarding a non-deductible IRA contribution. No one had answered the question, and I flagged it as something to come back to. I hate non-deductible IRA contributions. The next morning after thinking about it I had a plan. I answered the question by saying, make the non-deductible contribution, and the next day convert it to a Roth. If you ever read any of my articles I think differently than most tax accountants. I guess my answer was flagged, and the next day I got a call from the CEO of Nerd Wallet asking about that answer and the reasoning. I explained it to them. They conferred with their high priced attorney that brought in a high priced accountant, and my answer got the seal of approval. The next week Nerd Wallet named my plan the “Backdoor Roth.” It was THE buzzword that tax season, and I, of course, got absolutely NO credit for coming up with it.

In this month’s EA Journal I wrote an article about a Backdoor Roth. My wife brought the magazine home to read my article and I explained the whole thing to her, and I said, can you imagine coming up with something and not getting credit for it. She said that it was the story of her life.

If you have ever read one of my articles, or if you like the way that I think, or my tax ideas. That is 100%, because my wife, Bels takes all of these things off my plate so I can do nothing but immerse myself in Tax world. Most couples could never spend 24 hours a day, but I would never be able to have all the fun I have, be able to be as successful as I am, and our company would never as successful as it is without Belsis Smalley.

The saying goes behind a great man is a great woman. I hate that saying because it insinuates, that a woman is less than. Next to a great man is an even better woman.

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Craig W. Smalley, MST, EA, has been admitted to practice before the Internal Revenue Service as an Enrolled Agent, has a Certificate in Taxation from UCLA, and is a Certified Tax Resolution Specialist. He has been in practice since 1994. He is the CEO and Founder of CWSEAPA, PLLC, Tax Crisis Center, LLC, and Cannabis Accounting Group. All three companies have offices in Delaware, Florida, and Nevada. He has been published in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, NASDAQ, Yahoo Finance, Christian Science Monitor, and is a columnist for accounting trade publications, including AICPA Tax Insider, Ganjaprenuer., CPA Trendlines, and Cannabis Business Executive. He specializes in taxation, and is well versed on U.S. Tax Court rulings. He has appeared as a guest on countless radio shows and podcasts. He can be reached at craig@cwseapa.com.


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