Join us today for the Interview with Roger Pearson, small business tax expert...

This is the interview I had with course creator and tax expert Roger Pearson.  

In today’s podcast episode I interview Roger Pearson. I ask Roger about his journey from building businesses for himself to becoming a tax expert focused on helping other business owners. I ask Roger to share how his faith journey intersected with this shift. Roger also shares with you some of the biggest mistakes that business owners make (and it’s not just about taxes).

Join in on the Chat below.

Episode 1412: Interview with Roger Pearson About his Journey from Business to Tax Expert

[00:00:00] Scott Maderer: Thanks for joining us on episode 1412 of the Inspired Stewardship Podcast.

[00:00:06] Roger Pearson: I'm Roger Pearson. I challenge you to invest in yourself, invest in others, develop your influence, and impact the world by using your time, your talent, and your treasures to live out your calling. Having the ability to learn the art of business is key, and one way to be inspired to do that is to listen to this, the Inspired Stewardship Podcast.

[00:00:29] with my friend, Scott Maderer.

[00:00:36] At the end of my life, I want to be able to look back and say, How many lives did I improve in the course of my life? Because I really think that that's what the faith journey should, should really end up at, is your journey about how many people's lives that you can improve over the course of yours.

[00:00:57] Because that will be, that's what, I think that's what determines [00:01:00] successful life.

[00:01:02] Scott Maderer: Welcome and thank you for joining us on the Inspired Stewardship Podcast. If you truly desire to become the person who God wants you to be, then you must learn to use your time, your talent, and your treasures for your true calling.

[00:01:17] In the Inspired Stewardship Podcast, you will learn to invest in yourself, invest in others, and develop your influence so that you can impact the world.

[00:01:33] In today's podcast episode, I interview Roger Pearson. I asked Roger about his journey from building businesses for himself to becoming a tax expert, focused on helping other business owners. I asked Roger to share how his faith journey intersected with this shift. And Roger also shares with you some of the biggest mistakes that he sees small business owners making, and I'll give you a hint.

[00:01:54] It's not just about taxes. I've got a new book coming out. Called [00:02:00] Inspired Living, assembling the puzzle of your call by mastering your time, your talent, and your treasures. You can find out more about it and sign up for getting more information Inspired Living. That's inspired

[00:02:18] Inspired living. For over 50 years, Roger has created, sold, or managed many different small businesses. But in 2001, he switched course and began working as a master tax advisor and an IRS enrolled agent. In that time, he has watched hundreds of small business owners lose thousands of dollars needlessly.

[00:02:38] So recently, he's made it his mission to provide entrepreneurs the knowledge to build a solid foundation under their business to keep more money in their pockets and give less to the government. Welcome to the show, Roger!

[00:02:54] Roger Pearson: Glad to be here. Glad to have you.

[00:02:57] Scott Maderer: We talked a little bit in the [00:03:00] intro about some of your journey and how you've done a lot of different businesses over the years, but now you're working focused on helping other small businesses around these areas of taxes and money.

[00:03:13] And of course, that's a hot topic during the first quarter of the year, usually, though, quite frankly, it should be something we talk about all around the year. Can you share a little bit more about your journey and what brought you to focus on helping other small businesses in these areas?

[00:03:29] Roger Pearson: I when I talk about my journey, I usually have to go back to when I was in college, I was actually going into college, I was going to be an elementary school teacher, believe it or not, because I love teaching, I really love teaching, but I found out when I started doing my student teaching the second year of college that, I couldn't work for the public school system because those was back in the 70s they had the new math where two and two equals five and they got rid of phonics and all that stuff.

[00:03:57] And I said this is insane. [00:04:00] So I've went out into the business world and said, and I've tried a lot of different businesses from lawn care to custodial services and found out a lot, all the things I don't like to do and along the way and but the things I did find is I love the creative part of the business.

[00:04:21] I've done web design and I've done landscape design. I'm always designing something. And I've gone into, and I've been in management for a lot of different companies, I've spent 10 years in restaurant management, which is a thing in itself, and in supermarket management, and then in the 90s, I was downsized three times, because the 90s were the, when all the companies were downsizing, they were just eliminating positions, and I had my management position eliminated three times, believe it or not, and I didn't know what I wanted to do, I didn't know what to do.

[00:04:56] So about 2001, my my [00:05:00] sister in law says go take this tax class it'll give you some part time income until you decide where you want to go from here. And here I am 22 years later. You

[00:05:11] Scott Maderer: haven't figured out if you haven't figured out if you like it yet or not.

[00:05:13] Roger Pearson: Yeah, I haven't figured out if I like it yet.

[00:05:15] But and I've since my background with business, I've specialized in business returns and helping business people Teaching, actually teaching, I teach a lot at the task desk. And last year I got into the thing I can only deal with so many people a season personally.

[00:05:36] But this is information that really needs to be out there. 'cause I get so tired of watching people just lose so much money the first few years if not putting themselves out of business because of it. And I started to decide I'm gonna, I'm gonna put some courses together, some education together that people can go out and they can learn this stuff so they can hit the ground [00:06:00] running.

[00:06:00] If they wanna start a business, they can hit the ground running. With the proper knowledge that they don't teach you in school. These are the things they don't teach you in school. Not even college, they don't teach this stuff, which is unfortunate. I've had I've taught TA tax classes and I've had business majors in my classes and they would come up to me and they said, when we ask about this type of stuff in our college classes, our professors tell us they gotta go learn it someplace else.

[00:06:27] And I was just amazed by that. But that's what our education is. And it's a shame because small businesses. They're the backbone of our economy. We wouldn't have an economy because of them. And you would think that our educational systems would have put a priority on that. Because of that, but they don't, and I don't understand why, but I'm trying to do something about it.

[00:06:51] Scott Maderer: What when you think about that journey and trying to focus on small business, because [00:07:00] as you said, they're the background of the economy. What what is it about small business owners beyond just the fact of what they do for the country, so to speak, and for everybody else?

[00:07:12] Is there anything about them that particularly attracts you?

[00:07:20] Roger Pearson: I think it's the quest. It's not easy running a business. It is not easy and it takes a particular type of person. That wants to do that. It really does. And that's why I love discussing because meeting the people that have that mindset. This is, I want to do it on my own. I want to really succeed.

[00:07:41] I want the American dream of having my own business and succeeding and so forth and so on. And that's a marvelous journey. It really is a marvelous journey, but it takes education to do that journey successfully.

[00:07:56] Scott Maderer: Can you share a little bit about how your faith journey paralleled [00:08:00] your life journey and how it's influenced the decisions you've made and going the direction that you,

[00:08:05] Roger Pearson: you've gone?

[00:08:07] That has been another lifelong journey because, when I was in college, I took a year, an entire year of, it was called humanities back then. I don't know what they call it nowadays, but it was basically a study of the philosophies and religions all the way from Aristotle to existentialism. And so I spent many years after that.

[00:08:27] In fact, I went on to study many years, all of those different things. And I found out some very basic things that if you take all the good parts of all the philosophies and all the religions and everything, they all fit inside of, the only one they fit inside of is Christianity. It has all of those things good things about all the other philosophies.

[00:08:53] And. It also adds the things the others are missing. And I said, all right, [00:09:00] I've made that decision now. And then I had to barrel it down to just simplicity, because I think we'd get much too complicated in the. the rituals and everything else that we do nowadays and forget the basics. But I've always maintained the basics in my life after going through that journey.

[00:09:18] And I've come down to the point where the I could go out and I could find ways to make a lot of money. It's not hard in this country if you just want to work hard. But my journey has led me to the point where. I feel that it is more important at the end of your life when you get in your 70s, you start thinking about this, especially at the end of my life, I want to be able to look back and say, how many lives did I improve in the course of my life?

[00:09:47] Because I really think that's what the faith journey should really end up at is your journey about how many people's lives that you can improve [00:10:00] over the course of yours. Because that will be, that's why I think that's what determines successful life, it really does.

[00:10:08] Scott Maderer: So let's talk a little bit more about those business owners that you've been working with over the years. And then of course your own business experience. What do you see as some of the biggest mistakes that people make when they're starting out on that journey?

[00:10:21] Roger Pearson: The biggest mistake is just trying to wing it, just trying to wing it.

[00:10:28] Not educating yourself, not getting an advisor to help you along the way. That's probably the biggest mistake people make. It really is. Technically, if you really get into the business part of it, technically people do things like commingle funds in bank accounts. That is a big no according to the IRS.

[00:10:52] You have to have separate accounts for your personal and your business. That's one of the biggest things. The second people don't know how to organize their paperwork [00:11:00] properly, most business people they'll go out and they'll hire an accountant they'll try to do it themselves a first or their hard account or a tax professional and so forth.

[00:11:11] But those people could only do as good a job as what you, the data that you give them and the conversations you have with them. So it's important that, okay, I just can't hire somebody to do this because. Here's the thing. If you go to hire somebody, say you had a plumbing company, would you sit down and hire the person in front of you that you want to hire to do the job to see if they do plumbing or not?

[00:11:43] And it's the same way if you're hiring somebody to take care of your books or somebody to do your taxes, you need to be able to sit down and hire those people because they're a vital part of your team. They can either cost you a lot of money or they can save you a lot of [00:12:00] money, depending on that.

[00:12:02] So there's one of the things that I like to teach people is, okay, you need to know how to interview. You need to know these basics so that when you go and interview for these positions to add to your team, you get to somebody that's interested in you, and not just, you're not just another number to them, it's hiring a CPA. I tell people if you don't hire, if you're hiring a CPA that says just drop all my paperwork off and I'll call you when it's done, run the other way because that person doesn't care about your business you're a tax professional and especially you're a tax professional, you should be sitting down with at least twice a year.

[00:12:45] And they should be interested enough in your business to learn your business. And that's one of the things I do at the tech desk when I work with people. I have to learn their business. I have to learn what their goals are. I have to learn all of the [00:13:00] little things about them. I've had painters.

[00:13:04] I know the painting business real good. I know the landscaping business real good and all of these all these other ones because I've worked with these people and I had to learn how their business operates to be able to do the best job for them. That's the type of person that you want on your team.

[00:13:19] And so these these are the things I really find important.

[00:13:25] Scott Maderer: What are some of the other questions that, that folks should ask if they are looking to add to their team and hire somebody in that area?

[00:13:33] Roger Pearson: All right. One of the other biggest thing is a lot of people, especially when they're first starting out don't realize that their tax liabilities are going to be, in some cases, the largest expenditure of anything they do.

[00:13:50] It is, it's a big hunk, because first, as a sole proprietorship, a lot of people don't realize that 25 percent of their [00:14:00] net profit goes directly to the federal government, and it can be more, depending on how much more, but basically, that's the basic, 25%, and people go into shock when they find that.

[00:14:11] Those things have to be planned for. The other thing you should really ask is It's hard to keep up with the tax laws and a lot of people, a lot of people say I'll just hire a CPA and you have to be careful there. The CPA's main job is accounting and I couldn't think of anything more boring in my life than being an accountant and people say taxes are all numbers.

[00:14:36] And I says, no, taxes are. Again, taxes, good tax repair is going to help you, and this is what the big corporations do, they're going to help you use the existing tax law to benefit you, and so that's what I get out of it. When I can save somebody thousands of dollars by using a particular tax law to [00:15:00] help them that is, that's a win.

[00:15:03] I love that. That's what makes it exciting. But when you're going and asking somebody, especially to do your taxes, don't assume a CPA knows everything about taxes, because here's the thing. We all whether you're a CPA, whether you're an enrolled agent, or so forth, you have to take continuing education hours every year.

[00:15:22] And an enrolled agent has to take 100 percent of their CE hours in tax matters. A CPA does not. A CPA has to take a basic tax class when they begin with CPA, and they never have to take another tax class the rest of their life if they want. So if you're going to have your CPA also doing your taxes, the things you need to be asking them, how many of their continuing education hours every year are taken in the subject of taxes?

[00:15:47] Because if they're not taking any, then you don't want them doing your taxes. And so don't assume your CPA knows taxes because they're not required to. They're required to know how to be a good accountant. [00:16:00] So what

[00:16:00] Scott Maderer: is because you'll hear these terms thrown about, you just use some of them. So let, I want to, I'm a big believer in let's define words, right?

[00:16:07] Let's define what we mean CPA or accountant is one of the things that you hear talked about for taxes, you hear enrolled agent that you used a minute ago, and then also people talk about hiring a bookkeeper. What's the difference in those roles, and why would you want one over another, or what causes us to look for one rather than another?

[00:16:29] Roger Pearson: If you're just going to have a it depends, really. where you want your business to go. If you just want to stay small and just make enough so you can live on and have a life then you may just need a bookkeeper. If you're in a position where, okay, I want to build this business. And eventually maybe take it public or something like that, you probably want to go to a certified public accountant because [00:17:00] they're, the reason they've got that classification is they've taken advanced courses in bookkeeping and accounting.

[00:17:07] So they're going to have probably a greater knowledge of that subject than just a plain bookkeeper. On the other hand, when it comes to taxes, an enrolled agent, there's certain people that can represent you, like a lawyer would represent you in court, there's certain people that can represent you before the IRS.

[00:17:28] A CPA, by default, automatically can. But the person that's most knowledgeable in tax law is called an enrolled agent. And it's, they get, they're the only one that gets their certification based on tax law. You have to take three three hour IRS tests. They do take the entire three hours. And pass those.

[00:17:50] Before you can represent people before the IRS, and one test is all about the personal return stuff, one's about all the businesses, and one's about just [00:18:00] all the penalties and the things you can get yourself in trouble with the IRS, and what that's going to cost you. And you have to have a broad knowledge, and you have to take at least 25 continuing hours every year to maintain your so if you want somebody really knowledgeable in taxes, that's the person you go to.

[00:18:21] If you have a small business and you don't need that much that's fine. But if you're, if you want to actually grow your business and do the best job, it may be more advantageous for you to have a person CPA to do your accounting for you, and then have an enrolled agent to do your taxes for you because having two people on one can check the other.

[00:18:44] Because I find errors that CPAs make and and so the person that has both is probably, I would separate them. If you're really serious about your business and you want to grow your business, I would separate them and have one of each so they can actually counter each [00:19:00] other and check each other also.

[00:19:02] Scott Maderer: So I know when I talk to small business owners, you're one of the most common. pushbacks first off, they always want to outsource their books because they generally don't like doing them themselves. They want to outsource all of this stuff around that taxes and things, but when it comes to outsourcing it, does it just mean we give it over to you and now we can forget all about it or How should a business owner view that when they are working with that external person or they're hiring into their thing?

[00:19:31] How should they view that relationship?

[00:19:35] Roger Pearson: I think the relationship should be viewed as a partnership. Two things, it reviews as a partnership because that person and you are working together to advance your business, and you're paying them for their knowledge. They need to be using their knowledge for your behalf.

[00:19:52] You're ready. That's the most important thing. They need to be using it. And you have to, not only as a partnership, you have to view them as an [00:20:00] employee. Don't use them as just somebody I'm going to hire to take care of a problem I don't want to deal with. You view them the same way as you would an employee you're hiring for your business.

[00:20:10] And if you have those two things as your mindset, you're going to have a better relationship and you're going to be able to take advantage of quirks in the law and everything else to your advantage.

[00:20:22] Scott Maderer: So I've got a few questions that I like to ask all of my guests, but before I go there and ask those, is there anything else about the work you do with small businesses that you think is really important for the lister to hear?

[00:20:35] Roger Pearson: The most important thing I keep I do keep going back to this, but get your education. Whether you do it by books don't depend on what Uncle Tom knows, or Uncle Jim knows or all the people that will be glad to give you some advice, I'm sure. Your broke brother in law gives you lots of good advice.

[00:20:57] Scott Maderer: Yeah, your

[00:20:58] Roger Pearson: broke brother in law, exactly.[00:21:00] If they were so knowledgeable, they would be rich. And the other thing is, the other thing I think that's really important, you should probably find yourself a mentor if you can. Find somebody that, that is knowledgeable in the industry that you're in, or knowledgeable in, in what you want to do, and have somebody that you can call and talk to, and ask the questions, and do the consulting.

[00:21:27] And I love it when people come to me and they want me to be a consultant and help them that way. That's, I enjoy, I really enjoy that more than anything. The individual consulting and advising people that really want to know how to do things the right way. My brand is Inspired Stewardship, and I run things through that lens of stewardship.

[00:21:50] Scott Maderer: And then, yeah, that's one of those words that I've learned over the years. Has different meanings to different people. So I always like to ask my guests, what does the word stewardship mean to you? [00:22:00]

[00:22:02] Roger Pearson: Ah, I think stewardship is properly taking care, appreciating, and taking care of the things that have been gifted to us in life.

[00:22:15] How do you see that fitting into

[00:22:16] Scott Maderer: your life?

[00:22:20] Roger Pearson: And this comes from my whole point of view. As I was saying earlier, I think that the best point of view is I judge everything by how I make the world a better place. I think that's what we all should be, and I think the more you take the mindset of whatever you do makes the world a better place, the more satisfying life you're gonna have.

[00:22:50] Scott Maderer: So this is my favorite question that I love to ask everybody. Imagine for a minute that I invented this magic machine and with this machine I could pluck [00:23:00] you from where you are today and transport you magically into the future, maybe 150, maybe 250 years. But through the power of this machine, you were able to look back and see your entire life and see all of the connections, all of the ripples and all of the impacts you've left behind.

[00:23:15] What impact do you hope

[00:23:15] Roger Pearson: you've left in the world? Wow. I'd love back to, I would love to look back and see all the seeds I've planted throughout my life. And I've I've talked to a lot of people. I've taught a lot of people. I've tried to help a lot of people. I've moved around the country, so you lose touch with the people that, at one, that one stage of your life and it'd be wonderful to look back and see where that seed was planted and how it grew.

[00:23:45] It really would, and find all the lines from there. It would be fascinating.

[00:23:52] Scott Maderer: So what's coming next? What's on the roadmap for the

[00:23:54] Roger Pearson: rest of the year? I've I've developed[00:24:00] my courses. I have free and college level courses that, and I'm going to be writing some more. I want to do some more podcasts this year simply to get the word out that the resources are available there.

[00:24:12] If you're serious about educating yourself in business. There's resources out there for you. And so I want to increase that. I'm going, I've got and I'm thinking very seriously also because people learn in different ways some people are very visual. Some people like to read, some people like to listen.

[00:24:32] So we've got podcasts for listening people. I've got YouTube channels for people who like to watch and I think I'm going to write a book.

[00:24:41] Scott Maderer: Awesome. Awesome. That would be cool. So you can find out more about Roger over at seagulltechnologiestraining. com. Of course, I'll have a link to that over in the show notes as well.

[00:24:57] Roger, is there anything else you'd like to share with the listener? [00:25:00]

[00:25:01] Roger Pearson: The the training website, by the way, the training website is where I have all of my advanced courses and everything, but I also have a main corporate site at seagulltechnologies. com. And there's all kinds of free stuff over there.

[00:25:15] And there's links to everything I do. There's free courses over there. There's all kinds of articles you can read. And there's links to the YouTube channel and everything else that I do. It's just like one master thing at the corporate side is. Yeah. They can go out there and that. Great. I'll link

[00:25:34] Scott Maderer: that up as well and make sure that's in the show notes. Thanks so

[00:25:36] Roger Pearson: much for being here today. I really enjoyed our conversation. I thank you so much for inviting me.[00:26:00]

[00:26:04] Scott Maderer: Thanks so much for listening to the Inspired Stewardship podcast. As a subscriber and listener, we challenge you to not just sit back and passively listen, but act on what you've heard and find a way to live your calling. If you enjoyed this episode please do us a favor. Go over to inspiredstewardship.

[00:26:28] com slash iTunes rate. All one word, iTunes rate. It'll take you through how to leave a rating and review and how to make sure you're subscribed to the podcast so that you can get every episode as it comes out in your feed. Until next time, invest your time.

[00:26:50] Your

[00:26:50] Scott Maderer: talent and your treasures develop your influence and impact

[00:26:55] Roger Pearson: the world.[00:27:00]

In today's episode, I ask Roger about:

  • His journey from building businesses for himself to becoming a tax expert focused on helping other business owners...  
  • How his faith journey intersected with this shift...
  • Some of the biggest mistakes that business owners make (and it’s not just about taxes)...
  • and more.....

Some of the Resources recommended in this episode: 

I make a commission for purchases made through the following link.

At the end of my life I want to be able to look back and say how many lives did I improve in the course of my life.  – Roger Pearson

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About the Author Scott

Helping people to be better Stewards of God's gifts. Because Stewardship is about more than money.

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