Intuit® Tax Council Member Profile: Dawn Brolin, CPE, CFE

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Dawn BrolinWelcome to another article in an ongoing series featuring members of the Intuit® Tax Council, a group of forward-thinking tax professionals who help lead positive change in the professional tax community, and provide inputs and insights that help shape the Intuit ProConnect™ business strategy.

In this profile, meet Dawn Brolin, CPA, CFE, owner of Powerful Accounting, Inc., in Windham, Conn.

Scott Cytron: Tell us about your practice.

Dawn Brolin: In addition to tax preparation, tax and accounting advisory services, and fraud casework, I also specialize in IRS representation. We have a staff of three and everyone works remotely. We do a small amount of bookkeeping, but that is not our focus. I prefer to refer out the bookkeeping clients to Out of the Box Technology, and they refer tax work to us. Throughout the years, I have found that when you truly identify the work you really love to do and stop doing the work you don’t love to do, your practice will grow and your happiness at work will increase tremendously.

We serve a variety of service-based clients, including e-commerce businesses, restaurants, retail services, and contractors, as well as corporate clients with our advisory, payroll, tax, and forensic accounting services.

SC: Why is the Intuit Tax Council important to the profession?

DB: I feel that it’s an honor to serve on the Council because it provides the opportunity to give back to the profession, and help lead and shape positive change in the professional tax community.

I have used Intuit software since the very beginning of my business, back before I became a CPA or owned Powerful Accounting. It really was a catalyst for me to build a professional business—and the suite of products Intuit offers is really a total solution for any tax professional. It’s exciting to have an opportunity to provide insights from a practitioner perspective to help create an even better experience for all users.

I am a firm believer that we can help more people when we work together to collaborate. Being part of the Council is an amazing opportunity to work with like-minded professionals who are dedicated to making a positive impact, while advancing tax issues and services on a national and global scale.

SC: Does your firm provide advisory and/or tax advisory services? Why is it important for a firm to offer advisory?

Powerful Accounting offers a full range of business advisory services and tax advisory services. Recently, I implemented new financial planning and analysis software by Jirav, specifically to expand this area of my practice. 

As a trusted advisor to my clients, I am always looking for ways I can add more value to those relationships. Advisory services are one of the ways I do that, and it is the future of the profession. Helping my clients understand the meaning and story behind their numbers means that we can make more informed decisions, so they feel more in control of their business.

I do a lot of tax advisory work, from tax planning and entity selection to IRS representation and fraud work. This is a key area of my practice, and I think it is one of the places where being an advisor will truly add a ton of value, helping clients navigate some potentially devastating issues, and being that calm in a real or perceived storm.

From a fraud examiner perspective, I look at advisory from at least two angles—one being the forensic accounting aspect, looking for potential or actual sources of potential fraud risk, and another being how a business can proactively protect itself. 

SC: What kind of Intuit software do you use?

DB: I use Intuit Lacerte® Tax, QuickBooks® Online Accountant, QuickBooks Desktop and Enterprise, QuickBooks Time, and QuickBooks Payments.

SC: What was your very first job?

DB: My first job was at Papa Gino’s restaurant, and I could also count the small job I had when I was in middle school picking apples at an apple orchard. I can’t remember how much I was paid, but I think it was by the bushel.

SC: How can tax professionals keep up with all the changes in tax laws and regulations?

DB: One of the key ways is, of course, staying connected to the organizations that are updating us regularly, as well as using tools available to us for updates on these issues. Intuit has the Tax Pro Center, which provides very timely tax updates and information. I also subscribe to bulletins that come directly from the IRS. Of course, CPE is essential with webinars and other events that can help you stay on top of compliance.

Intuit’s suite of tax software provides in-product updates on changes in various e-filing matters, which make it much easier to keep in compliance with tax law changes. 

SC: If you were stranded on a desert island with access to just one kind of technology, what would it be?

DB: Like most people, it would be my iPhone. If you haven’t already got to the point where you can run your practice and your life from a phone, then, in my opinion, it’s time to get the right apps and training to be able to do so. Our clients are expecting to work with us this way, and we need to be prepared for that.

SC: Thanks Dawn!

Editor’s note: Dawn has written several articles for the Tax Pro Center. Check them out.

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