This is a legacy web site and some information may be out-of-date. For more recent information and postings, see

QuickBooks Certified ProAdvisorFreshBooks certified accountant
Tony Novak  800-609-0683
a passionate advocate for small business success

advice quoted in The Wall Street Journal and Money Magazine

TN photo


"Welcome to my personal web site. I am a Philadelphia-based accountant with 30 years of experience focused on providing online services to professionals and small business owners throughout the U.S. I specialize in compensation and benefits planning and have run several small businesses handling everything from bookkeeping to strategic planning.

Comments, inquiries and feedback are always welcome."

Plan now to reduce the bite of 2015 taxes!

A small investment in tax planning now pays big returns with your next tax filing

Legal tax shelters are available to everyone who takes the time to consider the options available and builds smart tax planning into their overall financial plan. The most commonly used legal income tax shelter strategies fall into one of five categories:

1) business organization,

2) accounting practices,

3) retirement plans,

4) real estate,

5) executive benefits.

Schedule an easy flat fee consultation now to identify and explore the strategies that may have the best impact in your unique situation.

Don't be tripped up by the Affordable Care Act!

Tens of thousands of small businesses like yours are caught owing unnecessary excise tax penalties for 2015 simply because they did not modify their employee health plans in time to meet new 2015 regulations under the Affordable Care Act. The excise tax penalty is $100 for each covered employee per day. Don't allow your firm to be one of the victims! Act now to avoid this harsh tax penalty. See these two blog posts for more information:

  1. What health plan options are available to employers who wish to help employees afford the cost of health care?
  2. What should an employer do who has a health plan that may trigger an excise tax?

Received an IRS or state income tax audit notice?

Let me handle the entire response. It is important to contact me as soon as possible to prepare a timely response. Please have a copy of the audit letter and your tax return available.

15 reasons to put me on your tax team this year. Which are most important to you?

  1. Direct IRS E-filer status means fast refunds
  2. Clear published prices are lower than the regional average rates
  3. Decades of experience with small businesses, non-profits and affluent individuals
  4. State filing available in all 50 states
  5. Professional training in tax law and planning focused on maximizing your savings
  6. Backed by industry-leading software and tax research 
  7. Integration with QuickBooks and other popular accounting programs
  8. Competitive pricing based on published price guide
  9. Secure online document handling and storage
  10. Online service: no face-to-face meeting required unless you request it
  11. Certified Public Accountant able to represent you before the IRS if necessary
  12. Audit response is included in the base fee
  13. Fast personal service
  14. Direct personal access via cell phone and online (Skype, Face Time, Google+)
  15. Free follow-up tax planning


e-filerCall now for priority service.


Better information leads to better business decisionsfinancial planning

If you are not getting accurate, timely and reliable information about your business, talk with me about how to utilize new technology to cut costs and improve results. Many online accounting and financial service providers offer discounted rates or extended free trials for new accounts referred by a CPA who has worked with the firm. Ask about how deals for QuickBooks, Vend, Balance and others can improve the work flow and profitability of your business.

Checklists and Organizers

I'm a strong supporter of using checklists and organizers as primary tools in the tax and financial planning process. Checklists are already widely used across many other industries and even the World Health Organization endorses the use of a checklist to ensure safe surgery environment for patients. Yet not everyone knows about or uses these tools in tax and financial planning. Some financial planning industry leaders think that checklists should become a standard within the financial planning process and I think that we will see this standard evolve over time as the industry matures. Checklists help to organize ideas, facilitate discussion and help promote uniform standards of quality within the planning process. This is a list of checklists I've used that are available online free of charge. The data organizer (highlighted in bold below), is the most comprehensive and likely the most useful if you are considering hiring an adviser.
  1. Tax planning checklist
  2. Small business accounting system setup checklist
  3. Checklist of health insurance savings strategies
  4. Accountants checklist when client or client's family member faces imminent death
  5. Estate planning checklist
  6. Financial planning checklist for unmarried couples
  7. Financial planning / tax planning data organizer
  8. Financial adviser interview checklist
  9.  Small business health plan compliance checklist
  10.  50+ employee health plan checklist
  11. OnlineAdviser initial financial planning consult checklist
  12. Troubleshooting checklist for family limited partnerships
  13. 401(k) fees checklist
  14. Two Page / 30 Minute Business Plan Template

Small businesses face higher taxes in 2015small business taxes

Smart business owners and their advisers are increasingly turning to tax planning to address the loss of tax deductions and the increased wage and income tax costs brought on by the Affordable Care act and other changes. There is no patent solution that applies to every small business. Every business is unique and needs to weight the cost saving options in light of its own financial situation. Tony Novak's list of hot topics for small business was included in the July 2014 edition of New Jersey CPA magazine. An article "Top ten easy tax shelters" is meant to provide ideas for discussion.

Managing the cost of accounting services

Want to know how much accountants charge to prepare income tax returns? See the new national survey results for 2013. Also, it makes sense to compare the cost of DIY services with the risk of missed deductions or errors. For some, it makes sense to do your own but at higher income levels it always makes sense to use a third party preparer. Keep in mind these are averages rates of all tax preparers in the U.S. I'd prefer to see clients spend less spent on tax preparation and more on tax strategy and financial planning so that is usually reflected in my own pricing.

Obamacare's impact on small businessObamacare

The complete PowerPoint presentation for the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants Webinar delivered November 4, 2013 to reporters and CPA members is available for reference or download.

Tax planning made easytax planning made easy

Shrinking your personal or business  tax bill is probably easier than you realize. Tax planning is the process of systematically looking for legal ways to reduce taxes that fit into your overall financial plan. Tax planning is quite different from tax return preparation... (read more)

How to avoid the new Medicare tax

There are two ways to avoid the new ACA Medicare tax that would otherwise cost average upper middle class taxpayer an additional $2,000 per year. The first way is to avoid triggering the tax at all. These tax strategies are most effective if planning starts well in advance. The second approach is to minimize the basis of the tax assessment after it is triggered. It is important to know where you fall under the new tax law. A tax review and planning session is the best way to know for sure. This can be done in person, by telephone or via video conference (Skype, Google+, Facetime).

Opinions expressed are the solely those of the author and do not represent the position of any other person, company or entity mentioned in the article. Information is from sources believed to be reliable but cannot be guaranteed. Any accounting, business or tax advice contained in this communication, including attachments and enclosures, is not intended as a thorough, in-depth analysis of specific issues or a substitute for a formal opinion, nor is it sufficient to avoid tax-related penalties. Tony Novak operates as an independent adviser under the trademarks "Freedom Benefits", "OnlineAdviser" and "OnlineNavigator" but is not a representative, agent, broker, producer or navigator for any securities broker dealer firm, federal or state health insurance marketplace or qualified health plan carrier. He has no financial position in any stocks mentioned. Novak does work as an accountant, agent, adviser, writer, consultant, marketer, reviewer, endorser, producer, lead generator or referrer to other companies including the companies listed in the articles on this web site.   |  (800) 609-0683  |  Cell/Text: 856-723-0294  |