Thomas Gorczynski is a senior tax consultant whose practice focuses on developing advanced tax reduction strategies for individuals and privately-held businesses, as well as helping taxpayers resolve complex IRS tax problems.
As a nationally recognized speaker and educator on federal tax law matters, Tom has extensive experience representing taxpayers before the IRS and in the United States Tax Court, as well as designing proactive tax reduction strategies for individuals and small business owners.
“Because I have so many different activities and business lines that I operate, it was getting overwhelming to manage them all,” Tom says. “I realized that there were a lot of tasks I didn't need to do so that I could focus on things that are more revenue generating.
“I have one program that has a dedicated source of revenue, [and I decided] I was going to use a portion of that revenue to fund a Virtual Assistant, and then they could also be used for different tasks, possibly in other areas.
“I had been looking for a couple of months and went back and forth on whether I wanted somebody with technical expertise or administrative support. I ultimately realized what I needed was administrative support, not a tax professional.
“And then when I went down that route looking to hire somebody directly, there were just so many roadblocks and problems and vetting and it got overwhelming quickly.”
“When I did my initial consultation [with BELAY], I felt very comfortable. I liked the fact that BELAY takes the time to kind of matchmake. They do a thorough intake process and try to find someone who's a good match based on your needs and also the Virtual Assistant skillset. There are also regular check-ins to make sure that everything is still going once the placement has been made.”
Enter BELAY Virtual Assistant, Deborah Gerl.
“I was able to immediately start working on different tasks that were delegated over to [Deborah],” Tom says. “It basically cut my administrative involvement in that program in half pretty quickly.
“And then kind of identifying other tasks throughout the different things that I do that could be shifted. For example, pulling payment information and reconciling it in my accounting software. That took a huge burden off of my shoulders.
“Also, helping with calendar management because my calendar is terrible just because I'm so busy. Also, my assistant books all of my work trips, hotels and flights, and keeps track of the expenses to make sure that they are within the budget guidelines that I've set.
“[Deborah is] very efficient. I have X number of hours a month, and sometimes I'm short on those hours because everything gets done in a timely fashion. I've never run out of time simply because everything I need to get done gets done in the hours that I've allotted and paid for.
“We originally set out a list of things that she works on about eight to 10 months ago, but next month we're probably going to shift some of those because one task has now been automated without human intervention, so I don't need her to spend time on that, so we'll find something else.
“It's a constant improvement, and if we can automate it so that neither of us can do it, that's great because then there's just more that we can distribute.”
By adding Deborah to his team, Tom began to experience an ROI immediately.
“Honestly, to me, it wasn't even about the dollars, although that was there,” Tom admits. “It was more of being able to be in the office less. That's really what it meant.
“I stick to trying to not work on weekends. And as an entrepreneur that has two businesses, that often is difficult. There are some times when I have to do it, but I do spend less time in the office than I used to. That is something I'm still moving towards more and more as we continue to work together.”
Deborah and Tom hit a stride and got into a good groove from early on.
“It's been great,” Tom says. “She's learned pretty much everything that she needs to know and what needs to get done. I always give feedback on things during our weekly meetings. She lets me know if there's something going on that I haven't seen.
“So it's a collaborative relationship, and I think part of the reason that works is because we have that half-hour meeting every week.”
And, as we all know far too well, communication is key in any relationship. And by staying in constant communication with his VA, Tom has been able to pinpoint how they’ve worked well together and what they’ve accomplished as a team.
“The one program that I have, which is a mastermind group, depending on the month [has] 25 to 30 members, [and] she's the primary contact,” Tom explains.
“So all emails go to her from the members with questions and items for discussion. She puts together all of the PowerPoint presentations for the weekly meetings. I used to do all that, and that used to take easily three to four hours a week.
“We set up standard operating procedures for a lot of different things. If you're going to have a process that's continual that someone is working on, there should be a standard procedure, and that's something you work on together.”
For Tom, his biggest win in hiring a BELAY VA has been not having to be in the office as much.
“The biggest win I've had is being able to cut my time out of the office and try and pair back as close as I can to a normal-ish work week,” Tom says.
“A lot of the things that we're talking about here are intangible, being able to be less stressed, being able to walk away more from the desk, from the office to do other things.
“To me, the return on investment is a no-brainer. “I'm an accountant and I haven't quantified [a BELAY partnership] because I have a strong, intrinsic sense of the value of it. I know it's several times what I put into it, and that will only grow as more things get delegated and worked out together.”
“If somebody is on the fence about getting help, get help because you need it. You're just afraid to commit to saying you need the help because a lot of entrepreneurs think, ‘I can do it all on my own because I'm an entrepreneur.’
“Just take the plunge and try it because, if you plan appropriately, you'll see that it is a win-win for you.”
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