Keith Locke Certified Public Accountant

Keith Locke
Certified Public Accountant
Saint Petersburg, Florida

Contact Information
Accepting New Clients
Philosophy, or How to Have Lots of Friends
A Note About Getting Your Data to Me
Client Confidentiality and Your Privacy
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Thank you for visiting! My name is Keith Locke, and I am a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) living and working in Pinellas County, Florida. Pinellas County is in the Tampa Bay area, which--for the geographically impaired--is on the Gulf Coast of Florida. It is one of the loveliest places in the United States to live.

I maintain a diversified accounting practice serving privately owned businesses and individuals in the Saint Petersburg / Pinellas County area.

You will find most of the information about me on this page. Sit back, relax, have a cup of coffee, and let's get acquainted!

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Contact Information

Okay, let's get some of the contact information out of the way because it's a little unusual. Mail receiving at my office is not secure, so nothing important should be sent to my physical office location. The mailing address is actually a mailbox that works for all types of shipping whether it be regular mail, certified mail, Federal Express, Airborne Express, or UPS. The employees there can sign for packages and certified mail.

Let me interject that I am a total nut for security and privacy. Im my view, a mailbox that is open to the public is not secure.

Address for sending mail, packages, tax data, etc.
Keith Locke, CPA
4604 49th St N, #111
St Petersburg, FL 33709-3842
To send data by email, first get the data into pdf format if possible. Do NOT encrypt the pdf. If you scan it yourself, please use at least 300 dpi resolution. The default of 100 dpi is almost unreadable.

I can read lots of other formats, including png, jpg, tif, bmp, etc. but pdf is the most convenient.

Then encrypt the files into a zip file using a password! This is very important!

Email the encrypted file to me. The password should NEVER be emailed. You can text it to the above phone or call me with the password. Do not ever, please, send a password via a separate email. Do not ever, please, FAX a password. Only send passwords via text or voice. This is for your protection. Identity theft is at an all-time high.

Putting files into zip files is easy. Linux users simply use zip with the "-e" option. Windows users have several free programs available, including the old free standby WinZip. There are also some programs for Apple computers, with which I am not as familiar, including iZip and WinZip Mac. Also, I assume that if you can send me an encrypted zip file, then you can also receive and unzip one also.

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I began my accounting education at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas. In December 1980, I moved to Denton, Texas and transferred to North Texas State University. There I enrolled in the five-year accounting program, The way the program worked, I had to earn a Master of Science degree to be awarded the Bachelor of Science degree. Therefore when I graduated in May 1984, I got two diplomas at once.
The five-year program had three choices of emphasis: auditing, taxation, and oil & gas. My emphasis was taxation.

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After graduating in May 1984, I worked a little over a year for one small CPA firm and two years for another small CPA firm. In December 1987 I started my own accounting practice.

Over the years I have done perdiem work for some other CPAs and a few various other enterprises; however, the main emphasis has been on my own accounting business. Most of my clients are individuals and small businesses.

I have represented clients in IRS audits and IRS collections. I have prepared audited financial statements, reviewed financial statements, projected financial statements, and compiled financial statements.
I have prepared tax returns for clients with investments in oil wells, low-income housing, rental real estate, land, gold, stocks, bonds, options, horses, cattle, and dogs.

My clients have been individuals, corporations, partnerships, limited liability companies, trusts, estates, and associations.

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Accepting New Clients

General Acceptance Guideline

I reserve the right to refuse service to anyone, and I screen all new clients through a personal meeting unless they are a referral from an existing client or another CPA I know and trust. (Thus, I actually have some clients that I have never met--doing business together strictly through the mail and by telephone and email.)

Clients Accepted Without Referrals

Effective January 1, 2007, I accept clients without referral only if they meet certain special criteria. These are as follows:

Businesses needing monthly compiled financial statements
Friends and acquaintances who are invited to become clients

Other Clients Accepted Only By Referral

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Outside of my family and myself, my clients are the most important people in the world. Clients are not an interruption of my work, they are my work. Most of my clients also become friends, and that is the way I like it. If you become a client of mine, then you have become a very special person. I will be available for you from early in the morning until late in the evening. Your tax returns will be done before mine. Your questions will be answered to the best of my ability. And I only ask a few things in return.

I ask, first, that my clients pay promptly. Most services, like tax returns, are paid for upon delivery. If you come to my office to pick up a tax return, please bring your'll save you making a second trip.
I ask that you be honest with me. I can't always tell when a client or potential client is lying, but I have a reasonably fine-tuned crap detector. It's better that you don't try.

I ask that you be honest with the government. One of my best clients over the years once told me, "Keith, I don't ever want to be President, but I'd like to be able to run for President if I wanted to without worrying about my tax returns being looked at by the public." That is honesty! Okay, maybe that is going a little overboard for most people, but I want to differentiate between tax avoidance and tax evasion. Evasion is illegal, and I won't help you do it. If your goal is to cheat the government, do us both a favor and go somewhere else. Life is too short. Tax avoidance is legal, and that's my job.

Finally, I ask that you understand that there are many clients and only one of me. During tax season, especially, work comes in faster than it goes out. If I get a cold or flu or have a family emergency, there is no backup staff to do anything until I get back. It hasn't happened yet, but some year a family emergency may happen during tax season. Therefore I always ask that my clients get extension information to me before the end of March. Some do, and some don't. So far it has worked out, but you should be aware of the risk.

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Sending Data to Me

I mentioned above HOW to send your tax data to me. I want to emphasize, for anyone who might be new to the concept, that it is not absolutely necessary to bring your tax or financial data to me in person. You are perfectly welcome to send it by regular mail, certified mail, email, FAX, Federal Express, Airborne Express, or UPS. (Actually I discourage regular mail because of the risk of loss; however, clients do send me stuff by regular mail.)

If you and I are rather "new" with each other, I am going to be a little sensitive about sending you a completed product without prior payment. After we have had years of experience with each other, I won't feel quite so sensitive. It's been well over a decade since anyone tried to skip paying their accounting fee, and I'd like to keep it that way. I do NOT build a "lost fee" factor into my billings.

Perhaps you will want to send data to me, and perhaps you'll want to come in in person. I have clients around the country, and it would be a long long trip for many of them. So, especially if you don't like driving in the traffic, think about the possibilities. Naturally, I always enjoy visiting with my clients in person. That is so much more enjoyable--especially since most of my clients are friends. You choose, and I'll work with you to the best of my ability!

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Client Confidentiality and Your Privacy

Your data is private. Except for the following exception, I don't share it or publish it:

If the IRS wants to do so, they have a right to look at my files. If that makes you nervous, we probably ought to talk about it. Accountants don't have the same privileged information that attorneys have. It's the law, and it's that way for a reason.

If you need tax information from me for a third party, such as a mortgage company or insurance company, you need to contact me and let me know who will be calling or writing and from what company. Otherwise, I won't even confirm that you are a client. "Joe who? Never heard of him." Laugh all you want, but it's for your protection!

Thanks for Visiting Keith Locke, CPA

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