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‘One stop shop’ for financial reporting

Obenland & Nelson now offers full bookkeeping services

Do you dread tax preparation and regular bookkeeping? Does it take too much time? Too much hassle? Wish someone could take over your personal or business finances? Consider Obenland & Nelson Law Offices of Glenwood.

Obenland & Nelson Law Offices has been a staple in Glenwood for legal services since 1938. It has also offered tax preparation services for several years. Last year, Obenland & Nelson introduced its newest offer… bookkeeping services.

Michael E. Barrus, EA, and Jan G. Philipsen, CPA, offer bookkeeping and tax preparation at Obenland & Nelson Law Office in Glenwood. Contributed photo

Michael E. Barrus, EA, and Jan G. Philipsen, CPA, offer bookkeeping and tax preparation at Obenland & Nelson Law Office in Glenwood. Contributed photo

Jan G. Philipsen, CPA, and Michael E. Barrus, EA, head up the tax and bookkeeping services. Philipsen has served as a tax preparer for Obenland & Nelson for many years. Barrus joined the team in January and will be handling both tax preparation and bookkeeping.

“I recently moved to the area,” said Barrus. “I am an enrolled agent and had been working with accounting firms in the Twin Cities for the last few years.”

Being an enrolled agent is a designation awarded by the Internal Revenue System (IRS) based on a series of comprehensive tests. It is considered one of the highest tax credentials. In addition he is also a Certified QuickBooks Pro.

“My experience in the Twin Cities included a variety of clients, from restaurants to day cares to hair salons. Both large businesses and small businesses,” said Barrus. “It was a good range of experience.”

Bookkeeping services offered at Obenland & Nelson include, but are not limited to, QuickBooks setup and training, sales and expense tracking, payroll and all related filings, bank reconciliations, accounts receivable, accounts payable and fixed asset tracking.

There are some true benefits of having the same bookkeeper and tax preparer, said Barrus, and much of that benefit is seen this time of the year as the tax deadline approaches.

“One big benefit I can see right away is if I am doing your books all year, then I don’t have to fix anything when it comes time to do your taxes,” said Barrus. “You are always up to date with your financials. You always have an accurate balance sheet and profit and loss statement. We are a one-stop shop for your business and personal financial reporting needs.”

But perhaps the biggest benefit is time, especially for business owners.

“It frees up a lot of a business owner’s time,” he said. “I often ask a business owner — why did you go into business? Did you get into business to do taxes and bookkeeping? No. They got into business to run their business. So I tell them, ‘Go run your business.’”

And the time saved and the piece of mind gained by having someone like Barrus do your bookkeeping and tax preparation doesn’t need to cost a lot.

“For a small business, it typically costs about $100-120/month for bookkeeping services,” he said.

In some cases, it can also save a business money, as they may need to spend less on full- and part-time employees, saving money on wages and benefits paid out.

Barrus recently moved to Glenwood, but he is very familiar with the area.

Michael Barrus and his wife, Lynette, with two of their six children, Kaitlynn, 17, and Cole, 12.

Michael Barrus and his wife, Lynette, with two of their six children, Kaitlynn, 17, and Cole, 12.

“My wife, Lynette, is from here. Both of us were in the military for 20 years. We are also both retired. I retired from the Navy in 2002, and my wife retired in 2013,” said Barrus.

The Barruses picked Glenwood for a few reasons. One, Mike’s wife, Lynette, grew up in the area. Two, they always enjoyed visiting the area over the years. And three, they were ready to get away from the hustle and bustle of the Twin Cities. The Barruses have six children (ranging from 11 to 33) and nine grandchildren.

Barrus’s introduction into bookkeeping and tax preparation is different than most. After retiring from the Navy in 2002, he turned some of his hobbies and passions into small businesses. He offered taxidermy services, sold guns and was a personal trainer. In each of these ventures, he was well versed in the business, but not as confident in his financials. He decided to do something about it. He got his accounting degree from Rasmussen in 2013. He takes pride in his bookkeeping and tax preparation. He turned a deficiency into a strength. Barrus now enjoys being able to keep other people’s financials in order. And in the true spirit of a military man, when he needs to balance the books, he always accomplishes his mission.

“I think you have to be a little OCD to be a good bookkeeper,” he said. “If you are balancing the books and you are 10 cents off, that will bother you until you figure it out.”

Barrus invites business owners and others to consider the tax preparation and bookkeeping services offered at Obenland & Nelson Law Offices.

For a free consultation, call Mike Barrus or Jan Philipsen at 320-634-4583, or email Mike at Obenland & Nelson is located just off Lake Minnewaska, at 605 S. Lakeshore Drive, Suite 1000 in Glenwood.

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