Spotlight on ‘Backpack CPA’ and website developer Vimal Bava

Our Spotlight series highlights the careers and lives of tax professionals around the world. This week’s Spotlight focuses on Vimal Bava, a chartered accountant and website developer in Bryant, Ark., a suburb of Little Rock.

Bava markets himself as “The Backpack CPA” because of the digital backpack he carries. He advises accountants, bookkeepers and other tax professionals on how to create their own marketing stories to build their brand. He also serves as a technology advisor and mindset coach for tax professionals.

Outside of work, Bava enjoys playing cricket and pickleball, and spends time with his 9-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter. “Both are tax season babies — they always ask for a big birthday, and I have to give them the tax season excuse,” he said.

What is your official title and what does it mean? Key Problem Solver: I enjoy designing and creating solutions for various pain points. I developed to collect and store IRS Form W-9. I started working on this system in 2019 out of frustration with customers not getting W-9s, and then every January we went on this marathon of chasing information from contractors and vendors to help customers submit their 1099s . I started using it internally for my own clients and later had the system updated and improved. I made it available to everyone around March 2022. I manage the system and more or less wear all the hats in running the getW9 system and business.

Leisure: book, audiobook or podcast? Book. I am reading several books on sales and human psychology. As part of the getw9 journey, I’ve learned that building and developing is the easiest part, and selling and selling is the hardest part. Some books are: “To Sell Is Human” by Daniel H. Pink and “Blue Ocean Strategy” by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne. I hated reading in high school and college, but now I really enjoy it.

Tax is a huge subject. What is your area of ​​interest? Working on partnerships that own rental real estate.

What’s the last movie or show you watched and loved (DVD, Netflix, or in theaters)? The Netflix series ‘Explained’, most recently the episode about chess.

What university did you attend and what did you study? University of Central Arkansas for my bachelor’s degree and Ball State University for my master’s degree – accounting at both.

Go to pick-me-up: coffee or tea? Coffee (black, no sugar or milk).

What is the best tax or financial advice anyone has ever given you? Building wealth is like Lego: it takes time and patience to build brick by brick. Don’t look for quick results, take your time and enjoy the process.

If you didn’t work in the tax office, what would your dream job be? Coding: developing software solutions.

If you had the option to make one change in the tax world – an extra credit, an unauthorized deduction, whatever – what would it be? I would like to introduce a 10-question test that you must pass before getting an IRS Employer Identification Number, especially if you are applying for an EIN for a limited liability company.

Favorite food, snack or candy during tax season or other busy time? Pistachios.

Which tax news or movement has had the most impact on your practice or clients in the past year? For 2021, probably the ability to take an above-the-line deduction for donations since most didn’t have enough to itemize.

If you received a large tax refund check right now, what would you do with it? Buy some I-bonds and put the rest in my kids savings account.

You can find more information about Bava on LinkedIn and beyond Twitter.

You can also learn more about Bava’s accounting firm here and his consulting and coaching business here.

If you would like to recommend a tax professional for the spotlight, send your suggestion to [email protected] with subject: Spotlight. Include the following information: name, title, email address, and geographic area (city/state/country) of the tax professional.

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