SARA ARNOLD, CPA, MST
Tax Strategy Advisor
Sara has worked in tax consulting and preparation for 10+ years: at a national consulting and accounting firm, as a tax examiner for the state of Colorado, and in her own private practice, at One Small Step, Inc.
Sara is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). She also holds a Master’s of Science in Taxation from the University of Colorado at Denver. There, she researched, developed, and co-created the M.S. Taxation program.
Outside of partnering with MARGIN
She enjoys spending time with her dog Buddy, street art, watching shoot-’em-up action movies like John Wick, and exploring new places to find a properly brewed cup of coffee.
“NON-TRADITIONAL” BAPTISM INTO TAXES
My first exposure to taxes was when I was 15 years old.
I’m not sure how many parents encourage their kids to sit down and do their own taxes. Mine did. At a time in the mid-90s, when computers were not common, my return was completed and ticked-and-tied. With a final copy recorded in pen by my dad as the final reviewer.
It would be many years before I saw taxes as a way to help people, but those early experiences solidified the importance of this skill for me.
BUILDING THE MASTERS IN TAX PROGRAM AT COLORADO UNIVERSITY
Shortly after working for the IRS Volunteer Income Tax, I went to graduate school. At the time, the only option for going deeper into my field was a Master of Accountancy program, instead of a Master’s of Tax. Where you actually learn to read “the code” (over 67,000 pages long).
So, I decided to leave college for a while. Build the program myself. Get it approved so I could graduate with a Master’s of Tax. At the same time, I applied for a job with the State of Colorado – Department of Revenue.
Then, as soon as I received the news that the Master’s of Tax had been approved. I was the first graduate of the program, and the only one who walked down the aisle to receive the degree that semester.
WORKING IN PUBLIC ACCOUNTING AND STUDYING FOR THE CPA
Despite claims we worked closely with our clients, I actually never got to spend time hearing about their struggles, dreams, or goals. Something was missing.
MAYBE I’LL BUY A TAX PRACTICE
As I learned about their experiences, two topics kept coming up over and over again: a wish for more proactive tax planning opportunities, and a desire for someone to help with retirement planning. I knew I needed to team up with a great financial advisor.
After meeting with 30 financial advisors, I finally met Eric.
The rest, as they say, is history.