TAMPA — When Bill Cummings enrolled at the University of South Florida, he wasn’t quite sure what he wanted to do with his life. He certainly never figured he’d be a best-selling author.
Back at USF he decided to major in finance because he was “always good with numbers.” He graduated in 1988 and three years later earned his license as a certified public account.
The Tampa resident then spent 15 years as chief financial officer of Transamerica Financial Advisors in St. Petersburg prior to founding and serving as president of Cummings Financial Organization in 2008.
With offices in Tampa and St. Petersburg, he and his three partners advise clients on how to best handle their taxes and overall finances.
“Most are small businesses and professional organizations, and we have clients we serve to where working is optional,” said Cummings, 51, a certified tax coach who is pleased with the successful track record he has attained in helping people achieve long-term financial success.
While perceiving himself as highly proficient in matters of financial planning and tax laws, it never occurred to him that he also is skillful at writing about his areas of expertise.
That is until recently.
In December 2013, “Bad Luck or Bad Business,” a paperback he wrote about the 13 most common mistakes made by business owners, was published and, according to him, resulted in positive feedback.
“Why Didn’t My CPA Tell Me That?” a book he co-authored, became available in April and made Amazon’s Best-Sellers list in the category of finance and accounting.
In it, Cummings writes about the importance of being proactive in planning for tax season. Because taxes are a business owner’s biggest expense, he believes it’s imperative to know well in advance about ways to save on them.
It’s not a how-to book, he stressed, but one that expresses the significance of educating yourself about tax loopholes and other financial tips that can help build a sizeable nest egg toward a secure retirement.
Cummings said he is proud of his accomplishment and pleased the book has been so well received.
“Before this, I could never have imagined myself writing, or doing anything else out of my comfort zone,” he said.
Public speaking, he noted, was also something he feared doing, but he’s overcome that obstacle and speaks regularly at various venues about what it takes to succeed in business and in life.
“One of my goals is to get where working is optional, and when I retire from this business I hope to be a professional speaker,” he said. “I love it.”
Joyce McKenzie can be reached at [email protected].