About Us

As the President of the CPA firm Highpoint Accounting Inc., Susan Bannwart-Mairo offers over 20 years of accounting, business coaching, software consulting and tax experience. She supports home-based, small and mid-size businesses.

In addition to operating her own business, Susan believes in giving back to the community. She is a member of the Chicago QuickBooks ProAdvisor Group, Illinois CPA Society, PTA and former member of the Rotary Club of Schaumburg-Hoffman Estates. Susan is Past President of her Illinois CPA Society O’Hare Chapter and also Past Treasurer of the Rotary Club.

Susan is an Illinois Licensed and Registered Certified Public Accountant. She’s also an Advanced QuickBooks® ProAdvisor and certified in QuickBooks Pro, Premier, Enterprise and QuickBooks Online.


Our staff has over 15 years experience in training and supporting clients in all versions of QuickBooks® including payroll.

Get peace of mind knowing your personal and business finances are in order.

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Recent Blog Posts

20% Deduction for Pass-Through Entity Owners and Investors in Real Estate

Included in the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” that takes effect for years 2018-2025, is the Section 199A which is known as the 20% Deduction for Pass-Through Entity Owners and Investors in Real Estate.  The following are eligible to take advantage of Section 199A: Sole proprietorships S corporations Partnerships Multiple-member LLCs treated as parnerships Schedule E real estate investors Trust and estates with an interest in a pass-through entity Qualified cooperatives Real estate investment trusts The 20% Deduction works as follows in its most basic form: Deduction is 20% of “qualified business income(QBI) from a partnership, S corporation or sole proprietorship QBI is the net amount of items of income, gain, deduction and loss with respect to a trade or business Business must be conducted within the United States Single individual with taxable income of $157,500 or less and $315,000 or less for Married Filing Joint may take the Section 199A. Above these thresholds the rules become more complicated and not all trades or businesses are eligible to take the Section 199A. If you would like to learn more about this tax strategy, please call Susan at...

Illinois Income Tax Update

As you have heard, the Illinois legislators passed an income tax hike earlier this month which is effective July 1, 2017.  What does this mean for you? Illinois income tax rates increased from 3.75 percent to 4.95 percent for individuals, trusts and estates. Beginning with tax year 2017, individuals filing married filing joint returns with income exceeding $500,000 and $250,000 for all other returns may not claim the following: Personal exemption allowance K-12 Education Expense Credit Property Tax Credit Corporate tax rates (excluding S Corporations) increased from 5.25 percent to 7 percent. Beginning with tax year 2018, the Domestic Production Activities Deduction allowed from profitable corporations and partnerships which flow to your federal tax returns must be added back to income on the Illinois tax returns. This income tax rate hike means paying an extra $12 on each $1,000 of income.   However, if you earn at least $501,000 as a married couple, your tax hike is more as you lose the personal allowances and above-mentioned credits. You can minimize your tax liability by saving more in your 401(k)s, IRAs and business retirement accounts.  Retirement income is not taxable in Illinois as of yet.  You can also minimize your tax liability by saving money for your kids’ college education in one of Illinois two 529 college savings plans.  However, another state’s 529 college savings plan is not deductible.  You will not ever pay taxes on monies contributed to Illinois 529 accounts or its earnings if the funds pay for college. If you would like to learn more about this tax strategy, please call Susan at...

2017 Mileage Rates

The Internal Revenue Service has issued its 2017 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes. Beginning Jan. 1, 2017, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) is: 53.5 cents per mile for business miles driven, down from 54 cents in 2016. 17 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes, down from 19 cents in 2016. 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations, same rate as in 2016. You always have the option of calculating the actual costs of using their vehicle rather than using the standard mileage rates. You may not use the business standard mileage rate for a vehicle after using any depreciation method under the Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS) or after claiming a Section 179 deduction for that vehicle. In addition, the business standard mileage rate cannot be used for more than four vehicles used simultaneously. If you would like to learn more about this tax strategy, please call Susan at...

Deducting Business Education Expenses

The rules for business education deductions are as follows: You must already work in the business the education relates.¹ You must have already met the minimum educational requirements for the work.² If your education meets the above requirements, the rules let you deduct almost all of your related expenses, including³ Tuition, books, supplies, lab fees, and similar items Certain transportation and travel costs; and Other educational expenses, such as the cost of research for papers. If you are an independent contractor or a sole proprietor, you report your qualifying business education expenses on Schedule C which reduces your self-employment, federal and state income taxes. If your business operates as a corporation, making you an employee, the business can directly pay or reimburse you for the costs.  The corporation takes the deduction, and you receive the free education. Another way to take business education expenses is as Start-up Costs. If you take business related course(s) after starting your business, you can claim your education costs as a “start-up” expense.  Start-up expenses are costs related to the investigation, purchase, or creation of a new business that would qualify as deductible expenses if you incurred them for an existing business in the same field.4  You can elect to deduct up to $5,000 of start-up costs in the year your business begins, reduced (but not below zero) by the amount by which the costs exceed $50,000.  You then deduct the remainder of your start-up costs using straight-line amortization over the 15-year period beginning the month your business starts.5 If you close your business before the start-up costs are fully amortized, you deduct any...