You are thinking of becoming a consultant. Should I incorporate? Is setting up as a sole proprietor better or forming an LLC? How do I pay myself? How to save taxes? Should I hire an accountant? Is social media the best option to promote myself?

Fear no more. Come and attend our Freelancers Forum. This half-day forum provides freelancers and those hoping to learn more about starting a business the opportunity to get an intensive education on how to be successful. With everything from nuts and bolts specifics to advice on how to network, this event is a can’t-miss chance to get your business up and running.

Our speakers include an Enrolled Agent, an IRS representative and several experienced business owners who have done it all. They are all eager to share their knowledge with you!

Monday, May 23, 2022 - Room 213

Time Presentation Title (click for description) Speaker(s)
1:30 - 1:45 PM Introduction Raymond Lee and Margaret Hung
1:45 - 2:00 PM Look Before You Leap - First Steps Venky Chakravarthy
2:00 - 2:15 PM When Will Be a Good Time to Become an Independent Consultant? Raymond Lee
2:15 - 2:45 PM Better Business Through Better Records Evelyn Dyson Lee
2:45 - 3:00 PM Advantages and Disadvantages of Independent Consulting Josh Horstman
3:00 - 3:30 PM Break  
3:30 - 3:45 PM Finding Work and Networking Richann Watson and Deanna Schreiber-Gregory
3:45 - 4:00 PM Setting Rates Josh Horstman
4:00 - 4:20 PM How to Prepare for a Tax Audit Evelyn Dyson Lee and Margaret Hung
4:20 - 5:00 PM Roundtable Discussion - Tips All
Freelance Forum Participants Evelyn Dyson Lee, Margaret Hung and Raymond Lee

Presentation Descriptions

Look Before You Leap - First Steps
Venky Chakravarthy, Takeda
1:45 - 2:00 PM

Have you thought through your decision to become an Independent Consultant/Contractor? What is your motivation? What is your personal situation?
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When Will Be a Good Time to Become an Independent Consultant?
Raymond Lee, Ray Information Systems
2:00 - 2:15 PM

When someone wants to become an independent consultant, one would need to think about a few factors before making a final decision. What to prepare, what are the main reasons, and, most importantly, timing. Although everyone’s situation can be different, let's use the “average” Statistical Programmer skillset as an example.
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Better Business Through Better Records
Evelyn Dyson Lee, IRS
2:15 - 2:45 PM

Want to pay lots of taxes? Then ignore your recordkeeping. Good recordkeeping is critical to managing your business—and staying in good graces with state and federal authorities.  Join us for a session focused on recordkeeping for small businesses, featuring IRS Stakeholder Liaison, Evelyn Dyson Lee. Evelyn will review basic recordkeeping requirements essential for every small business.  
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Advantages & Disadvantages of Independent Consulting
Josh Horstman, Nested Loop Consulting
2:45 - 3:00 PM

Independent consulting has some amazing benefits over traditional employment, but there are some drawbacks as well. This session will discuss various advantages and disadvantages of independent consulting to help you determine if it might be a good fit for you!
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Finding Work and Networking
Richann Watson, DataRich Consulting and Deanna Schreiber-Gregory, Juxdapoze, LLC
3:30 - 3:45 PM

Just declaring that you are a consultant isn't enough to get paid. You have to have clients! In this session, you will learn some useful strategies to finding work and how a strong network can be the most important resource of all.
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Setting Rates
Josh Horstman, Nexted Loop Consulting
3:45 - 4:00 PM

How much should an independent consultant charge? It's a tough question and the answer is … it depends! As a consultant, you want to remain competitive but also don't want to leave money on the table. This session will discuss a number of factors to consider when trying to come up with that elusive hourly billing rate.
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How to Prepare for a Tax Audit
Evelyn Dyson Lee, IRS and Margaret Hung, MLW Consulting
4:00 - 4:20 PM

How to prepare for a tax audit? How to increase your chance of a successful tax audit.
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Presenter Biographies

Venky Chakravarthy

Venky Chakravarthy has been a SAS user since 1991. He has provided contract Statistical, PK/PD, Outcomes Research and Clinical Programming services in multiple therapeutic areas for the Life Sciences industry over the past 20 years. He is the author of numerous SAS papers. He has presented at local, regional, national and international SAS and industry specific forums. Besides the papers that he has contributed, he has also been an invited speaker at SAS Global Forum and PharmaSUG. Venky graduated from Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland OH with a PhD in Social Welfare.

Evelyn Dyson Lee

Evelyn Dyson Lee is a Sr. Stakeholder Liaison with the Internal Revenue Service. As a Sr. Stakeholder Liaison, she focuses on the local engagement of the payroll, practitioner, and industry stakeholder organizations to provide information about the policies, practices, and procedures the IRS uses to ensure compliance with the tax laws. Evelyn feels that if we provide the taxpaying public with the information, education, and tools needed to understand taxes then tax compliance will increase. Evelyn enjoys reading and traveling in her spare time.

Josh Horstman

Josh Horstman is an independent statistical programming consultant and trainer based in Indianapolis with over 20 years’ experience using SAS in the life sciences industry. He specializes in analyzing clinical trial data, and his clients have included major pharmaceutical corporations, biotech companies, and research organizations. Josh is a SAS Certified Advanced Programmer who loves coding and is a frequent presenter at PharmaSUG, SAS Global Forum, and other industry conferences.

Margaret Hung

Margaret Hung opened her LLC biz after working as a clinical data programmer in a major pharmaceutical company at RTP, NC. She has been involved in PharmaSUG since its inception in the early 90’s. She is also an active IRS Enrolled Agent.

Raymond Lee

Raymond Lee has a Master's degree in Mathematical Statistics from UC Santa Barbara. He has over 30 years of SAS programming experience in the pharmaceutical and health care industries and became an independent consultant/advisor after ~20 years of hand-on management experience.

Deanna Schreiber-Gregory

Deanna Schreiber-Gregory is a federal contractor and Independent Consultant for Biostatistics, Research Methods, and Data Management. She has presented as a contributed and invited speaker at over 50 local, regional, national, and global SAS user group conferences since 2011.

Richann Watson

Richann Watson is an independent statistical programmer and CDISC consultant based in Ohio. She has been using SAS since 1996 with most of her experience being in the life sciences industry. She specializes in analyzing clinical trial data and implementing CDISC standards. Additionally, she is a member of the CDISC ADaM team and various sub-teams. Richann loves to code and is an active participant and leader in the SAS User Group community. She has presented numerous papers, posters, and training seminars at SAS Global Forum, PharmaSUG, and various regional and local SAS user group meetings. Richann holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics and computer science from Northern Kentucky University and master's degree in statistics from Miami University.