Transition Seasonal Tax Clients Into Year-Round Business
Many of your tax clients only see you once a year. Many would benefit from seeing you more – they just don’t know it. To them, you’re just their “tax person.”
Here’s the good news: You have the opportunity to change this perception by leveraging your upcoming tax-review sessions with your tax clients.
In this guide, I’ll share how you can use your tax-review sessions to shift your reputation from seasonal tax preparer to year-long advisor. From how to prep for your conversations to what to say during the reviews, I’ll give you a playbook for sparking a deeper relationship with your tax clients and building the trust it takes to earn more of the business.
Prior to Your Review Sessions With Tax Clients
Once you identify the tax clients you want to work with more often, go through the following steps before meeting with them.
Evaluate your current working relationship and list ways you think it could grow. Here are a few questions to help you identify client pain points you could solve:
- How could they be better prepared for next year’s tax season?
- What do they lack in their business that you can help solve?
- What actionable insights are they seeking to better understand their business health?
- What are their wish list in terms of business goals?
Decide on some concrete recommendations for your client’s pain points. Pinpoint clear benefits you can offer (for example, cost savings, time savings and accurate data) to make your case, and explain how you’ll do it. If you’re proposing new services, it will be helpful to have pricing information on hand, so your clients have the details they need to make a decision.
If you’re looking to recommend your bookkeeping services, include how cloud-based tools like QuickBooks® Online can help ease the transition by giving them benefits like the following;
- Simultaneous access to books by multiple people.
- Freedom to work whenever and wherever.
- Automatic software updates.
- Easy collaboration for fewer mistakes.
With desktop clients, you can prepare in advance to address potential QuickBooks Online-related questions by reviewing “4 Common QuickBooks Online misperceptions—and how to convince your clients otherwise.”
During Your Review Sessions With Tax Clients
Once you’ve completed your prep work, you’re now ready to discuss with your clients. Here are some steps to make it a smooth, successful conversation.
Start by first reviewing the prepared tax returns, outlining what’s new versus the prior year and what the tax payment implications will be. Also, explain the total cost of your work, including the total hours spent preparing for the returns, so they have a sense of how the current process is impacting their bottom line.
Discuss areas of opportunities that could help your client. Keep it small at first, so they’re not overwhelmed. Focus on the future tax season (since they already trust you with their taxes) and ways you can help them get more money, save time, eliminate hassles, and any other benefits.
For clients who are open to your year-long bookkeeping service, recommend QuickBooks Online as a great starting point. Talk about the key benefits for your clients, which include:
- Better anticipate tax payments.
- Avoid an extension for their taxes.
- Save on tax services, since you won’t have to clean their books all at once.
- Gauge their business health all year long.
- Stay better organized—no more shoebox of receipts.
- Receive advice on a regular basis.
For desktop clients who are open to the cloud, address concerns regarding QuickBooks Online and highlight the key benefits you’ve outlined in your prep work. You can also share this one-pager on “Why QuickBooks Online is right for your business.”
Schedule a follow-up conversation a few weeks after tax season, so you can continue the discussion as appropriate.
Additional Resources to Help Your Transition
- Get your clients started on QuickBooks Online with exclusive discounts; find out more here.
- Help onboard new clients by sharing this “How to get started in QuickBooks Online” manual with them.
Congratulations! You have taken a big step toward evolving your role from a “tax person” to a trusted advisor. Good luck with your journey to transitioning your practice.