Growing your accounting firm to include tax preparation can quickly increase your revenues if you include the correct ingredients and build a good foundation. The most important ingredients include knowledge in tax law, a robust tax software and a good marketing plan.
At Poulos Accounting, we provide a variety of bookkeeping, accounting and tax services to small business clients. Here is our #RecipeForSuccess for adding tax services to your accounting practice.
What is a #RecipeforSuccess? Developed by QuickBooks ProAdvisors®, the #RecipeforSuccess campaign provides key ingredients and steps for accounting pros and their small business clients to achieve success.
- Marketing plan and firm website
- Secure portal
- Quality and robust tax software, such as Intuit® ProConnect™ tax software
- Reviews from clients
- Education in tax preparation and annual CPE
Step 1: Your vision to expand your accounting firm by including tax services is the starting point, and one of the key ingredients. Laying out a good vision and path into the tax sector is important because it can lead to growth without damaging your existing practice. Preparing tax returns is not as simple and easy as it seems, and tends to get inexperienced tax preparers in trouble.
Step 2: Develop your marketing plan with a specific approach on how you plan to grow and segment into tax preparation. Your marketing plan should include a specific focus the type of tax returns you will prepare and how to acquire those types of tax clients. You can’t be everything to everyone, and sometimes it is good to turn down business if they are not your target client. You need to develop a niche and become great at preparing those kinds of tax returns. Don’t prepare complicated returns that are beyond your capabilities and knowledge because they can lead the client and yourself into problems if the return is audited. Additionally, build a firm website if you don’t already have one, so that prospective clients can read about your firm and learn about the services you offer.
Step 3: Purchase a secure portal system, either as a standalone package or one that can interface with your firm website. Being able to work electronically and remotely is crucial during tax season, when time is the most precious commodity. Offering a secure portal to your tax clients will allow you to be more efficient with far less headaches, which ultimately leads to higher revenues and bottom line profits. There are many options for secure portals, but one that interfaces with various tax software packages and is affordable is SmartVault.
Step 4: Purchase a quality and robust tax software that provides you the ability to prepare a wide variety of tax returns. As you grow, your tax business you will need a software package that provides the capability to prepare more complex tax returns. It’s difficult to switch software once you become comfortable and accustomed to using a package, so doing research and selecting a software that is a good fit for your business is vital to your success.
Step 5: We live in a world that is full of technological resources, offering consumers information at the touch of a button. It’s important to obtain reviews from existing and new tax clients that you can include on your firm website. The more reviews you have, the more trustworthy you become, making it easier to obtain new tax clients. Everyone looks for a professional with good reviews, so without them, your competitors will have the edge.
Step 6: Now that you have set up the foundation for expansion into tax preparation, you need to consider obtaining some quality training for preparing the type of tax returns that you will specialize in. It is important to stay current with the ever-changing tax laws by enrolling in continuing education courses each year, particularly in the fall when most CPE seminars provide information on tax law changes for the upcoming year.
With your foundation in place and a plan to keep your services and skills up to date, you’re ready to take on tax clients.