Use these busy days to get to know your clients better. With a few quick questions, every client meeting can turn into a new relationship-building opportunity. Ask how the firm is doing as a whole to assess satisfaction. Ask some open-ended questions about the client’s current situation, challenges and goals for the year. Delve a little deeper into potential specific services, such as multi-state tax requirements or pension plan audits. Request referrals. Keep it short and be sure to have a mechanism in place to follow up on the information that you learn from these interactions.
Topic: tax season
How many of these do you need to fix in your firm? By Ed Mendlowitz How to Review Tax Returns Clients have many choices, including the choice of a tax preparer. Every new client an accountant gets is because that client left – fired! – their previous accountant. Here is a listing of 21 major reasons why clients switch accountants. Ask yourself how many of these mistakes you could correct immediately and think about what that might be worth.
4 ways the new breed of workflow application can simplify your tax season. By Roman H. Kepczyk Quantum of Paperless The most important aspect of transitioning the firm’s tax process to a digital environment is managing electronic files that are no longer physically viewable in assorted stacks around the office. This requires a digital tax workflow system that lets everyone know the status of every return and easily connects that person to digital copies of the return and the source documents. Under traditional manual tax systems, firms utilized due date tracking databases that identified when a return was due, but not what information was missing, or the preparation, review or extension status.
No, coffee is not one of them. By Sandi Smith Leyva The Accountant’s Accelerator Busy season is just around the corner. Can you feel the excitement? Or the dread? Here are eight ways to boost your stamina and minimize burnout for those of you who are working long hours in the weeks ahead.
2015 is another opportunity to fine-tune your business. What are you planning? Join the survey; see what accountants are saying. By Sandi Smith Leyva The Accountant’s Accelerator I was drawn to reading Howard Buffett’s new book because I am completely intrigued by huge social problems and figuring out ways to solve them. For Buffett, who is a farmer at heart, the challenge is how to tackle world hunger. One of the stories in the book (which is 40 Chances: Finding Hope in a Hungry World) has Buffett listening to a lecture for farmers on how to improve their yield year after year. Buffett recalls the speaker saying that one farmer, on average, will have a 40-year career from the time he […]
QUESTION: This is not a question that an accountant asked me, but a fellow traveler on my vacation. He was using a tax preparation service and wasn’t happy and felt he could do just as well by doing his own tax return. I told him there were many benefits to using a tax professional like a CPA or EA that were well worth the extra cost. So my question to myself is “What are they?” RESPONSE: People with rental property, unincorporated businesses, investments that generate K-1s, grantor trusts, substantial investments in marketable securities or large retirement accounts and 401(k) balances need to engage a professional firm, and this checklist is directed toward those clients.
Readers’ Forum: Hours worked. Firing clients. Setting prices. Chris Basom, managing partner of Your Money Matters in Mission Viejo, Calif., wants to know the “one thing you wanted to implement before tax season but just couldn’t get to.” “Is cash still relevant?” asked solo practitioner Roxann Otto of Otto Tax & Accounting Services in Slinger, Wis. Charles G. Read in the Melbourne, Fla., area would like to know how other accountants arrive at the charges they present. Deborah McDowell Cain of her eponymous firm in Fort Worth, Texas, asked, “Does your firm work five, six or seven days a week? Is overtime for staff mandatory? Are senior staff hourly, salaried, offered overtime or comp time?” And harking back to the busy […]
Last-minute surge closes Busy Season 2014 with strong gains in e-filing. By CPA Trendlines In a late-season rush, tax professionals eked out their first volume gains in three years, and continued to lose market share to do-it-yourselfers, according to a preliminary new analysis by CPA Trendlines. The data shows professionals e-filed 69.99 million returns by April 18, a 6.5% year-over-year gain and a remarkable last-minute surge after running behind all season. As late as April 5, accountants had still filed 0.7% fewer returns than the year before, and were closing the gap, behind 0.3% by April 14. But many of the nation’s professional tax preparers see a day coming soon – if it isn’t already here – when they will […]
Accountants gear up, from paperless to cloud. By CPA Trendlines Many of the most successful accountants in tax season 2014 found new growth and profits by leveraging new cloud and paperless technologies, according to the CPA Trendlines Busy Season Barometer. Join the survey; get the results. Today’s bonus question: Plans for 2015