How to Market to CPAs in ‘Busy Season’

Tip: Prepare CPAs for ‘Buying Season’

by Rick Telberg/For the CPA Channel Marketer

The economy may be sputtering, but CPAs are gearing up for one of their busiest “Busy Seasons” on record.

CPA Trendlines research shows that 42 percent of CPAs expect the 2009 season to surpass last year’s season, compared with 36 percent who expect to do at least as well and only 22 percent who are bracing for declines.

How will this year’s Busy Season compare to last year’s?
Better Than Last Year 42 percent
About The Same 36 percent
Worse Than Last Year 22 percent

(Source: CPA Trendlines from Bay Street Group LLC)

I’ve been canvassing CPAs about busy season expectations and performance for several years now. Although there is much more uncertainty in the air, CPAs are as confident as ever. If past tracking is a guide, then the season could finish even stronger than usually conservative CPAs are currently predicting.

“While there is increasing fee pressure for compliance services,” according to CPA Blake Christian, who is also an editorial contributor to the Insider newsletters, “we saw a very strong year-end, particularly with respect to year-end and advance 2009 tax planning.”

“The favorable tax changes under the Stimulus Package, as well as uncertainty over the 2009 economy and Obama tax regime, focused our clients more intensely on short-term and long-term tax planning,” Christian said.

Busy season always presents special issues and opportunities to CPA channel marketers.

On the one hand, CPAs are too busy making money to spend money. So many marketers naturally make the mistake of pulling back. But, in fact, CPAs are more engaged in their business during busy season than at any other time of year.

In the “off-season,” CPAs have the time to relax a little and to delay decision-making. But during busy season, CPAs are making decisions — buying decisions — every minute. To be sure, those decisions don’t get implemented until after April 15.

But if you haven’t been advertising to CPAs during busy season, you’ll be caught flat-footed during the “buying” season. That’s because CPAs will have already made up their minds.

During busy season, you see, CPAs are paying attention to every detail of their operation. They are deciding what to keep for next year, what to change, what to buy, who to hire and fire and which new products and services they’ll need.

So, during busy season, the most successful CPA channel marketers maintain constant contact with CPAs.

In fact, veteran CPA marketers can pretty well predict who among their competitors will succeed and who will fail based on the level and intensity of their busy season advertising.


2 Responses to “How to Market to CPAs in ‘Busy Season’”

  1. David N.

    To Whom It May Concern;

    First off, I would like to comment on how much I enjoy reading your site. There is quite a bit of useful information.

    I am a financial advisor. What is the best way to market to CPA’s? Ideally, I would like to help their clients reach their financial goals.

    Thanks for your consideration.


  2. Adrienne

    This is wonderful, thanks for the tips, Rick.