Welcome PRO member! 12 Reasons to Love Tax Season Ed Mendlowitz’ Tax Season Opportunity Checklist Kit (16 pages, PDF) Click here. Free for CPA Trendlines PRO members Including: The Reviewer’s Checklist for Individual Tax Returns – 34 Items The Reviewer’s Checklist for Business Tax Returns – 42 Items The Top 12 Tax Return Preparation Errors Reviewer Qualification Test: 10 Questions Every Reviewer Should Know… ” …And the Answers (No Peeking!) Additional Services Checklist: 15 Potential Client Needs Sample Listing of Additional Services to Clients: 40 Services Every Firm Could Cross-Sell What Makes a Good Client: 16 Tips The One-Page Tax Season Client Follow-Up Action Plan CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD NOW
12 issues that might not have been addressed. By Ed Mendlowitz The CPA Trendlines Practice Doctor QUESTION: I was asked to do a quote on a business valuation for a startup that will be raising money on their second stage financing. How do I quote this? ANSWER: This is a wide-reaching question and it is not possible to know initially what the client really needs. They could need a valuation, a business plan or a method of bringing in the investor. Here are some of the many issues and variables:
Four reasons not to let one question stop a tax return in its tracks. By Ed Mendlowitz Tax Season Opportunity Guide I keep a few of the one-volume tax guides in my office so I could look up a quick answer when I need to. Recently a golf buddy emailed me a question that I thought I could answer quickly. He wanted to know that if he was in the “zero” percent capital gains tax bracket, did that apply to an unlimited amount of capital gains? Sounds like a simple question. MORE ON TAX SEASON: 5 Personal Touches for Tax Season | Consistency Simplifies Tax Season | 11 Clear Client Instructions to Make Your Tax Season Easier | 3 Ways […]
Automation can send the wrong message. By Ed Mendlowitz The CPA Trendlines Practice Doctor QUESTION: I have an automatic email response and some clients and contacts criticized me for it. I am overloaded during tax season and this takes some pressure off of me. Here is the automatic email response I am sending out: THANK YOU for your e-mail. Please accept my apology for this automated response. During tax season, most of my work days are scheduled with appointments and calls. I most always reply to emails and phone calls as soon as I can, usually the same day. Replies are slower during the months of February, March and April. Thank you for your patience. ANSWER: That’s terrible! MORE PRACTICE DOCTOR […]
One is a can’t-skip. By Ed Mendlowitz Tax Season Opportunity Guide Occasionally accountants lose touch with their clients, especially during tax season. Part of this is because of the crush of work, which is compressed into a pretty short period. We sometimes lose sight that we are working on something the clients consider one of the most important things in their lives at that moment.
Make sure you fully understand their needs. QUESTION: I have a couple of clients in a number of industries and when I ask for referrals they tell me they do not want me to handle competitors of theirs, yet I know of many CPA firms that have large amounts of clients in concentrated industries. What am I doing wrong? MORE PRACTICE DOCTOR Q&A: How Much Should You Pay To Buy, Sell or Merge an Accounting Practice? | Is Joint Representation a Conflict? | When Large (or Any) Clients Need Backup Assurances | When Is It Time to Merge? | What Goes in a Client’s Permanent File? | 6 Ways to Take a Client Beyond Tax Prep | 18 Ways to Blow […]
Six ways to eliminate stress and potential mistakes. By Ed Mendlowitz Tax Season Opportunity Guide Urgency creates stress and pressure and leads to mistakes and improper perceptions of the quality of the work. Planning and execution reduce urgency. One way to eliminate urgency is to properly plan the work with realistic deadlines and proper resources. Assign tax returns to the proper level, available staff person. Occasionally, when staff have returns with other work commitments and if there’s incomplete information, a break occurs, and the return isn’t ready for the person who started it, causing additional delays creating urgency. No one likes to always work under pressure, and an atmosphere of occasional urgency usually grows into perpetual urgency for everything. Playing […]
Here are just 19 factors. By Ed Mendlowitz The CPA Trendlines Practice Doctor QUESTION: I am in process of buying a practice and would like to know how much to pay. MORE PRACTICE DOCTOR Q&A: When Fees Don’t Keep Up With Cost Increases | When Large (or Any) Clients Need Backup Assurances | 18 Ways to Blow a Partnership Opportunity | 10 Do’s and Don’ts for Making Small Business Clients Happy | 10 Ways to Get New 1040 Clients | Before You Even Think about Selling Your Practice… ANSWER: An alternative question is how much to sell it for. This is a complicated issue with many important variables, some of which are:
Apply it to service, processes and standards. By Ed Mendlowitz Tax Season Opportunity Guide One way to guarantee extra work is to have everything always done differently each time it is done. MORE ON TAX SEASON: 11 Clear Client Instructions to Make Your Tax Season Easier | 3 Ways to Build a Tax Season Team | Have Fun This Tax Season | How to Get Paid Faster This Tax Season Not establishing uniform procedures is bad business and unnecessarily consumes part of your life. Consistency in performance reduces work and review time and creates a greater reliance on the staff people.
Make sure they both agree and you should be OK. QUESTION: I have a long-term tax client who is going through a divorce and have been asked to meet with both spouses (soon to be ex-spouses) to perform tax and financial planning services. Is representing both of them a conflict? ANSWER: It has the potential to be a conflict if not handled properly. Here is an engagement letter that Martin H. Abo, CPA/ABV/CVA/CFF uses in such circumstances. It is included here with his permission.
Help them help you. By Ed Mendlowitz Tax Season Opportunity Guide Providing instructions of what a client needs to do must be clear enough so that the client doesn’t call you to find out what to do. Sometimes taking an extra minute to lay out what the client should do can eliminate that call or indecisive moment a client might feel.
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