It’s only been a few days since you have been enjoying the calm after the tax season storm, and perhaps you even took a few mental unplug days to make up for those sleepless nights. I definitely did; anyone say “spa day?” However, like many other tax professionals, you know you need to get your mind back on your clients. A great way to be a firm of the future is to consistently stay relevant to your clients throughout the year. Here are three ways to do that:
Tip 1: Document tax season best practices while they are fresh on your mind – and don’t be afraid to discuss these practices with your tax clients. Despite the fact that your brain hurts from tax calculations and dissecting tax code, true reflection and documentation of the good, bad and ugly of your past tax season is beneficial and valuable if you do it right away. By doing so, you begin to create best practices on what worked best for your tax preparation clients and what needs to be improved and worked on throughout the rest of the year.
Your clients will appreciate that you are concerned about improving and growing with their tax situations. This, in turn, creates the strong, trusted advisory bond between the tax professional and tax client. It’s also a great opportunity for you to discuss any additional services you may be able to provide to them if you engage in services other than tax preparation.
Tip 2: Make a “they owed taxes” naughty list and check it twice to make sure you did not miss anyone. When your tax clients owe taxes, take a proactive approach with them in the upcoming months. There is an excellent opportunity to provide tax projections and tax planning services, in addition to working toward a happier surprise next year when they “break-even” or possibly receive a small refund at tax time.
I find that these clients really appreciate the fact that you took the time to explain to them their estimated taxes responsibilities that should be paid appropriately throughout the year, so that filing taxes with you is not such a daunting task. Go from ZERO to HERO in your client’s eyes by putting these taxpayers on a consistent, quarterly estimated taxes plan. This is also a great time to put on that techie hat and advise your clients on several cool tax planning apps, such as QuickBooks® Self-Employed and Tax Planner Pro.
Tip 3: Make sure your tax clients see you as more than just their “tax person” is my all-time favorite tip to stay relevant with tax clients. Here are some ideas you can implement throughout the year to stay engaged with your clients and colleagues, and keep up to date in our ever-changing industry:
- Attend tax, accounting and technology conferences, including QuickBooks Connect, Scaling New Heights, AccountTex and the Latino Tax Professionals conference.
- Become a guest blog contributor to your favorite blogs and websites, and share your articles with your clients. That’s how I am able to share this information with you.
- Create centers of influences with other like-minded, forward-thinking professionals to create strong strategic partnership bonds for future projects and client referrals.
So, there you have it: three tips on how you can stay relevant for your clients throughout the year. Work on these to achieve an even more successful tax season next year!
Editor’s note: In addition to Mariette’s list of conferences, check out the upcoming Intuit® ProConnect™ tax conferences and events; visit with us at these events to see demos of Intuit ProConnect Tax Online, Lacerte® and ProSeries®, and get your questions answered by our tax experts.