Tax season is always a wild ride, but 2020 has been a bit over the top. Deadlines have been extended and clients have been calling trying to understand everything from PPP loans to tax implications for their business. Your firm has probably seen an increase in the number of calls you’ve received, wanting help with decisions.

Take a step back and think about your practice. What have your clients done over the last several months? You saw an increase in calls from clients asking more questions and needing more advice than usual, considering all that this year has done to businesses. Maybe you’ve even seen an increase in your personal accounting and tax clients looking for advice as they try to secure and plan for their future. 

What has changed? Why have so many firms seen more and more clients reaching out for help?

Education

Although many clients rely on their Tax & Accounting Firm to do the technical side of managing their books and preparing their taxes, they still have questions. They know the decisions they make can make or break their business, and don’t want to make those kinds of decisions on their own. Even if half of your clients took business classes in college, that just gave them a basic understanding of accounting and economics. They don’t have the skill, knowledge, or understanding to make certain financial decisions and they recognize you do. 

Traditional “Planners”

“Financial planners” have a wealth of information to help clients with their investments. Still, most focus on managing assets, earning commissions on transactions, and creating complex projections for wealth. Although clients may reach out to them for advice, they don’t have a deep strategic view of the client’s entire tax situation, so they can’t advise on the tax implications of their choices. Add to that, they can’t dig into the detailed financials of a client’s business (often their largest asset), which means clients need your help. They need the objective input of some who isn’t trying to sell them something but just wants to help. Someone to look at all aspects of their tax & financial health and get more personal advice beyond just investments and wealth management. 

Technology

Technology has made it possible for more people to do their own taxes and manage their own books…or at least think they can. Over the last few years, technology has simplified the process and for many – they can manage their personal and business accounts fairly easily. They now have access to all the numbers, charts, and graphs, but knowing how to decipher their data to make a decision is complicated. The increased access to data is great,  but data itself (without the context of goals and purpose), is almost worthless. They need someone to help them take a look at the numbers and so they can understand what actions they can take, in what order,  for better results in their personal and business lives. 

You Role Has Changed

As a Tax & Accounting professional, you’re already giving your “favorite” clients help year-round, and often for free. Your knowledge and experience helped you get and retain your clients. Transitioning them to a monthly based subscription will not only help them see you are a valuable asset to their financial bottom line, but it will help you create consistent revenue as you charge monthly for the year-round help you provide. 

The 2020 tax season was a wild ride and one that we hope will never happen again. Whether it’s a pandemic, housing market crash, or some other event, these disruptions have an effect on your clients and create headaches for you.  By offering subscription packages to your clients, you provide them a consistent lifeline to critical financial information while creating consistent monthly cash flow for your firm.

We started this blog because we know there is a better, easier way to build your firm towards the future. We’re excited to share our experience working with over 1,000 firms to help you do it.

To your success,

William Hamilton
Co-Founder, SmartPath