What is a Proposal Software for Tax Firms? 3 Things You Need to Know

By William Hamilton

Founder, SmartPath.co

Every tax season you can bet on two things with 100% accuracy…

  1. You will get introduced to a potential new client
    (someone who wants you to do their return for the first time).
  2. You will have to agree on certain services for a specific price.

Data shows that over 90% of small tax & accounting firms have underpriced clients. 

Over 50% of clients across the industry need a significant price increase.


  1. Their work has become more complicated. 
  2. The time needed to service their account has increased.
  3. Their current fees simply haven’t kept up with inflation.

If so many clients are currently underpriced, what needs to be fixed?

Answer = Proposal Software.

If you’re a smaller firm, your proposal “process” may have meant:

  • Getting the client to send you a copy of their last tax return
  • Giving them a one-line email with an “estimated” fee
  • Then dive into their return once their source documents appear in your queue

If that still works for you, great! 

But if some of your clients are currently underpriced or you don’t have an easy way to quote a new client, it’s time to look for a solution to help.

Once you get your proposal process right:

✅You can quote the perfect price for any client in seconds, not weeks.

✅You can show your value in a way today’s clients will understand so they’ll be happy to pay.

✅You can define an accurate scope for your work, so you don’t give away the farm and can hold the client accountable to their end of the bargain.

✅You’ll automatically define the workflow steps and tasks that must be followed to guarantee a fair profit margin.. 

Over the last 14 years, we’ve helped 1,000’s of tax and accounting firms across the US perfect their pricing and increase their margins.

Here are three things you need to know about Proposal Software so you can increase your margins and attract the clients you want to work with:

  1. Good Tax Proposal Software Focuses on Progress

Your clients are paying you to help them achieve progress in some part of their life or business.

  • They want you to stand between them and the IRS.
  • They want to get their accounting up to date to get a loan.
  • They want to know how much money they can spend on “x,y,z” and how to make it deductible.

They’re outsourcing their needs to you so you can get them to where they want to go faster or with a higher likelihood of success.

If you align your price and services with the exact things a client wants to make progress on, the likelihood they will say “yes” to that engagement will increase.

If the progress they want is valuable enough, they will pay a higher fee than they’re used to paying because they will finally get the results they care about.

The best proposal software software available for tax accountants will:

  • Prompt you to make sure you’re defining the progress the client wants to make
  • Allow you to do this quickly, accurately, and with multiple clients at scale 

What to look for before you buy:

  • Features that help you identify the client’s top priorities they are willing to pay for.
  • Features that help you see all the services and help the client needs throughout the year beyond traditional tax prep and bookkeeping services. 

Our Magic Client Pricing Link™ feature lets you send one email or text to a client that interviews them so they can share the exact progress they want to make.

  1. Good Tax Proposal Software Helps You Give the Client Options

No one wants to feel like they’re being sold to. 

Consumers today want access to information and the ability to use that information to make the best-informed choice for themselves.

This has traditionally been very difficult in the tax & accounting industry because the work can be so technical the average client doesn’t know what they need or why.

The best proposal software will:

  • Help you give clients options in plain English. 
  • Use client-facing words without tax or accounting jargon.

For example:

Don’t say, “We charge a minimum of $700 for any return with a Schedule E”. 

Instead, your proposals will convert better and faster if they say,
We will maximize your tax write-offs with your rental property and ensure all your real estate income is correctly filed so you don’t have to stress”.

Both options are technically accurate. 

But the first option will likely make clients defensive and feel like you could be taking advantage of them simply because they don’t understand.

The language in the second proposal will empower the client to choose the best services that align with their goals because they can see and understand the value.

What to look for before you buy:

  • Features that help you describe your services in plain language your client can understand.
  • Features that allow you to bundle multiple services into different packages so clients can choose the best option for themselves.

If you give the client 2 or 3 options to choose from…

And they can easily understand the differences between each option. 

Your conversion rates will increase, and more people will say yes to working with you even if you charge more.

  1. Bad Proposal Software Only Focuses on Logistics

The critical steps in your proposal process are:

  1. Identifying what your existing clients or potential new clients, want to pay for.
  2. Packaging your services so you can help them make the specific progress they want to make.
  3. Pricing those services the right way to guarantee a margin for your work.

Once those three things are identified, the logistics of becoming a client can be fully automated. E-signing your agreements and collecting payment.

Traditionally proposal software for the tax and accounting industry has focused solely on logistics.

The best proposal software will:

  • Help you understand what services should be in your proposal for any client.
  • Help you price that specific client based on your firm’s unique needs.

If you’ve only been focusing on logistics in your proposal process – eSignatures and Payments, then you’ve been focusing on the things that matter the least when trying to increase your margins.

What to look for before you buy:

  • Features that help you identify the right price points for your firm.
  • Features that help you identify the right price points for specific clients.
  • Features that guarantee your leveraging industry best practices when it comes to pricing.

If you focus on the important steps of your proposal process, you can increase your margins in a short time.

Next Steps

You deserve to be fairly paid for your tax, bookkeeping, and advisory work throughout the year.

Understand what key elements of proposal software will have a direct impact on your margins.  

Choose software that will help you increase your fees, not just automate your logistics.

If you would like to access exclusive pricing data gathered from over 1,500 small tax firms,
access the Engage™ Platform and see how easy it is to create a perfect proposal for a client.

Make the needed changes to your pricing so you can protect your profits and thrive.