Are you ready to take your tax preparer business to the next level? Here are 10 tips to streamline your business and make your practice more efficient.
There are about 70,000 tax preparers in the U.S. today. They help Americans file their taxes every April and answer any questions they might have about taxes throughout the remainder of the year.
If you operate a tax preparer business, then you know how competitive the industry can be. You need to do everything in your power to get ahead and stay ahead so that people come to you, not your competition, for your tax preparer skills.
Whether you are just starting your own tax practice and trying to get it off the ground or attempting to improve a tax preparation company that has been in business for years now, there are some simple steps you can take to do it.
Take a look at 10 tips for improving your tax preparer business below.
1. Come Up With a Clear Mission Statement
One of the biggest challenges that comes along with running a tax preparation business is setting yourself apart from all of the other companies out there that do the same thing. What makes your tax preparer business different?
It doesn’t matter if you’re just getting started or running a business that’s been around for a few decades. You can benefit from creating a very clear mission statement that spells out exactly what it is that you offer.
For example, you might want to make something like this your mission statement:
- “We provide our customers with a stress-free tax preparation experience and strive to get them the biggest refunds possible while putting their minds at ease throughout the process.”
A mission statement like this might attract those who fear doing their taxes or can’t stand the stress that often accompanies them.
2. Hire the Right People
Unless you’re planning on handling every single tax preparation request your company gets on your own, you should put the right people in place to get the job done.
There are some tax preparer businesses that, unfortunately, hire people with little to no experience in the industry and expect great results. Rather than going this route, you should find experienced accountants who know the ins and outs of tax laws to work with your clients.
When you hire qualified people, you will get better results and establish your company as a trusted resource within your community.
3. Provide Training for Your Employees
Hiring the right people to serve as your employees is only half the battle. One of the biggest tax practice problems that companies face is that tax laws are always changing.
You will need to provide constant training for your employees so that they know everything there is to know about preparing taxes. Your competition is going to be trying to get a leg up on you at all times by sending their employees to training courses, and you should be doing the same.
4. Teach Employees to Manage Time
Are your employees using their time as wisely as they could and should be? You should lay out clear expectations for how you want them to spend their days.
There won’t be much question about what they’ll be doing on the days leading up to April 15 every year. But during other times of the year, they might get into the habit of not staying on top of their duties and doing everything they need to be doing to give your tax preparer business an advantage.
One way to help your employees manage their time better is by creating to-do lists that will keep them on track. These lists should include everything from daily tasks to long-term goals you want your employees to hit.
5. Utilize the Best Tax Software
You can hire the best employees in the business, teach them everything they need to know about tax preparation, and even help them manage their time effectively. But if they don’t have the proper tools to work, none of those things will do them much good.
With tax practice software from ultimatetax.com, your employees will officially have everything they need to help others prepare their taxes. You will be able to grow your business in no time by utilizing tax software that is used by more than 50,000 tax preparers every year.
6. Strengthen Your Brand
Getting your company’s name out there into the world is another challenge that your tax preparer business will face. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways for you to build your brand with affordable marketing.
- Advertise your tax preparation company on local TV and radio
- Create social media campaigns designed to promote your tax preparer business
- Design a logo that you can use on promotional products and signage
- Decorate the inside and outside of your business so that it looks different from other tax preparation services
- Come up with a clever giveaway you can tie to your services (i.e. a free 30-minute massage with tax preparation)
There are so many different ways to put your tax preparer skills on full display. You can use them to become more of a staple in your town or city.
7. Set Your Prices Accordingly
If you’re running a tax preparer business and finding that you’re not generating enough business, it could be because of the pricing structure you have in place. Are you:
- Charging too much and not attracting individuals who need help with their simple annual tax returns?
- Charging too little and not attracting the big businesses that need help with their more complex tax returns?
You should take a good, long look at your pricing and see how you can adjust it to bring in more business. Increasing or decreasing your prices could have a big impact on who calls on you for tax prep services.
8. Create a More Efficient Invoicing System
Outside of rethinking the pricing structure for your tax preparer business, you should also make sure you’re using an invoicing system that works. It will ensure people pay you for the services you provide for them.
Here are a few ways you can make sure individuals and companies pay you on time:
- Create invoices for all of your clients that include the due date for payment stamped prominently on the invoice
- Include invoices with tax returns whenever possible
- Ask your clients to pay you as soon as you take their tax documents from them
- Consider allowing credit card payments to be made or accepting direct deposit payments
- Start an in-house collections agency that will be responsible for following up with clients who have not paid for services
There are far too many tax preparer businesses that don’t have any sort of invoicing system set up. They simply sit back and hope their clients pay them on time.
Rather than taking this approach, you should have a system in place that allows for you to invoice clients and then follow up with them if they don’t pay. It will work wonders for your bottom line.
9. Offer New Services
When you’re first starting your own tax practice, you probably don’t want to offer too many services. You want to show your clients you can handle basic tax preparation at the start.
But in order to grow, it’s a good idea to consider branching out and offering new services. Some of these services might include:
- Business tax preparation
- Tax planning
- Business consulting
Once you have proven yourself in one area, your clients will feel comfortable coming to you for other services.
Just make sure you have your tax preparation services under control before you start offering other services. Otherwise, you probably won’t drum up much interest in your extra services since people won’t know if they can trust your tax preparer business just yet.
10. Provide the Best Customer Service Possible
Obviously, those customers who call on your tax preparer business for help will expect results when it comes to their tax preparation. They will want the tax prep process to be as straightforward and painless as it can possibly be.
But they will also expect you and your company to provide them with excellent customer service. Doing your taxes, whether for yourself or for your business, can be a stressful thing. So the last thing they’ll want is for your company to make it any worse than it already is.
In addition to training your employees about the latest tax laws, you should also train them to treat all of your clients with the respect they deserve. You should make it a point to have them go above and beyond to make your customers feel like they are important.
By doing this, people will want to come back to your business over and over again. It will take some of the edge off of doing taxes and allow people to enjoy a worry-free experience from the moment they touch base with you during tax season.
Start Running a More Successful Tax Preparer Business
Improving your tax preparer business isn’t as difficult as it might seem. By helping people avoid tax mistakes and setting them up with the right services, you can make a name for yourself and convince those in your community that you’re ready to handle their tax needs.
Check out our blog for more business and money tips.