We’ve all heard the saying “keeping up with the Joneses,” but what about the importance of keeping up with the changes in the tax and accounting profession? As new technologies develop and refreshed policies are implemented, the key is staying in step with transformations and adjusting for your clients accordingly.
To help you take your offering to the next level, we put together a checklist of the steps you can take to strengthen your advisory services offering. The steps are broken down into three different groups:
- Leading with tax planning and advisory services
- Creating an advisory workflow
- Delivering bundled services
Today, I’ll take a detailed look at the actions you can take within the first group, leading with tax planning and advisory services.
Lead with Tax Planning and Advisory Services
- Align on your vision: Define a vision or mission statement for your practice that reflects your values and the changes you want to put in place around helping your clients prosper; you will use this to influence change with your firm and your staff, and may want to get input from your staff as well.
- Develop tax planning strategies: Standardize five to 10 tax planning strategies for your industry specialty or client niche, including client onboarding, internal workflow changes, client tax and financial recommendations, and more.
- Announce your vision to clients: Put your new vision and client-focused purpose on your website to make current clients aware of the change and attract the right clients. Be sure you lead with what is important to clients – the benefits of your services – not with a list of the compliance services you offer.
- Lead client engagements with tax strategy: Only 27 percent of tax pros surveyed (in a June 2018 Intuit® survey) said they were proactively planning with their business clients for tax saving strategies. The majority of firms overwhelmingly lead with tax preparation, not tax planning. Instead of offering tax planning strategies reactively to a small segment of your clients, bundle tax planning with every client engagement.
- Communicate savings: Document and communicate the tax strategy savings and positive business results your practice provides on an annual and cumulative basis for every business client.