Tax & Accounting Blog

Why Accountants Count

Accounting Firms, CS Professional Suite, Onvio, Professional Development May 16, 2016

We know you’re more than just accountants and tax preparers—you’re the experts on what your clients need. You’re advisors, strategists and mentors. You’re partners at your firm and with your clients, and leaders in your profession and community.

Some tax preparation providers seem to think that software can replace tax professionals. I don’t buy it—and neither does Thomson Reuters.

Here’s why accountants count.

Advising is where tax and accounting professionals are really in their element. As advisors, you work with clients beyond the field of numbers, offering strategic critical thinking that has no adequate software substitute. You know that technology isn’t your enemy—rather, you work strategically with technology as a tool to enhance your knowledge and support your advisory services for clients.

The value you provide to clients is incalculable. Accountants have the discerning eye and keen expertise to offer guidance not only on taxes, but—based on extensive experience crossing multiple markets, industries and client types—how to determine profitable new product lines, diversify investments and plan for the future. You also help taxpayers understand new legislation and pursue favorable tax outcomes.

Next, as financial strategists, you save people money. Most taxpayers don’t have simple, straightforward financial situations. They have numerous considerations: savings and assets, businesses and families are just a few. The services you provide aren’t just professional—they’re personal, too. There are no limits to your sphere of influence and when you make a difference in your clients’ lives, they feel it everywhere.

Your clients save money because a tax professional can be much more cost-effective than do-it-yourself tax software. Think of it this way: if you find just one significant deduction, tax credit or tax advantaged investment, it can easily exceed the average fee for preparation. What software can do the same?

In addition, your understanding of how your clients’ life experiences and financial situations impact their tax liability is key. Tax preparers look beyond common tax scenarios to find what DIY software often misses. The average taxpayer isn’t keeping abreast of changing tax legislation, so your deeply client-specific knowledge can result in substantial tax savings for them.

And as tax experts, you save people time. Thanks to you, clients get hours of their lives back—several hours, depending on how complex the client’s taxes are. It’s a win-win, since they’ll also get the best possible outcome when they trust in professional expertise. As a bonus, taxpayers won’t have to worry about understanding complicated and evolving legal issues, or trying to evaluate finances with limited experience.

Accountants help individuals and businesses make strategic decisions that positively impact their financial lives and help them plan for the future—and those skills can’t be automated today. In the coming months, I’ll continue to share my thoughts on the latest developments in the profession on my blog, found here: Tax.TR.com/author/jonbaron.

Know that your professional human touch is incomparable—and irreplaceable. There will always be a need for professional tax and accounting experts for those who want to do more than just scrape by. And that’s where you take the lead.