How should tax professionals invest their time and resources for firm success?
For today’s tax and accounting professionals, the name of the game is doing more with less. In a world where tax regulations are constantly changing, clients are demanding more, and competition is fierce, it’s hard to decide where to invest your limited time and resources.
To find your accounting firm’s unique path to success, it’s important to understand your accounting journey: where you are and where you want to go. Are you struggling to stand out amongst competitors? Or are your clients constantly knocking at your door for assistance? Do you spend too much time on manual tax work or deciphering new tax laws? Understanding your specific challenges is key to adopting an effective business strategy and spurring organic growth.
From using technology to your advantage to billing for that advice you’ve been giving away for free, many forward-thinking firms are shifting to new business models, streamlining compliance work, and expanding into advisory services.
Here’s a look at three ways accounting firms can do more with less.
1. Invest in technology
For many accounting firms, an investment in the right technology can transform tax workflow, boost efficiency, and free up time to focus on more strategic tax work. There is no doubt that manual processes bog down productivity, so if you’re still spending hours sorting paperwork, typing numbers into spreadsheets, and entering the same data over and over, it’s time to automate with technology.
Choosing the right tax technology solution can help your firm standardize your entire tax workflow. By automating non-billable and low-value (typically manual data entry) activities, your staff can shift their focus to proactive, value-added work that enhances both client and employee retention and satisfaction. You can also offer clients the ability to share data and collaborate via secure portals, making interactions with your firm seamless.
In addition, a built-in practice management solution can help you manage the day-to-day operations of your firm, including critical areas, such as revenue, client contact, project, and time management. Some solutions even present a snapshot of performance highlights on a digital dashboard, including an executive summary of key performance indicators, from separate components of the system. This gives you a bird’s eye view into the performance of your firm.
Investing in a comprehensive tax workflow and practice management solution is an important step in your firm’s accounting journey. It enables you to do more in less time, resulting in more profit for your firm, a more rewarding work experience for your staff, and a better overall experience for clients.
2. Stay current on tax laws
When it comes to tax trends and legislation, the only constant is change. To succeed, today’s tax and accounting professionals need access to thoroughly integrated and up-to-date tax research and editorial insight. With fast and trusted answers to your tax, accounting, and finance-related questions, you can provide clear guidance to your clients and add more value to your firm.
Today’s tax research solutions are so intuitive that even junior staff can find answers, freeing up time and empowering team members at all levels to support clients with confidence. Getting pertinent information to your clients ahead of time, whether it’s notifying them of legal or regulatory changes or sending reminders to make estimated tax payments, positions your firm as the first to identify opportunities and offer guidance.
By implementing a tax research solution, your firm can stay ahead of the game, anticipate your clients’ needs, and deliver extra value by sharing insights on the tax topics and trends that affect your clients most.
3. Shift to an advisory business model
With advanced technology supporting a shift in the way accounting firms work, today’s tax professionals are looking for ways to capitalize on their knowledge and experience. This change comes in the form of value-based pricing for advisory services—and it can give you a serious leg up on the competition.
But, how do you know if an advisory business model is right for you? Ask yourself: Do you want to become a year-round problem-solving partner to your clients? Are you currently giving away tax advice for free? If the answer to these questions is yes, it may be time to move away from a compliance-focused approach and toward an advisory services business model that eliminates billable hours and focuses on the value you provide your clients. By supporting more than just tax returns, your accounting firm will increase revenue while building deeper, more sustainable client relationships.
Providing support beyond tax season reinforces that you are not just a once-a-year tax return provider, but a committed partner who supports your clients by solving problems and offering expert advice. And that means more meaningful relationships and a business that thrives long-term.
Remember: Your knowledge is valuable. With an advisory business model that prioritizes improved compliance processes backed by comprehensive technology, you can begin to shift your focus to offering clients expert advice that fosters a year-round relationship and sustained revenue well into the future.
What path is right for you on your accounting journey?
The first step to deciding where to invest your accounting firm’s time and resources is to understand your challenges. Take our quiz to learn more and begin your accounting firm’s journey to success.