Tax Season May Be Opportune Time to Market Tax Preparation Services
By Frank Byrt
- About 44 percent of working Americans will go to an accountant to prepare their taxes this year, including 49 percent who make between $30,000 and $50,000 annually.
- Among those who make $100,000 or more, 66 percent say they will get their return professionally prepared.
Ways to Build Your Practice
- Ask for referrals from everyone you serve. Referrals are a great source for new clients.
- Use no-cost or low-cost marketing options now available with e-mail and social media.
- Don't overpromise and fail to deliver. Fulfill any claims you make in your communication and marketing materials regarding pricing and deadlines.
- Provide basic services for free. This will attract customers who subsequently will sign up for fee-based services, such as state income tax preparation filing.
- Communicate with clients you've previously served throughout the year to maintain their loyalty at tax time.
- Find ways to educate potential clients about your education and your abilities to reduce their taxes. This will differentiate you from those who just enter data into a software program.
- Offer a range of personalized services. Small players can gain a competitive advantage by developing a relationship with clients in other business or personal financial areas.
- Build an experienced workforce. Experienced tax preparers can perform a larger volume of work and generate higher revenue through speed and efficiency.
The tax preparation industry is in transition, and it's an especially challenging time for those firms that work for lower-income clients with simpler returns, according to Tax Preparation Services in the US, a study published in August 2012 by the research firm IBISWorld.
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Voice of the Editor
Which isn’t completely true. I mean, occasionally I drop by when I manage to sneak out of the nonstop frat party over at Going Concern, but I’m mostly a wallflower over there. I’m happy to say that I’ve been given express permission (or explicit orders, if you like) to wander over here to AccountingWEB more often.
Why is that, you might ask? My job is to replace the irreplaceable Gail Perry as Editor-in-Chief. What does that mean? I don’t really know! I think it’ll be fun getting a feel for things, throwing in my own thoughts here and there, and listening to the discussions you’re having about the accounting profession.